The Great Wait… For Orders

It’s that time. Time to start thinking about deployments and care packages and how I’m going to adjust to solo parenting without any communication with my husband for months at a time.

Yup… we are in the window for our orders (and yes, OUR orders because as a MilSpouse, I’m included on those orders). Huzzy will be detaching his current command in November and should have to report sometime in December.

Besides a three year tour recruiting in Michigan (which was kinda his choice), he has been stationed here in Washington state ever since he completed his training. That’s more than 10 years here, total. There are only two places he can be stationed (besides recruiting), and that’s here and Kings Bay, Georgia. KB is the armpit of Georgia… it’s 40 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida, so it’s definitely southern Georgia. It’s located on a built-up swamp and is a pretty isolated area.

It’s always been easy to stay in Washington because, for some reason, many people would prefer to go to Georgia (maybe because they like the heat or closer to family, etc), and 60% of the submarines are stationed in Washington. Never been an issue.

Until now.

Huzzy’s ability to look/shop for orders was supposed to open on the 1st, but now it’s been pushed back to the evening of the 13th. However, he talked to the detailer and was already asked if he’d go to KB… and to the least desirable boat type as well. He’d be miserable. Absolutely miserable.

We do not, under any circumstances, want to go to KB. Besides the fact that we love it here in Washington and absolutely hate weather in the south, we have a house here, my mom is considering moving here to help me with Skipper once she’s born (and she will not move to Georgia as she hates the heat as much as I do), and it’ll be financially detrimental to us. I have been planning on starting my own communication consulting business after she’s born, which I wouldn’t be able to do if we moved until after we moved and got really settled and THEN had to start fresh with no contacts. We also have a house that, due to the current market, would cost us several hundred a month even if we were able to rent it out… on top of the rent in KB that we’d have to do. I’ve looked at rentals there and, like here, the BAH is several hundred dollars shy of what we’d need to rent a house. So we’d be out probably at least $500 a month between the two… and BAH is more than $200 lower there. So that’s approaching $1,000 less in the budget. Not do-able.

I could get an additional job, of course (on top of Jamberry and my Navy Reserve stuff)… but the closest city where that would be possible is 45 minutes away with no traffic. Commuter traffic would probably make it in the hour one-way commute. Plus, then there’d be daycare expenses as well that would eat into it.

And really, I realize that this is something all military spouses go through, but when you have been told (and have 10+ years of personal experience behind it) that you’d never have to leave… it’s a rough transition of thought. On top of that, I’m, of course, just about two weeks away from full term and five weeks from my due date. I have enough to worry about without this unexpected stress.

I just hope Huzzy can grab orders to something here. Even if it is the least desirable boat.

 

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Military Spouse Appreciation Day – Remix

Today is Military Spouse Appreciation Day. It’s a day to appreciate the sacrifices the spouses endure as they support their loved ones in the military.  Three years ago, I had fellow Military Spouses fill in the blank of “You Might Be a Military Spouse If…”   well, I’m re-blogging it because it’s just as true today as it was three years ago (see the original one here).  Many of the blogs are now defunct, but since that’s where it originated, that’s where I want to keep the link in case they come back.

