Let me start off by saying, I am beyond honored to be the wife of a United States Air Force Airman. My husband, Matt, is brave, hard working, and selfless, not to mention...easy on the eyes (hubba hubba). It is incredible that I get to stand by his side while he serves our country. But...when I was a bright-eyed bushy-tailed young(er) adult thinking about what my picture perfect (ha) future marriage and family was going to look like...this wasn't it honey.
Let's go ahead and flashback to Emily circa 2014 (Alexa, play Fancy by Iggy Azalea). I was in my senior year of college and had an awesome boyfriend - not my husband. He had been toying with the idea of joining the Marines and I straight up looked this guy, who is literally one of the nicest humans in the world, in the face and said, "I will support you, but it will be as a friend. I do not want to be a military wife raising babies by myself while you're off on deployments." If someone would like to reach through their phone/computer and slap me, you have my permission. Ultimately we broke up. And what happened three. months. later. you ask? Not searching, not looking, not hunting, I met my husband.
He had just gotten back from Afghanistan and was a full-time Airman. Now let me say, his re-enlistment date was coming up a month later and after six years as a full-time Airman, he was getting out to become a full-time firefighter. Had this not been the case, I would've never pursed the relationship honestly. This I have told Matt, but he believes his good looks and charm would've been enough to convince me to stay...the world may never know. He was going to be a reservist though, and that, I felt like I could handle. We got our military benefits, which to me, meant mega discounted Disneyland tickets - never mind the actual great medical benefits (I'm such an adult). It also meant deployments every 2-4 years, which I also felt like I could handle because it felt so far in the future.
Fast forward to February 11, 2020. After almost a month of being delayed, Matt finally left for his second deployment, this time to the horn of Africa. He had to leave in the morning, so naturally, we had to say our goodbyes at my morning cheer practice. A five month old Baby Addilyn was in my arms, I kissed my husband, dressed in his uniform, and he left the gym. As I'm writing this, it's been officially 100 days, and let me tell you, it's felt way longer, especially with this pandemic. And while I feel differently about being a military wife now (because let's face it, I'm not even a full-time military wife), this still isn't how I pictured my life.
I do NOT want to minimize the fact that there are other women out there that have it wayyy harder - husbands that are away for years, for example, but these are just my thoughts on how I've experienced deployment and what it's been like for me.
Now in the beginning, I'm just gonna say it...it wasn't bad, I actually kind of enjoyed it. No offense to my husband, love that dude to death, and hopefully I'm not alone on Bad Wife Island when I say that, I needed a break. Shoot, he probably did too, because God knows I am probably not easy to be married to - because I'm always right, right? As I sit here and think about it, let me just go ahead and reflect on the other good parts of this deployment.
I have been able to take these last few months and focus solely on myself (and obviously my daughter) and get myself back on track to being the person I want to be. I have lost almost 20 pounds through exercising daily and eating healthy. I have had quality time with my daughter that I know she'll never remember, but I'll never forget. And, I have been able to give a lot of my attention to really launching my brand and everything that that entails (because let me tell you, it's a lot of work). And as I sit here and wrack my brain for other things to write down...I think that's all.
Now it's time for my pity party, guest count, 1. You know what I hate? Going to sleep alone every night. Now normally, I sleep by myself ten days a month when Matt is at the fire station, and I enjoy the occasional night stretching out and not feeling his hairy man legs. But night after night after night alone and I'm beginning to miss those hairy man legs.
You know what else I hate? Being the sole caretaker of my daughter. Let's raise a glass for all the single parents out there, especially those will multiple children. Holy hell, you are superheroes. Addilyn has started to crawl, has discovered the cat food and water bowl, loves shoes on the floor, and tries to attack the poor cat any chance she gets. This kid needs pretty much constant attention and it. is. exhausting. God bless my own mother who comes over as often as she can, she is so helpful. But the mom guilt is real. And I hate this deployment for making me feel this way about being a mom - something I prayed for, for SO long. Like what I would give for even one full day with no baby...you have no idea how hard that was to even type out.
If anything, I feel like this deployment has given my great perspective on my marriage. My husband and I were in our terrible twos and there were many times that we were getting on each other's last nerve. But now I am able to take a step back and look at the big picture. The same with motherhood - it's all about perspective. So until Matt gets home, that's where I'll be, over here, trying to gain more perspective. I want to believe that I will be a better wife and mother after all of this is over, but man, I am so ready for this deployment to be over.
Have you had to be away from your spouse or partner for an extended period of time? Are you a military spouse? I'd love to hear from you in the comments and what your experience has been like.