The adventures of an Air Force spouse

The Deployment Curse

Last week I got a new role — mentor mom. I joined a Bible Study at the base chapel for young mom’s called Mom Connect. Although I don’t have young children any more, the leaders thought I could add my “expertise” as an experienced mom to the group. Or as I call it, I am the wise, gray-haired grandma.

I’m not sure how wise I am. I did raise twin daughters and no one died. As far as I know, neither one is in counseling. So I guess I didn’t mess them up too much.

My role as mentor mom is to listen, offer sage advice when needed, and learn along with these women. You are never too old to learn a new perspective of the Bible. Some of these women should be mentoring me in Bible.

Because the Good Chaplain joined the Air Force late — he was 35 when he came on active duty, I’ve always been older by at least 10 years to most of my friends. Now it’s more like 20 years and some of them are younger than my girls. I’m feeling my age. But some of the benefits of having a more experienced woman in the group is to help the younger ones through some of the same things I struggled with as a new mom or a new military spouse.

motherSince Mom Connect is geared to military spouses, I can be living proof that you do survive deployments and temporary duty assignments. The Good Chaplain and I met a young Navy spouse in our medical center the other day. She fractured both her knee caps and had leg braces from ankle to hip on both legs. We stopped to chat with her and found out her husband deployed a month ago for a six-month deployment and she was alone.

After making sure she was taken care of — she has friends and her husband’s supervisor helping her — we talked about how everything seems to go wrong as soon as the spouse leaves. “I read it is a curse,” she said. I’m not sure if the car breaks down, the kids get sick and the washing machine quits working more frequently while your spouse is gone or if we just notice it more because they are not around to help or fix it.

I do know that it is not a curse. I look at it as an opportunity to prove, to myself most of all, how strong, industrious, and independent we can be. I never thought I was a strong woman and that belief bore up after the Good Chaplain went on a one-week temporary duty assignment. I couldn’t even balance the checkbook, even though I’d done it before. I was worried how I would cope with his being gone for seven weeks on his first deployment. But you know what, I learned that I am strong and I can fix things.

Over the past 29 years of military service, I know I can handle most of what is thrown at me, including a tornado headed my way. I don’t always want to handle these things on my own, but I will because I have faith that with God’s help, I can find the solution and strength to do it.

Yes things go wrong when your spouse leaves for any amount of time. But as military spouses we learn to “buck up” and handle each thing as they come. And we learn to rely on God, friends and family and on ourselves to keep the home front running.

You can do it!

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