You Might Be a MilSpouse If…

  1. “… you go weeks without hearing from, talking to or seeing your spouse and only start to worry when it starts hitting the two month mark.”  submitted by Wife of a Sailor
  2. “… you have a better support network online while your spouse is deployed than you do with your own family.” submitted by Wife of a Sailor
  3. “…you live life expecting the unexpected!” submitted by T, C and E
  4. “…you refer to your friends as “my civilian friend so & so” or “my military friend so & so” during conversations. This can confuse civilians when you live in a non-military community.” submitted by Married/Single Parent
  5. “…majority of your laundry consists of camo, tan shirts, and green socks. (It seems like a never ending supply.)” submitted by Oh, How Delightful!
  6. “…you can pack and unpack a house within a couple of days.  Like a pro!” submitted by Air Force. Wife. Life. 
  7. “…you use a military id, but the bank teller wants a “real” id (especially when you have a special military bank account)” submitted by I Married Into the Army
  8. “…there are more challenge coins laying around your home than nickels, dimes, etc.” submitted by I Married Into the Army
  9. “…your husband pulls out the pro mask anytime you’re sick.”  submitted by I Married Into the Army
  10. “…you’re tempted to dye your pet’s hair green (or blue in the future to match the Class A’s).” submitted by I Married Into the Army
  11. “…you know to shine the Class A shoes w/Windex.” submitted by I Married Into the Army
  12. “… you know you can never make plans ahead of time, because the Army always finds ways to change them.” submitted by It’s My Party and I’ll Cry If I Want To
  13. “… getting a power of attorney is a regular occurrence for you.” submitted by The Squid’s Accomplice
  14. “… if your kids are all born in different states.” submitted by The Squid’s Accomplice
  15. “… if you get a little embarrassed when your kids call anyone in a uniform “daddy”, particularly in an exchange or commissary.” submitted by The Squid’s Accomplice and  Our Crazy Life
  16. “… you still find colorful little moving tags on various pieces of furniture even though it’s been two years since you PCSed. Bonus points if there are multiple tags stuck atop one another.” submitted by To The Nth
  17. “… you don’t panic when the GYN walks into the room wearing ACUs.” submitted byOur Crazy Life
  18. “… you don’t flinch when a man with a gun asks for your ID at the grocery store!” submitted by  Our Crazy Life
  19. “… your 8yo son tells you how the mall ‘downtown’ is not a secure location.” submitted by  Our Crazy Life
  20. “… you know that a month long separation is short, no matter what anyone says.” submitted by Ramblings of a Military Wife
  21. “… you own at least one “I Love My Soldier” t-shirt, bumper sticker, purse or anything camouflaged!” submitted by Honey Bunches of “Oaks”
  22. “… you get bored after living in one place more than a year.” submitted byAdventures of M-Squared
  23. “… you use so many acronyms when talking about your day that those outside of the military community have no idea what you are saying.” submitted by My Life as His (Air Force) Wife and Army Soldier, Army Wife
  24. “… you might be a MilSpouse if you read all of the homecoming banners and smile over each one, all the while thinking “What will my banner say?” submitted by Young But Not Completely Dumb
  25. “… you take your computer to bed each night with hopes that you might catch your husband online should he get on SKYPE, Facebook, messenger, etc.” submitted by A Florida Girl and Her Soldier
  26. “…you can unpack an entire house in less than a week….or your garage still has unopened boxes and you moved in over a year ago!” submitted by Always Moving Forward
  27. “… you accidentally start to put down your spouse’s SSN when filling out documents about yourself.” submitted by Every Branch
  28. “… you save voicemails from your spouse, so you can hear his/her voice any time you think of them.” submitted by Smurfolfauge Cafe
  29. “… your hubby is on deployment and you wake up in the middle of the night and you check your email…more than once before you fall back asleep.” submitted by The Thrifty Military Wife
  30. “… your civilian friends think you’re crazy when you say “Oh, he’s only going to be gone six months this time, that’s not so bad.” submitted by Life on Planet Caddick
  31. “… you were once the shyest person on the earth and then you married your military member and now it is life or death to be outgoing! (well not really death, but you would be really lonely).” submitted by Anchor’s Away
  32. “… you have 2 anniversaries: the Justice of the Peace anniversary and your “wedding” anniversary.” submitted by The Diary of a Mrs.
  33. “… you spend Christmas, New Years, Valentine’s Day, Your Birthday and other big holidays away…all in the first year of marriage.” submitted by The Diary of a Mrs.
  34. “… you ALWAYS buy insurance when traveling because plans change.”  submitted by The Diary of a Mrs.
  35. “… you long for the stench of their gear…it might be nasty but it means they’re home.” submitted by three krakens & a momma
  36. “… if you spend more time away from your guy than with him.” submitted by Flying High With My Flyboy and Life and Times of a Displaced Jersey Girl
  37. “… you answer your husband’s texts with “Roger” submitted by Army of Two
  38. “… you can never plan too far in advance and you never really know where you will spend Christmas until it gets a lot closer to December.”  submitted by Julie the Army Wife
  39. “… you had to buy a body pillow to make it through a night alone in your bed during a deployment!” submitted by Simply Sunshine and Daisies
  40. “… you never know what’s going on when because one day you are about to face a deployment, the next week there’s no longer a deployment.” submitted by Mrs. CNB
