“Zac only peed his pants once today”, I enthusiastically shared with my friend who was pregnant with her first. Before she could even respond, her mixed expression of disgust and confusion said it all. “That’s good news?”, was her polite reply. But, I know internally she was grossed out and slightly afraid of what awaited her in the near future.
I realized that, at that time, she didn’t get it. My victory was real, because up to that point, my potty training son regularly peed himself at least three times a day. So, this was huge for me. Flash forward a few years, and this same friend now happily shares her own potty training war stories with me and we can laugh at our mishaps. She gets it now.
As fellow parents, we understand where another parent is coming from and what their daily life entails. We empathize with their struggles and share in their joy when they they manage to get their child to eat a carrot.
In a different realm, I’ve noticed a similarly unique culture among military spouses. Our triumphs and trials are different from those of other spouses. We find ourselves making statements that sound absurd, maybe even depressing, to “outsiders” but to us are actually good. Someone who doesn’t live within this lifestyle may politely respond to our proclamations with a polite, “that’s a good thing?”. To which, we all probably think, “you have no idea”.
So, in my own personal reflection on my husband’s military career and the numerous oddly optimistic statements I’ve made over the years, I’ve come up with my own list of comments I’ve made that, perhaps, only other military spouses will also see as actually a good thing (in a sarcastic sort of way):
- “I’m so spoiled, my spouse has gotten home by 6pm every night this week” (as opposed to the usual 7 or 8pm or later)
- “I can’t believe my spouse has been home for 4 months straight without going on TDY/deployment/duty training somewhere remote”
- “Well, at least he made it to the birth of our other child” OR
- “Maybe he’ll be home for the birth of the next baby”
- “At least the deployment is only 4 months this time” (because so often they are 6 months or longer).”
- “My spouse is actually home for our anniversary/kids birthdays/anyone’s birthday this year!”
- “It looks like we’ll actually get to live in one spot for three years this time!”
- “My spouse will actually be home for both Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!”
- When your military spouse leaves for work at 8am instead of the usual 5am, “Wow, you’re going into work late today!”
- “We only had 2 major items damaged/destroyed/lost in this last move”
Maybe you can relate to one or more of the above statements. If so, then I am thankful that we share this journey together and can hopefully encourage each other along the way.
Do you have your own strangely optimistic statements that only other military spouses might truly appreciate? Share them below! I (and other military spouses) would love to hear them!
If you like this article, you may also find that you can relate to our “Dirty Clothes and Laundry” article and our “News Flash: Toddlers Throw Tantrums” article. Check them out and we would love to hear your thoughts, too!