I scanned the detailed list of my husbands upcoming work engagements and I began to feel the stress and anxiety pile on.
We have a baby one month and then he leaves for TDY the next, and another the following month, and again the following month. Multiple TDY’s occupying 4 back-to-back months. All while I manage caring for a newborn and a toddler.
Can you feel the kind of fear that overwhelmed me?
Through her unique yet challenging deployment, Amanda learned that she could do more than she ever believed she was capable of and that small acts could in fact change the world. She became more compassionate. And her eyes were open to the kind of suffering that was happening outside of the US every day. She realized she had to do more, so upon return home, she started donating to various organizations in helping people less fortunate than many Americans.
Although deploying changed her in many different ways, another challenge also significantly affected her --- transitioning from Airman to Mom.
For someone who has her masters in Military Resilience, you would think reintegration would be a breeze, right? I studied all about the effects of deployment, and what redeployment would be like. I knew it wouldn’t be easy.
I expected to get irritated with my spouse, but even with all of the expectations, I wasn’t prepared. Not really anyway.
These are the days when you wake up feeling "off." You can't help the feeling, a bad omen that today is not going to go well. You wake up exhausted as if you had a restless night with little REM. Your body aches like you've slept on a hardwood floor with a flat pillow between your head and arm.
Your soul struggles to understand the emotions that flow through your veins.
Very seldom do you hear or see mommas leaving their cubs behind to go “fight a war” (using this term loosely). Yet, here I was.
Whether a military mom, a missionary, an author on tour, a singer, executive, etc., many women are called to leave their babies in someone else’s care as they follow His plan, fighting back all the guilt and pain associated with leaving a part of you behind.
In my 5 years of service, I have been thanked countless times, and each time I respond with a “thank you for your support”. This last time I was thanked, something different happened... I started to wonder if I, myself, was actually thankful for my service. Over the last few years, I have started to dream of the day I would leave the military behind and all of the sacrifices that it has required of me.
If I was so excited to leave everything behind, did that mean I was not thankful for my service? That was the question that haunted me.