  41. “… you automatically pull out your ID to get to where you live and it doesn’t faze you when there are guys guarding the gate with rifles.” submitted by Our Okinawa Life
  42. “… you have three jobs on your resume for the past two years.” submitted by Stay At Home Mom and Marine Wife
  43. “… you ALWAYS have a current Power of Attorney on hand.” submitted by A Marine & All His Girls
  44. “… you know your spouse’s social security number better than your own.  (I am constantly confusing the two these days.)” submitted by L to the Third
  45. “… when you hear a civilian gal whining about her husband being gone on a business trip for a few days and babbling on about how she misses him so terribly even though he texts her throughout the day and calls her every night, your eyes get kinda squinty and you look away and keep your mouth shut because your mama told you that if you can’t say something nice, don’t say it.  But you’re really thinking to yourself, “ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!?!?!” submitted by the C.W
  46. “… if you’re a single parent, but married. I joke with my friends that I’m a single mom for next few weeks/months when my husband leaves for training.” submitted by Army Wife and Mom
  47. “… you speak in acronyms and understand them!” submitted by Tiara’s & ACU’s  andJust a Girl
  48. “… you never know where you’ll be next year.” submitted by Pattie the Chaplain’s Wife
  49. “… your husband has more boots than you have shoes.” submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
  50. “… you have a love/hate relationship with Murphy.” submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
  51. “… you refer to everyone not carrying a military ID card as a civilian.” submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
  52. “… you know all the last names of who your husband works with, but rarely their first names or gender.” submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
  53.  “… you use a POA…whether your husband is deployed or standing in the next room.” submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
  54. “… you love the military…no, you hate it….wait, you love it….damn you military!…military, you complete me…Ef you military and the tank you rolled in on…you think the military rocks…the military can suck it… ” submitted by A{muse}ing Mommy on a Pink Park Bench
  55. “… you routinely ask for a military discount because you don’t want to give California more money than it deserves.” submitted by Wookie & Co.
  56. “… you see all those “Support The Troops” causes on Facebook and laugh to yourself because you support them to the fullest extent by supporting your own spouse (in more than one way) and their whole crew.” submitted by A little of this, A little of that
  57. “… you & your husband do repeatbacks.  “Honey, would you take out the trash?” “Taking out the trash, aye.”  submitted by NH Girl Displaced
  58. “… you have been married longer then you have been physically together!” submitted by The Peacock Tale
  59. “… you move to a foreign country to have your family together only to find out 2 weeks after you get there your husband has to leave for the field for over a month.  Learning new traditions, the language, the location, the do’s and don’ts by yourself in order to inform him when he gets back.” submitted by Painting My Canvas
  60. “… you trip over miscellaneous uniform items in the morning while making your half-asleep trudge to the bathroom.” submitted by Maine-ly Taryn
  61. “… your toddler knows the word “commissary.” submitted by Live it. Love it (or not). Write about it.
  62. “… you celebrate holidays based on duty schedules.” Live it. Love it (or not). Write about it.
  63. “… you have 20 different sized curtains to fit all the different windows of the houses you have lived in.” submitted by Perfectly Imperfect
  64. “… your husband talks in acronyms and you understand him completely.” submitted by I&J
  65. “… there are at least 30 different states and 15 different countries represented in your list of Facebook friends.” submitted by Marrying the Navy
  66. “… you refer to your friends’ husbands by their call signs… cuz you probably can’t remember their real names anyway.” submitted by Marrying the Navy
  67. “… you plan your life around an upcoming move, only to find out that your orders have changed and you are moving somewhere totally different at a different time of year. And of course, you take all of this in stride, because that’s what the military life is all about.” submitted by Little Moments Like This
  68. “…  you start thinking of how you’ll deal with life events without your husband there.” submitted by Eights on the Move
  69. “… you know what a POA, TDY or PCS is…or if you can use numerous other acronyms in everyday life correctly.” submitted by Many Waters
  70. “… you go weeks, sometimes months without seeing or talking to your husband.” submitted by Not Just an Army Wife
  71. “… if TMO has ever packed your trash can for a PCS with the trash still in it! … True story… happened to us when we moved from Oklahoma to Georgia… my god did our apartment stink for about 3 days before we figured out which box had the trash still in it! GROSS!” submitted by Just a Geek Named Jess
  72. “… if you do your husband’s laundry after he has come home from an exercise and your washer is filled with little yellow or orange ear plugs.” submitted by Just a Geek Named Jess
  73. “… if you’ve ever shouted “Fly By” or “Low Pass” into the phone at someone 2 seconds before a jet roar’s past you over head.” submitted by Just a Geek Named Jess
  74. “… you’ve ever gone to the commissary and seen a woman breast feeding while shopping.” submitted by Adventures in Life
  75. “… you don’t own any blue pens.  Because you are very aware that you can only use black pens when filling out ANYTHING for the military!” submitted by Creative, Crazy and Camouflage
