I don’t talk much about being a military spouse. Despite it being the reason I moved from New York City to Omaha, I’ve never fully integrated the role into my self-identity.
Why? Perhaps it’s because the four years I spent living, working, and socializing in big cities before marrying a military officer played a larger role in developing my selfhood. Perhaps it’s because there are many unflattering stereotypes of milspouses (even within the military community) from which I wanted to disassociate. Or perhaps it’s because I don’t feel like a military wife who’s sacrificing a whole lot when my husband isn’t deployed — which, thankfully, hasn’t been for a while.
That’s not to say we haven’t dealt with challenging separations. JB left for his first deployment two weeks after our wedding, and he was deployed during most of my third trimester when I was pregnant with Levi. He actually left when I was 25 weeks pregnant, which is how far along I am now. Crazy.
(I’d like to take a moment to give a shout out to military spouses whose better halves are currently deployed, including a friend in England solo-parenting two kids under three and a local mom whose husband will have been away for nine months when he finally returns home.)
One way that helped me feel connected to JB during his deployments was sending care packages. Over the past five years, I’ve had plenty of opportunities to perfect the art of packing parcels filled with the comforts of home, and I’m over on The Neighborhood today with the do’s and don’ts of sending military care packages. I hope you’ll read it and share it with the military spouses and families you know.
Happy Veterans Day!
(image via Purse ‘n Boots)