I am a 4 time MOB but I am also a 26 year Army vet. I really wish we wouldn’t get such a bad rap as being the “worst branch” but that will be another post some day.
Anyhoo – my first question is how old are you? I am NOT indicating that I think you are immature, I am just trying to see through our mom’s eyes right now and her reaction makes that a bit difficult. I never wanted to kick my girls out of the house but I never wanted to keep them under my wing as long as possible either. I want them all to go out and have the adventure that life brings. If you are incredibly young I give more validity to some of her concerns here.
I wish I knew more about your mom and your family dynamics. Is she a helicopter mom who hovers over you constantly? Is she overly involved in your life? Is she just one of those mom’s who wants her kids to live by her forever? Have I totally missed the boat here? I am open to that fact because I just don’t know her.
Why is your family so opposed to the military? Again, more information leads to better answers for you.
You said mom is blinded by the bad news she hears about the military. Are we talking Soldiers killed in war? Injuries? As of March 2013 we had deployed over 2.5 million troops (many of those troops are multiple deployments) and as of April 2013 we had lost 6663 in Afghanistan and Iraq. Very tragic but when you look at the statistics of coming back – they are excellent.
Let’s talk about you for a moment as I can tell I am getting a bit wound up by your mom’s/family’s reaction. Will you move far away? Yes. Skype is your friend. you and your mom can talk and see each other all the time.
Can it be a tough life? Yes. I always say the spouse has the far tougher job in all of this but any spouse I have ever spoken to says their husband/wife who is the service member has it tougher.
You have to know that mission comes first. Just because it is your anniversary or your child’s birthday doesn’t mean the Army or any other service cares. If there are things going on you might be working late, you might be in the field for a training exercise, you might be deployed. You improvise, adapt, and overcome. You do what you have to do to meet your mission and celebrate things as a family. You might just have to do things on a different day.
Wanna know what I missed?
My youngest DD’s first day of kindergarten
Her 5th grade graduation
Her 8th grade graduation.
I remember when she was a Senior telling my boss that I didn’t give a rat’s hiney if I had to go AWOL, I would be at her high school graduation. I was. I missed other things too but she is the one whose events I missed the most.
If you are going to be an Army (or any other service branch) wife you need to know that you need to be independent and able to be ok during his absences. You might have babies while he is deployed. You have to be on board with all of that. If you aren’t – that is totally fine, but you shouldn’t agree to be a military spouse.
A good friend of mine posted on Facebook at Christmas time how happy he was to be home for the holidays as he had been deployed 3 out of the last 6 Christmas’s. He believes in what he is doing and his wife and kids are phenominally supportive. He is one of the best dad’s I know.
If you are social and meet people easily that is a bonus. My niece is an Army wife and painfully shy. Painfully. I am hoping her Darling Husband isn’t planning on making this a career because she wants to move back home so bad. She is supportive and stands by him, but if she could have a different life with him as a civilian she would be all for it.
There is nothing wrong with a military career and nothing to apologize for or rationalize to someone else. I am exceedingly proud and humbled by my career. It was a tremendous honor. It was also really freaking hard sometimes.
I will tell you this. I had the BEST.MILITARY.SPOUSE.EVER.IN.THE.HISTORY.OF.MANKIND.EVER.
I remember a 14 month stretch where a 60 hour week was awesome and some where 70-80. It was tough. I would call all the time and say “I have to work late – probably 8 or 9 pm. Or maybe 11pm. The ONLY thing he EVER said to me when I made those calls was “what can I do for you.” Every single time. He was amazing.
Tell me more about your mom’s fears specifically and maybe I can offer some better advice for you. Sorry for the novel.