  76. “… when your car or sink break and you simply grab the tools and fix it. No men required.” submitted by Trust. Love. Believe. Bake.
  77. “… your military husband or wife says there’s a rumor of an upcoming deployment, and you don’t toss it up as “it’s just a rumor,” you take it seriously and start planning ahead. You don’t mess with deployments, and taking a rumor lightly doesn’t happen too often.” submitted by Between the Lines
  78. “… you constantly have to explain to employers why you have had so many jobs at 25 and why you have a random area code.” submitted by my-inspired-nest
  79. “… come holiday time and your spouse is deployed, although you miss them, you don’t miss a beat because you’re so use to them missing the holidays.” submitted byLife as Mrs. JPT
  80. “… his gear starts to take over your house!” submitted by Chances I’m Taking 
  81. “… you are an independent dependent.” submitted by Destination: RN!
  82. “… you have an expired Texas license, with a Florida address, and you live in North Dakota.” submitted by Married My Airman
  83. “… you automatically use phrases like “Good to go”, end phone calls with “Out” instead of goodbye, and start calling your time off from work “leave” instead of PTO or day off.” submitted by Standing By Him
  84. “… you celebrate holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc months after they actually occurred.” submitted by Sarah Ruth Today
  85. “… when your spouse calls and tells you that they have news, your first instinct is to ask how long this deployment/exercise will be.” submitted by The Pavlik Perspective
  86. “… when telling a (non-military) story to some colleagues, you got weird looks for saying “he discharged his weapon” rather than “he shot his gun.” submitted byChristine’s Little Blog
  87. “… you can give directions to the commissary in three states or more, a career MilSpouse if it’s six or more!” submitted by When Good People Get Together
  88. “… your driver’s license is shoved in the back sleeve of your wallet because your military ID now has priority.” submitted by Cows and Combat Boots
  89. “… you answer your phone for any unknown number at all hours of the night or early in the morning because your husband is calling you.” submitted by Living, Learning, Loving as a Marine Corps Wife
  90. “… you wake up converting time to the Middle East.” submitted by Keep Calm and Soldier On
  91. “… you have a minor panic attack when you miss your hubby’s call . . . and then you suddenly realize that it’s actually okay . . . because he is home!” submitted by Scrubs, ACUs and One Crazy Ride
  92. “… you’re talking to one of your best friends, who’s coming to visit you in a month, and you keep telling her: “Remember to bring your driving license. You can’t even see my house without your ID – they’ll ask for it at the gate.”  submitted by Free Borboleta
  93. “… if you and your husband get into a vehicle one hour after your wedding, and drive for 6 hours because he has to be back at the barracks by 5am to check in and get orders changed that include his new wife.” submitted by Diapers, Dogs and Deployments
  94. “… a temporary long distance relationship is no biggie.” submitted by Raising Roscoe
  95. “… hearing noises from the gunneries and artillery at home don’t faze you anymore.” submitted by Life is a {Beautiful} Mess
  96. “… you know more about your twitter/blogger friends than your IRL ones.” submitted by Modern Meets Traditional
  97. “… you sleep with your phone AND computer by your bed!!” submitted by Randomly Robyn
  98. “… you have nieces or nephews you have never met, except on Skype.” submitted byThe Evolution of Peacocks
  99. “… after a deployment any time your spouse has to be away you think “oh it’s not that bad, can’t be worse than a deployment.” submitted by Pink Champagne, Gatorade and MREs
  100. “… you’ve heard mortar rounds going off on in the background of a phone call during a deployment and that was considered “normal.” submitted by Tegan’s Musings
  101. “… you actually know your spouse’s SSN by heart and have every power of attorney there is!” submitted by From Army Brat to Navy Wife
  102. “… you are married to your computer. (It’s the first thing you visit when you wake up in the mornings, it’s the first place you go when you walk in the door, it’s the last place you are at nights, and last but not least, you even make dates with it.)” submitted byThe 4M Project
  103. “… your children respond to your command to come here with, “stand by one mom”. and I’m totally serious when i say that this occurs in our home with my 4 year old!” submitted by Cammo Style Love
  104. “… you are married not only to your spouse but also phone, computer and any other communication device you can think about, you can cook mac ‘n cheese as well as change oil or tires in your car, and you do not stress over small stuff – such as changing plans.” submitted by Nina Grennon
  105. “… 2 weeks after your love goes back to war, you finally get around to washing the towel he last used and left hanging in the bathroom.” submitted by for ever & for always, no matter what
  106. “… your spouse comes home and says they are going TDY for 3 weeks and you say, “ONLY 3 weeks?” submitted by The Albrecht Squad
  107. “… you can catch flaws on your spouse’s uniform better than they can.” submitted byCombat Boots & Pointe Shoes
  108. “… you use acronyms that are longer than the words they abbreviated.” submitted byMegan Dub-Yuh
  109. “… you might be a MilSpouse if: you only write in pencil because EVERYTHING is subject to change. ” submitted by Our First Deployment– ALD & ARP
  110. “… you tear up when you hear “Proud to Be An American,” even though you’ve heard it 50 times by now.” submitted by Our First Deployment– ALD & ARP

