Thursday, November 1, 2012


Recently, I've been told by some people they don't feel I am honest about the difficulties military separations cause.

The trouble is, when I say "Oh, everything is fine! We are doing great." I AM being honest. We have hard days and rough spots - but overall, the separations we've dealt with this year, have been easy peasy.

My Love has been away for numerous schools/training throughout the year....
3 weeks in January in Georgia
3 weeks in June in Key West
6 weeks in July/August split between Nevada and California
3 1/2 weeks in October on the boat

Next week he leaves again.
6 weeks in Nevada.

Yep. You counted right - he'll be gone over Thanksgiving.
If the weather cooperates, he'll be home for Christmas. If not, we'll celebrate on our own day. We have moved birthdays and holidays and anniversaries for 9 years doesn't even register anymore.

So, if you were adding up, that means he will have spent 21 1/2 weeks (just over 5 months) away from the family this year.

And he's not deployed.

The big-dog away is next year.

Here is my perspective on all those times apart....If you think I'm sugar coating this, or being Pollyanna, you are wrong.
This is me.
For true.

Every day - on the easy days, on the hard days, on the sad days, on the everything-is-breaking-and-the-kids-are-sick days - I remember how fortunate I am.
My husband is away - but that is not the worst thing ever.
We have a roof over our heads, food on our table, clothes on our backs. At any point I can kiss and snuggle my sweet children. Our car works. We have an amazing group of friends and family who pray for us and support us.
When the days seem long, or any of us in the house want to wallow in the "poor me" party - we stop and remember to focus on what we do HAVE, instead of what we don't have.
Discontent breeds misery. 
I have to stop wishing he wasn't away - and focus on the gift of knowing him at all.
I constantly remind the Beans on the hard days, "Be thankful you miss Daddy. That means he is kind, and loving, and wonderful. There are many children in this world who do not have the gift of a kind Daddy. They look forward to Daddy leaving - we are blessed to have a Daddy we miss."

I am also lazy.
It takes entirely too much energy to be miserable.
I know how exhausting being miserable is, because I've been there.
I've wallowed.  I've started to drown in my own loneliness and believe the lie I was bearing the hardest burden ever.
But it isn't.
These separations are nowhere close to the hardest thing ever.

Dealing with a separation is challenging. 
But it can also be a great thing.
You decide.

I am thankful for our history with deploying when My Love was enlisted - it helps me feel better prepared for what is coming.

Every separation has its own personality - but there are certain constants that I can count on....

The day before he leaves - we will all wear our cranky pants. Always. And we are all annoyed about being annoyed, so it just isn't pleasant.

The first week he is gone - all 4 Beans wake up (at least) once a night.  Typically, they each wake up twice. Hence....

The first week he is gone - I am exhausted out of my mind.  :)

The 3rd or 4th day - the children are all on pins and needles angry about everything. They will fight and cry and melt with reckless abandon.

The 2nd week is fairly smooth, the girls have adjusted to the schedule, everyone is sleeping through the night; but this is when the Boy tries to test what I'm made of.  So the 2nd week is full of highly intensive parenting.

By the 3rd week - we are in a rhythm.  Smooth sailing from there on out, in theory.
Holidays/birthdays/special days are hard - everyone misses Daddy.
Saturdays drag by and take I try to have a fun purpose for every Saturday.

Having a handy sense of humor is also a key to surviving separations....things will go wrong, kids will get sick, stuff you never planned on will come can laugh (which is an awesome tool for anti-aging, burns calories, and keeps frowning wrinkles at bay) or you can melt and cry.

I cry sometimes. And melt sometimes.
But most of the time? I laugh.
I'm too tired to do anything else.

 Copyright 2012


  1. Whitney you hit it right on the nail! Separation is never ready but hey what is 6-10 months when you have your whole life ahead of you. Unless you live the life though it is hard to imagine going through it.

  2. We've done so much separation we don't even cry or get extremely sad when it's time for another one. It's just become a "normal" part of life at this point. This doesn't mean we don't miss Daddy, we miss him very much!! However, you learn to adapt without pretty quickly (or I think you would die!)! It's "normal" to only speak to Daddy via email, it's normal to only get to see Daddy via crappy internet connection every 45-60 days when they make port, it's normal to do everything myself and always be tired, etc. It's all so normal, I don't even notice the tired anymore, lol. In fact, it's really strange right now to have Daddy home all the time. Case in point for the normalcy of deployment and strangeness of having Daddy home ALL the time: On Tuesday Andrew went to work for the first time since coming home (just a 9-2 day), the girls said goodbye, he left, and then Emma asked how long he was going to be gone this time. I said he'd be home before she got home from school and she was flabbergasted. "He'll be back home TODAY?!!" she screamed in shrill excitement. Yes. He will. And that, is an AMAZING new normal we are so lucky to have and WOULDN'T have if it were for deployments allowing us the opportunity to really cherish our time precious together.

  3. I appreciate this so much ... no matter how bad things seem, they could always be worse. I think an important part of being a Christian is willing our minds to focus on what is pure, noble, just, etc. rather than falling into the muddy pit that beckons. Life is good. Even in the midst of the worst, life is good. <3


Thank you for your thoughts and encouragement!