Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I have to go off here for a minute.

And I apologize in advance.  It's not craft-related but it's something that I feel I need to say because frankly there's a HUGE divide between military and civilian families.  This is due to both sides.  Civilians will NEVER know what it's like to have your husband gone for a year at a time, wondering if he's in danger, if he'll come home to you upright or in a flag-draped coffin.  Civilians will never understand why we military wives "put up" with it and that our husbands find it a great sacrifice and honor and have no intention of getting out.

Civilians get a glazed-over expression on their face as if our marriages don't matter.  While they many times politely appreciate our husband's sacrifice, they rarely understand what it means for the family back home.  Let me enlighten you a little.

I homeschool.  I have my children with me 24/7.  STOP!  Don't even go there with the "oh, I don't know how you do that".  Yes you do.  You choose not to for one reason or another, but that's another conversation for another day.  Do you have any idea what it's like to be both mom and dad for a year on end, without stop?  Birthdays, school plays, recitals, lessons, fights, sickness, ER trips, Holidays, grocery shopping, and maintenance of the house- just to name a few for months and months on end- by yourself.

Civilians smile politely and many will boredly nod when we're telling a story about how our husband missed our child's birth, first words, first steps, major life accomplishments and other things while giving us the "poor dear" look.  It's got to stop.  We don't want pity.  We want empathy.  We're not asking your husband to leave for a year at a time to a danger zone (and by the way, that 2 week trip to cleveland that your husband took?  Yeah, we don't feel closer to you.  He didn't need to wear 100 lbs of used kevlar to hopefully keep his butt alive from being shot at by someone who wipes their butt with their bare hands however your husband WAS able to dine out and slept in a hotel, and was able to call you nightly!).  I digress.

What we military wives are asking for is that  you actually listen when we speak.  You wonder why we keep cloistered and away from typical civilians- it's because "you" don't care enough to find out why our heart is broken.  1/2 of us is missing a million miles away and you will fight with your husband over not taking out the trash tonight.  Many of us would kill for the chance to take the trash out so our husbands can relax and not have to worry about it.

Many of you know that I made a scrapbook for my husband's military service, and most of you thanked us for that service.  Please know that this is NOT to attack any civilian.  This is to bring awareness that military wives are hardcore and for those of you who would say "I could never do that"- it's not really a compliment.  You have this idea that we're somehow stronger because our husbands leave everything to us.  We're not stronger, we lean on each other just as you would do.  Yes, you could do that.

I guess what I'm asking here is the next time you encounter a military wife (or husband even though they're much rarer); shut up, let her talk, be interested and don't speak unless you can bring solutions.  That sounds harsh.  I'm sorry, just try this:  "When do you need me to babysit?"  (free of charge is also good- our pay isn't what most civilians think it is.  in fact, it's many times below poverty level- an E6 currently makes around 42,000 a year- with 15 years of service in.  pathetic, huh?  What's that you say?  what about his benefits?  oh, yeah- the benefits that can be removed at any given time by our government and he is still under contractual obligation to serve?  those benefits?  yeah, he gets health care and an allowance for housing- which btw, is less than section 8 housing!)

Another good one is "I'm making an extra casserole.  Do you have room in your freezer for it?"

Ok, I'm off my pedestal.  I'm upset and while I didn't mean to assault your ears (or eyes in this case) I had to get it off of my chest and since I'm not on facebook anymore... this is my outlet.

Be blessed everyone and please don't take it as an attack on you personally; it really wasn't it was the ramblings of a military spouse madwoman who needed to get things off of her chest before she flipped out on the neighbor. :/


  1. Hat's off to you Ruby - for having the courage to speak up for yourself and of other military spouses! My heart and gratitude are with you! while i can not say that I know exactly what you are feeling i can so understand most of it! I went through an terrible year while my oldest daughter served in Afghanistan! It was a struggle every day just to do normal daily activities! I know the fear of not knowing if they are coming home safe and sound! I don't want to ramble on and on! Mostly i would just like to say THANK YOU! Thank you to your husband who is willing to serve our country, thank you to you for supporting him, taking care of the home and family while he is gone! Thank you for your service - because military families really do serve - just in a different way. thank you thank you thank you!

    Lisa G

    ps. if i could figure out a way to get a casserole to you it would be sitting on your door step right now!!!! :)

  2. I understand how you feel. I am a proud Army mom and I can tell you from a parent perspective that it is tough when you child is put in harms way, as I know you feel that with your hubby.
    Blessings to you and your family. Vent when you want, I will listen!

  3. Thank you both, I wasn't saying that for comments and Lisa, anytime you're in my neighborhood- feel free to drop off a casserole! LOL!

    I just saw some disrespect to a fellow wife that ticked me off. Of course, blogging about it does nothing, but to my feel-good defense, I did stand up for her.

    Anyway thanks for letting me vent! I needed it. :)