The Military Has to Come First
We hear so often not to put your job before family. We hear so often that you should find a family-friendly workplace. We hear so often that these things are important, and they are, they really are.
For the military spouse, married to a service member, their job has to come first. Sometimes at the worst time. Sometimes at the time you really need them.
The truth of the military is that the Army, or the Navy, or the Marine Corps, or whatever the branch has to come first.
The truth is, the military shakes up your life when you don’t want anything to do with the military at that moment.
The truth is, your spouse might have to go, go overseas, fight in a war, and they will have to go.
No matter how much they love you.
No matter how much they want to stay.
No matter how many other times they have had to be away.
When you married your service member, you knew they would be gone, you knew they wouldn’t always be with you. But the reality that the military does come first isn’t always easy to take.
Sometimes a deployment will come, right after a child get diagnosed with autism.
Sometimes a deployment will come, right after a miscarriage or other loss.
Sometimes a deployment will come right when a spouse is trying to heal from something that they feel they need their spouse there for.
Sometimes the timing just isn’t right, but there isn’t a lot you can do about that. The job has to come first.
There are times when things can be changed. There are compassionate reassignments. Commands can hold people back for a few months from a deployment. They can send them home early in some circumstances. But none of that is promised. None of that is 100%.
And trying to come to terms with everything isn’t easy. Trying to be “okay” with the military coming first isn’t easy. Figuring out ways to get through these difficult times isn’t easy.
Here are a few things you can do to help when you know the job has to come first.
Find a good support system
Basically, find your people. Both online and IRL. Find people who support you, and love you. They will be the ones to help you through.
Remember why they joined
When you are feeling really down about everything military related, remember why they joined the military in the first place. Remember why they enlisted. Thinking about all of that can put things in perspective.
Make a detailed plan
You might be going through something you need your spouse there for, but the military has to come first. So, what will you do about it? Who will you go to instead? You will need to come up with a plan.
Figure out what will make things easier for you. That could be hiring a babysitter once a week, starting a new workout plan, or creating a list of services you can call when the need arises.
Since we are all different people, our lists might not look the same, but making a good list of how you will get through this time is important.
Remember, even though the job or the mission has to come first, there are also periods of time when the family does. Maybe this is block leave after a deployment, or having your soldier stay home a few extra weeks to be there for the birth of your baby.
There are times when they will be home early and have days off. Remembering these moments isn’t always easy, especially when you are not currently living them but, they will come again, I promise.