I couldn’t really think of a good title for this, mostly because I think I was too irritated to narrow it down to one quippy line. I stumbled upon the post on Facebook of coure, via a very irate friend. She’s amazing and has amazing things to say and that’s how I first saw it. Instead of linking you directly (to make myself feel better) you can find it on my blog’s facebook page, along with my initial reaction.
At this point I’ve had several hours to process what’s happening. At first I was outraged and barely read it before I was seething. Then I felt bad for her. Maybe she doesn’t get it, maybe she doesn’t understand. People say, “well she is the wife of a reservist, she just doesn’t know!” No way! We may get the short end of the stick when it comes to programs or support but no, we know. Finally after some much needed twitter therapy with my fellow Millies I settled in the “I fully believe she knew what she was doing, she’s not an idiot and she and her hubby are not newbies” camp. Her husband is a Captain – or a Major, apparently the author is unclear on her husband’s rank – and yes they aren’t active duty, but she’s been through deployments and she no stranger to the military life. So her bogus “update”….yeah, I’m not buying it. I basically almost never discuss Mr. Air Force’s schedule, for more reasons then just OPSEC. He prefers that I don’t, and I think it’s the best idea for us, and to avoid any of the comparison/my life is harder then your life issues. People who know me, know what my life is like. Let’s just say we’ve experienced it all – geo-bachelorhood while I finished school because my college credits wouldn’t transfer, deployment, extended duty, shift work, frequent but relatively short term travel. I wouldn’t even want to think about adding up cumulative time and all that he’s missed. The amount of time he’s been gone this year alone makes me want to cry. There’s been times that I (and I know its horrid) have wished for a regular deployment. But only because it has a beginning and an end. I’ve done it all, while raising three kids, being Active, Activated and traditional Guard. So, I get it.
That being said, its not a deployment, its not even training or field work, or working on the planes and having lots of air time. It’s nothing that she can’t avoid. And while I’m sorry you are going to be separated from him, and your children will not have him around, but it was your choice. The way you presented it in your article wasn’t that way. You took advantage of military spouses, the civilians who read BABBLE and preyed upon emotions and the poor usage of words to get people to feel sorry for you. And while I’m not going to judge your reasons, whether it be becuase you already have support there, you don’t want to rent your house, or you just don’t like Kansas, it’s still your choice. Very few of us have that kind of control. If people want to be supportive you let it come from them, but shameless and not-so-subtling trying to garner it is shameful. And if the article was supposed to be about how to prepare children for that you should have talked about it more, and less about yourself and the fact that your husband is awesome for getting the opportunity. Frankly it cheapens the honor, an honor that I full understand. I even liked the paragraph where you talked about not holding each other back and him letting you go off to travel abroad or write your book. I know lots of other military spouses who have that midset, some who have been geo-baching it for years because of their careers. It was nice, but it was lost in all the other stuff.
I’m sure it works for you, and that I can appreciate. But here’s where my anger comes from. It wasn’t the word you used, it was the whole package and way you conveyed your message. And I can tell you whoever you were trying to get through to it wasn’t fellow military spouses, at least the ones I know, the ones that comment on my facebook and twitter pages and here on the blog. They tried to offer bits of understanding, but in the end they couldn’t. It came across haughty and elitist. I just can’t believe you didn’t know what you were doing. I do understand that kids realm of understand can be almost like tunnel-vision. When Daddy’s gone it must be a deployment. Believe me, that I get. That happens in my household and my kids frequently confuse all the times and reasons daddy is gone. But I would never claim that word if it wasn’t true, just as I would never claim that my time is harder than anyone elses. But you did both, literally and figuratively and I don’t believe that you didn’t understand that fully. But I’m not a totally horrible person, so if by some chance you did then you should never write for Babble because clearly they don’t check things or just plain like drama. I want to support you like I do other MilSpouses that I know that have done this very thing. Because it’s not necessarily the choice you are making that I disagree with.