Okay, so, I was going to go on this big rant on my facebook page, after reading a blog post by an Army wife blogger, complaining about the word “dependapotomus”. Now, that’s not what this is about. In the little comments section, was this gem:
(retracted named): Being a Military spouse is the hardest job you have to be strong, supportive and independent. Don’t let the ones that talk like that get to you, They are just jealous that you are stronger than them.
I’ll get into that in a second. But I had to switch over to blog form, after not writing for over 6 months, because I just simply have too much to say about what that person said. So let’s get to it!
Now…ladies, please. Please stop putting out there that being a military spouse is “the hardest job”. Hear me out for a second. Yes, I do understand that sending your loved one half way around the world for months and months is difficult. I understand that working or taking care of your kids without your spouse around is difficult. I understand that everyone gets upset for the time they miss with their loved ones, whether it be anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, births of babies, pregnancies, and really, just every day life. I’ve been through it more than once. We alllll know that the husband has gone on deployments and countless TDY’s in the 6 years we’ve been married. He’s getting ready to miss the 5th birthday of mine….five of the seven birthdays I’ve had since getting married to him, he has been gone. And yes, it’s sad. And yes, it sucks. But I do completely understand that he would *rather* be with me on my birthday (or any other time) than doing whatever it is he HAS to do. But I also understand that he, surprise, has to do his job. That doesn’t mean that I can’t be sad or upset, but it does mean that I cannot take out my anger on him.
With that being said…my job, as a wife, is to love my husband, be supportive of him, hold down the fort when he isn’t around and just, in general, be a good wife and person. But I will absolutely, 100% tell you that my job is NOT harder than his. My job…as a wife…is absolutely NOT the hardest job. My job as a mother is absolutely NOT the hardest job. Are they difficult? Absolutely. Are they frustrating and tiring? Definitely. Do I want to just curl up in a ball and cry in a corner some days? You bet your ass. But never, never, never in a million years will I ever tell you that I have the “hardest job”…and I will especially never tell you that I have the “hardest job in the military”…cuz ya know, I’m…I dunno…NOT in the military.
Not only allllllll of that…but there are *shock* OTHER WOMEN (or men!) who have spouses who do dangerous and difficult things too! Policemen and firefighters to name a few. What about the men and women who go out on fishing boats in awful weather for 6 months or whatever out of the year? What about their spouses? Are their spouses not “strong” enough? Are they not “supportive” enough? And they not fucking “independent” enough to have “the hardest job”? What about single parents? Are they not strong and supportive and independent? Do they not have equally difficult struggles…possibly even more so than a military spouse who, at the very least, have a roof over their head, food in their fridge and a reliable paycheck in a generally decent neighborhood where they don’t have to worry about much?
Women, please stop this. We aren’t in race to see who can be the most badass, hardest, best and most supportive group of wives. I went into my marriage knowing with 100% certainty that the husband would be deploying within the year. That didn’t change a single thing. You could take me back to when we got married, show me a movie of exactly what would happen over the next 6 years and ask me if I would choose to live that life, I would do it every. single. fucking. time.
And do you know whyyyyyyy I would do that? Because regardless of how many days my husband is gone…regardless of how many birthdays and anniversaries he misses, regardless of how much we miss him….I love him. I don’t love him because he puts on a uniform every day, or has a steady paycheck. I love him simply for being him. I’m not entitled to the label of “hardest job” because I don’t have that. Stop being selfish and stop acting like you are entitled to more than you are, simply because you CHOSE to marry a person in the military. And if you got married prior to your spouse joining the military, then this is especially true for you…because I’ll assume that you were part of the decision making process in joining the military. I’ll assume that you follow the news and know whats going on in the world and that our spouses do get deployed, some of them more often than others, and that we are not living during an active draft where people are forced to join the military. Every single solider has had the choice to sign their life away to the military right now. Every single spouse has had the choice to sign their marriage certificate. We all have a choice. And we are not entitled to special treatment specifically because we chose to marry a person who was in the military.
Please remember spouses, that we are civilians. We have resources out the ass if we are having a hard time. The military is generally pretty good like that. We have friends and family who can help us if we need help, because I’m not talking about asking for help. I’m talking about turning the act of marriage into a game of “who’s better”. Personally, I know my husband appreciates the fact that I don’t act entitled. Every time he’s gone, I’m sad that he’s gone. I grieve for the loss of time that’s coming up and the days I don’t get to spend with one of the people I love the most in the world. And that’s all okay. And then I strap on my big girl panties and I do exactly what I would be doing anyway. Even if he was here, I would be waking up at 6:15 every morning to get my oldest ready for school. I would argue with my two toddlers. I still wouldn’t want to do the dishes or fold laundry, but I’d do it anyway because that is what I’m supposed to do. If he had any other job in the entire world, I would be doing the exact same thing.
Also note, I’m very proud of my husband for what he accomplishes. I try to encourage him and support him as best as I possibly can. But I understand that he has a job that he has to do. And he’s gone more often than other spouses. Its never been calculated, but we’ve probably spent at least a third of our marriage apart. And that’s okay. Because my job is my job and it would be just as difficult regardless of him being here or not, and regardless of him being a soldier or not. Because my job doesn’t change. I’m safe, at home, taking care of my house and kids. I’m not in a war zone. I’m not risking my life jumping out of airplanes (though I have done that and it IS a blast).
I hope my stance is clear, spouses. You are not entitled to the “hardest job” mentality. If you honestly think that you have the hardest job, then I’m sorry, but quite frankly, you’re delusional. Difficult does not mean hardest. And difficult has many different means for everyone. Just because you find something difficult or not difficult, doesn’t mean everyone else feels the same way. Stop being selfish. Respect the fact that other people have it harder, and easier than you do. Respect the fact that your spouse (hopefully) works very hard at his or her job, and respect the fact that it’s generally more difficult than yours. Respect that not only are YOU sacrificing time with your spouse, but they are sacrificing their time as well. I’m not stronger than you, him or her over there. I’m simply doing the best job as a mom and a wife as I can possibly do. It’s so frustrating to me to see that kind of “I’m better than you” mentality, especially in a group of women who do have to go through difficult things. We are ostracizing ourselves from our non-military spouse friends because we simply can’t keep our shit together. Those of you who have the “hardest job”, please take some time to reflect upon yourself and the billions of other people in the world who have it WAY harder than you do. I’d hope that simply by taking the time to stop thinking about yourself and take a look at the world around you, you might be able to see that you aren’t the only person standing in the sun. There are millions of people who have difficult lives, difficult jobs, difficult relationships that are much harder than what you do.