One reality of being a military wife is that for periods of time I have to be both mom and dad. I have to do it all. And that can be really really hard. I have had to make a lot of decisions that other couples might make together. And then I get to tell daddy after the fact.
This is because of schedules and what he has been doing while overseas. While I could talk with him it was hard to ask him about what I should do when it came to the kids. It was easier to just figure it all out for myself. I was the one with the kids on a day to day basis and he wasn’t. Kids change so much when they are little that when a military member is overseas for a longer length of time they really do not know their own children anymore.
I had to make the decision to get my son tested for his speech delay. I had to make the decision to supplement with formula. I had to be the one to potty train my son all by myself. If your husband is in the military, you know exactly what I mean. It can be very difficult having to make these decisions by yourself, not having your other half there to evaluate and help you decide. Even when you can ask them, they might not know what to tell you because they are not there to see the whole picture.
We are the sole disciplinarian for months at a time. We decide when dinnertime is, when bedtime is and when playtime is. Then they come home…
Now, what? All of a sudden you no longer have to be both mom and dad. You no longer are the only parent in the house. But sometimes that can be a really hard transition. And then once you do get it all worked out, they have to leave again.
This can be a frustrating part of living the military life. It takes a lot of patience from both of you to figure out the best way for Dad to find his way back into the family. Some children will react differently than others and it is important to remember this. Some kids will get used to the other parent right away and others won’t. Many tears will be shed over it and you might even find yourself thinking that it was easier in some ways when they were not there. Then you stop yourself and realize that no, it was much harder and if you can get through this transition your whole family will be better for it.
I imagine life will be like this for us until the day comes that my husband is not longer in the Army. It’s just something we have to work at and struggle with.
What are your tips for the parent coming back into the family after being away for a time? What has worked in your family?
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