Deployments are hard for the service members and they are hard for us spouses here back at home. Yes we deal with a lot and many times it can be very lonely and in some cases the comparisons to feeling like a single parent are there.
I myself was guilty of being a little Academy Award winning actress like and comparing my struggles of no husband around to being like a single parent and thinking life was so tough.
It wasn’t until a friend gave me a reality check that I stopped saying that I feel like a single parent.
Sure our spouses deploy and we are left to take care of the house , kids , be mom and dad and do all the tasks of a two parent household. Yet the one thing I personally didn’t have to worry about was an income. There is a big difference in having to handle all those stresses and worrying about how you are going to pay the rent or mortgage verses playing that role and having the comforts of living on post or receiving BAH.
To many times during the day I found myself browsing through Tarjay (Target) on a whim or taking in a matinee before the kids got out of school. The reality is many single parents trying to make ends meet don’t get to do that.
Single parents don’t have access to some of the free resources we military folks do. There is no “Mom’s Day Out” programs or free lawn care from maintenance at the housing office. Lastly once the other parent comes home things go back to normal (for the most part).
I think about the single parent soldiers who don’t have a spouse right there on base or post with them to leave the kids with and just focus on actually deploying. Instead one extra step is added to their deployment prep because they now have to make arrangements for their kids to be with a family member who the child may not be used to being around. (if the other parent isn’t involved).
Most of all my husband may be deployed sometimes but he does his best to parent the best he can from overseas, saying that I am single parent almost makes it seem like he doesn’t exist.
It was after that “check” as me and my friend call it, that I stopped using that analogy to define my life during deployments.
While it may seem like an innocent contrast we really have it pretty good and some years later I now find it a little insulting to “real single parents” to even use that term anymore in relation to military spouses.
Do you find it offensive to be considered a single parent during deployments?
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