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Navy Increases Career Sea Pay

For the first time in 13 years, the Navy has decided to increase career sea pay. When Huzzy goes back to sea next year, his sea pay is going to jump from $465 a month to $656 a month. That’ll be a big help. Still not worth him being gone the majority of the four years he’ll be on  sea duty, but it’ll be nice.

You can see the whole article here on Navy.mil, which includes a link to the table.

 

The Ride

So today has been a fun day- if you enjoy being punched.

Huzzy called me after his follow-up with the doctor and they aren’t liking the way his scar is healing. He has to come back in two weeks. They also will not do a semen analysis until three months AFTER that follow up. It was supposed to be three months after the surgery. So now we’ll be six weeks behind. That is, if it worked. I hope the fact that he’s not healing well doesn’t mean they screwed up and he’s no longer able to have kids, period.

As it is, we will now be another six weeks behind starting TTC again. Six weeks is nothing compared to the years we’ve waited. But six weeks means the loss of two cycles of being able to do injectables. That is, if the sperm have even recovered enough by then (it could take MUCH longer) to even be worth me injecting myself with more hormones.

Our cruise itinerary thanks to Princess.com

Our cruise itinerary thanks to Princess.com

Huzzy also called to let me know that there’s a good chance his leave is now going to be denied for our honeymoon/5th anniversary trip. Apparently there’s something going on and they’ll need all hands on deck. Well, they really don’t, but they like to have them. Huzzy would just be missing the final day of it. If they let him, we might be able to pay several hundred dollars more and fly out on a redeye to try and get to the ship before it sails the next day. The other issue is this event has been continuously pushed back. If they push it back one more week, that will be the week we are supposed to be on the cruise. I’d say there’s a 60% chance we won’t be able to go if the event is the week before the trip and a 100% chance we won’t be able to go if it is pushed back to the week of our trip.

