Surviving Military Life: Sometimes You Have to Lean on Your Friends
Who do you turn to when you’re under the weather and need help with your kids? Your husband? Your parents or in-laws? For most moms, relying on family is usually a safe back-up plan. But not for moms like me who are also military wives.
So who does a milspouse turn to when her husband is deployed and her child’s grandparents all live a plane ride away because she lives in the middle of nowhere near a military base? Her friends. Generous and compassionate friends.
To survive as a military wife, it’s often necessary to rely on the kindness of strangers, so to speak. I know this, but still have a hard time asking for help. Even when I’m hunched over the toilet, vomiting for the fourth (or was it fifth?) time that night and suffering from a wicked case of food poisoning. Even when I know I am physically unable to take care of my son. Most of my friends have families of their own; I don’t want to be a burden and take them away from their own responsibilities.
But this past weekend I was desperate for help after eating take-out pizza that shouldn’t have been eaten. I was up nearly all night, and at 4am, after seeing that a friend responded to my half-joking post on Facebook requesting a Gatorade delivery, I decided to text message her. She happens to also be a milspouse who is single parenting. When I didn’t hear from her by 6am, I texted another friend, asking her to come over when she woke up.
I ended up getting help from one friend for about an hour in the morning (she put my son down for his nap) and around lunchtime, and from the military wife friend later in the day. She arrived before my little guy woke up from his afternoon nap then played with him, fed him, bathed him and put him to bed so I could sleep. Before she went home for the night, she ran out and bought me a big bowl of chicken Pho because my appetite was finally returning.
I wouldn’t have been able to tend to my son’s needs that day, and I am so grateful to have friends who were able and willing to take care of him for a couple of hours each. I think they so graciously offered to help me because they knew I would do the same for them. Sometimes we just have to let go of our pride and ask for help when we need it.
How have you had to rely on friends during a deployment?
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