It's a little long and may bore my "non-military" friends, but I think as women and mothers, we can all relate to it in one way or another.
I feel as if my life is a constant transition. I imagine all military spouses feel this way. Just as you think you’ve found your niche, orders come and it’s off to the next thing.
Is that a bad thing? No, I don’t think so. I think if I remained still, in one place, doing the same thing all the time, I would become stagnant. I remember seeing stagnated ponds as a child and asking my dad why that water was so nasty as opposed to the beautiful creeks and rivers I’d seen. He explained to me that water must be moving to stay pure and when left without current, it becomes this green, murky, smelly mess. So, given the option of murky and smelly vs. clean and pure, I’ll take the latter.
My husband left battalion command in February then took a job as a staff officer while we awaited our time to transition to his year at the Naval War College. I had been so busy as the commander’s wife that I welcomed the change and the lack of something to do. I assumed that in a few months I’d grow tired of that stage and be ready to move on to some other busy something. It’s been 6 months and I haven’t reached that time yet.
We took a few months to visit family, move our home overseas again and get settled into our new area. I would say I’m 95% settled and am still not feeling like I’m being called to volunteer. I could make the excuse that there’s nothing much here to volunteer with, but that’s not true. No, there are no Soldiers here. There is no FRG or ACS. There is, however, a spouse’s club I just joined and opportunities to work in their gift shop or sit on committees and do other fantastic community building works. I’m just not feeling it.
My role as a mother has changed as well. I dodged the oncoming “empty-nest” bullet and have a teenage boy again. This was something a little unexpected but certainly not unwelcomed. I’m enjoying dragging out my years as a mom. I have thought about looking for something involving his sports teams. Fundraising, perhaps. I can sell T-shirts, hotdogs, tickets, etc with the best of them. But, this is a small school and so far, I’m not seeing much in that area either.
To be honest, I’m enjoying being at home. I’m relishing quiet. In the past I’ve wondered why more senior spouses weren’t involved. I’d heard “I’ve been there, done that, and just don’t want to anymore” quite a bit and wondered how you get to that point. Well, my friends, I’m there. I’m taking a break. I still love Army Families with all my heart and will continue to support them in any way I can. From home. And my computer. And on the phone. I will host events in my home for my neighboring military families, but it will be light and not heavy. We won’t have to discuss the role of the RDC or FRSA because we have an upcoming deployment. I won’t have to make sure the privacy act is on the rosters I put out for Bunco or social groups.
This is the new me. The old me will return, as needed, when Nick continues his career. If he finds himself in the position of commanding Soldiers again, I will step up and lead volunteers and Families again. Until then, you’ll find me playing the role of football mom. I’ll be the one getting crazy when my kid does something awesome. I’ll be the first lunatic on the field after a game. You can also find me outside, watching sailboat races and enjoying a glass of wine in my Adirondack chair. Doing just enough to avoid becoming stagnant.
I realized after reading this again, that non-military families who do not move around and stay in one place may take offense to this. You don't have to be physically moving to keep that "purity" We as women are always moving and changing our roles. You get that, don't you?