The ENTIRE reason that this is considered our honeymoon is because we weren’t allowed to take one after our wedding due to the Navy. And for the next three years, there was no way for us to do it, either, due to the Navy’s schedule. Shore duty is a time when he’s supposed to rest and catch up from the craziness of the three previous years and the three upcoming years at sea.

My friend at Handling with Grace was criticized by someone who took issue with the fact that she said the military life includes sacrifice. It does. We sacrificed our honeymoon for the military. We sacrifice quality time with each other. We sacrifice being able to spend time with our families. It’s a sacrifice. One that we choose to do, for sure, but a sacrifice non-the-less.

I won’t even get into the fun that is my former job issues that came up today (yes, more) and the fact that the fuzzy 150lb dog is ill. Ugh.

I’m tired of this ride. It seems like there are way too many stomach-dropping plunges and not enough fun thrills.

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Fifth Anniversary/Honeymoon = Cruise!

I haven’t been writing much lately because what is going on in my life is a bit complicated. If you follow me on Twitter, you know I was terminated from my job as a Navy civilian at the end of December. I did absolutely nothing wrong (I even have a letter from our admiral that says I didn’t and says I was an exceptional employee), but due to a mistake the HR office made in the hiring process two years ago, the only thing they said they can do to fix it was terminate me.

I dispute the fact that there was a mistake made during the hiring process and have since found out that the guidelines actually say NOT to terminate the employee in cases such as mine, but to use other methods to keep them. On top of that, they want to “wipe the slate clean” because of HR’s mistake and the only way to do THAT is to send me a letter of indebtedness to make me pay my 21 months of salary back that I earned fairly. I don’t believe this is legal in any way. Actually, no one believes it is legal, even DFAS, which handles pay. Anyway, that’s all I’m going to say here because of a possible lawsuit if the Congressional Inquiry doesn’t fix this problem.

<<break break>>

Our fifth anniversary is coming up next month and we were originally going to do something big for it since we never took a honeymoon (yay Navy!). When I became unemployed, we decided to just do something local. But then… we found some money in an account that we never use and decided that we NEED to go on a vacation together. We NEED to spend quality time together. It’s our 5th anniversary and we’ve never taken a vacation together that didn’t involve family. We keep putting it off for when we are better off financially. But Huzzy goes back to sea next year and once that happens, planning any sort of vacation will not be able to happen. We’d have to wait until he was out of the military, which won’t be until at least our 10th anniversary.

So we decided to go for it.

Next month, we will be flying to Houston and leaving on a Princess cruise to Cozumel, Belize, and Honduras. Neither of us have been on a cruise before and you’d think a Sailor who spends more than half his career out to sea wouldn’t want to go on a ship… but he’s on a submarine so never sees the light of day when he’s deployed. Even if he was a surface Sailor, he’d still not have to “field day” the ship (clean), do quarters, do drills, stay up all night on watch, sleep in a bed smaller than a twin with eight other guys in the room, etc.

We are SO looking forward to the cruise. We even splurged (well, we got an awesome deal!) on a balcony room, so we’ll be able to sit on our balcony and enjoy the weather. I hope it’s nice weather!

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The Navy Barges in

Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness. 
~Richard Carlson

It’s been a while since I wrote anything about MilSpouse life. There’s no doubt that Huzzy is still military as he still puts on a uniform to go to work each day, but the military doesn’t invade our personal spaces as much when he’s on shore duty.

Sure, we’ll have to change plans if his 3-4 times a month duty falls on a date that we have something planned, but it’s much easier to plan around one day of duty rather than months of sea where there’s little hope of communication as small as an email. He’s gone four evenings a week, but that’s because he’s taking two classes in order to get his degree.

But last week, the military barged into our life unannounced in the form of an offer: If Huzzy was willing to go back to sea rightthisveryminute, he’d get his choice of type of submarine and possibly his choice of specific boat. Getting the type of boat he wants is important to him because it’s the difference of circling in the ocean for months without seeing anything (one type of submarine) and possibly getting port calls (another type of submarine).

Cue panic mode.

