So I’ve lived the semi-civilian life and the military life. I’ve lived the working life and the stay-at-home life. Right now, I’m living the stay-at-home, military life. (More to come on why I dont think I’m quite cut out for the full time SAHM life). Just when I thought life was difficult, God threw us a curve ball and made us an active duty, military family. I quit the job I loved to move 1,000 miles away from established friends and family to become a stay-at-home mom and essentially start a “new life.” I guess you could say I was excited at first but developed some bitterness along the “darling detour.”
I don’t write this for a pity party or for people to “thank us” for our service. I write this for the tired mom, dad, parents, spouses, etc. that live this same life. Before we became active duty, we had the ability to drop everything at any time to take a much needed getaway. We had our family, we had help. Now, it’s not that easy. If you live this same life and are hearing others tell you, it’s not that bad or it’s not that hard and they don’t live this life then quit listening to them. Don’t listen. No one will know the struggle unless they live it. They will never understand the guilt you carry with you when you do finally have a getaway because family you haven’t seen in months or years has arrived to take care of your kids only for you to say goodbye and good luck with YOUR kids. No matter how long it’s been since you had a break, you carry that guilt and feel selfish because others are making sacrifices so you can get that time away.
But, guess what??? YOU DESERVE THE BREAK. Some may disagree with me when I say this but it’s not your kids that should come first. I’m sure I’ll receive comments saying how wrong that statement is but you know what’s most important…. your relationship with the Lord and your relationship with your spouse and/or partner. If the foundation isn’t stable, the house will crumble.
Sure, it was only a few days but a few days alone for the first time in several years is NOT selfish. And, if it is then maybe it takes a little selfishness to take care of the relationships that matter most.
To the military parents: those feelings of guilt and selfishness you feel when you get a break are from Satan. Take the break. Know that you are doing what’s best, healthy, and required to maintain a healthy family and relationships. Take. The. Break. Don’t let Satan or others dictate what’s healthy for you. TAKE. THE. BREAK.
***A special thank you to my in-laws (Giddy & Pop) for loving on our two girls and furbaby while we took our much needed break.***