Huzzy has been in the Navy for nearly 15 years (anniversary is in January). While he’s been on shore duty for 16 months now, he still has another 20 months before he’s supposed to go back to sea. Shore duty is meant as a time for them to recover from the arduous demands of sea duty… it’s basically a mental health break for them. Huzzy’s last shore duty was recruiting, which was a nightmare and he spent more than three months one time without a day off. He’d work 18-20 hours a day and it just wasn’t nice. So in 15 years, this is his first “down” time. And he needs it. We both do.

So when Huzzy brought this up to me the other night, I had to take a deep breath. Because while it involves me and our potential family, it’s really his career. Going back to sea early could help him promote… it also might not help. But what it WOULD do is guarantee him the type of boat he wants.

Unless the “needs of the Navy” prevailed and they sent him to the platform he doesn’t want. Because needs of the Navy always outweigh what the Sailor wants or is promised… no matter what. It’s happened before and it’ll happen again.

In the end, Huzzy (wisely) decided that now is not the time for him to go back to sea early. He has 20 months left and would like to at least spend the next summer home before deciding to go back to sea early (gaaah! If I had my druthers, I’d say don’t go back early unless it’s a month or two!). Hopefully, we have a little one by that time and he won’t want to be away from him/her and won’t go back to sea any earlier than he’s required to.

Thanks, Navy, for reminding me that you still rule our lives and can barge in any time.

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When is Compassion Warranted?

Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up. 
~Jesse Jackson

It seems to me that this world is full of competition. Competition to beat other countries, to be the smartest, the prettiest, the fastest, the best, the <fill in the blank>. Competition comes in many forms, but I think the worst is when I see competition for “who has it worse?” Lately, I’ve been seeing it in the infertility and mommy world. It’s definitely in the military spouse world, too. I know it’s always been there, but either I’m seeing more and more of it, or I’m noticing it more and more.

When have we suffered enough to warrant compassion—and perhaps sympathy—from others?

Is it when our spouses are gone? Or only when they’ve been deployed for a certain amount of time? Or is it only when they are in a combat zone? Or only when they reached a certain number of deployments over their career?

Is it when someone first starts struggling with having a child? Or when they are diagnosed with infertility? Or only when they’ve gone through medicated cycles? Or only when they’ve had IUIs? Or maybe not until they’ve gone through IVF… more than once? Or is it only when they realize they will never have biological kids?

Does someone deserve compassion and sympathy when their child is in the hospital for a day? Or perhaps not until one has been in for a week? Or is it only when the child has a life-threatening condition? Is it warranted for the parents of a preemie? Or only if the preemie is a certain number of weeks premature?

Is compassion warranted for those who nearly lose their children, or only to those who have lost their children? Is it only for those whose spouses have been injured on duty but recover? Or only those who have been permanently injured? Or only those who become widows or widowers?

No matter what, there is always someone who is worse off than we are. Those of us struggling with infertility have a tougher road (in this respect) than those who get pregnant easily. And those who get pregnant through medication only, have it a bit easier than those who need more invasive procedures to get pregnant. And those who DO get pregnant eventually, no matter what way… well, those who can’t would love to go through whatever they needed to in order to have children.

Those who have spouses go TDY/TAD to a school would much rather have their spouses home. And those who have their spouses deployed would prefer to have their husbands CONUS in a school. And those Gold Star spouses? They’d give anything to have their spouses anywhere on this earth–even deployed to a war zone–as long as they were living.

I sometimes struggle around other people who are dealing with infertility. Sometimes I feel as though I haven’t “earned” the right to complain because I haven’t done anything more than IUI. I haven’t had to inject myself with a million different drugs, so I feel as though I can’t ask for compassion from those who have. Some people on some boards (not here) I frequent will tell someone they have no right to complain because they haven’t gone through <insert the level>.

What about a MilSpouse who is dealing with a TDY to a school across the country? Does she not have the right to complain? What about my civilian cousin whose husband is gone 6 months out of the year to work several hours away (she gets to see him once a month)? Does she not have the right to receive compassion from those who “have it worse?”

Where does it end? Where is the line that you have to cross in order to receive compassion? I think we need more compassion in our lives. We need less one-upping and more comforting. I know there are times when I definitely could be more compassionate… what about you?

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