A Letter to the Army from an Army Wife

Dear Army,

Oh, how you torment me. Yet I would not have it any other way, I suppose. I understand that my husband is contractually obligated to you. But is he not also contractually obligated to me? Yet your contract trumps my contract…well, because he entered yours first. And when I entered my contract with my husband, I did so with this understanding. But man, I didn’t know all the ups and downs that would be involved in loving a soldier.

He is gone once again, leaving me to care for the children, the household, and everything in between…all the while trying to make sure to take adequate care of myself. But I sure do miss his company and his help and his ability to keep me sane when the children are driving me crazy.

He has been gone now for 56 days of what was supposed to be a 61 day absence. I prepared myself for 61 days. But then you needed him to stay longer. So now we still have 22 days of separation ahead of us. And it is starting to feel like forever. Literally, I feel like he may never return.

The children are driving me crazy. The taxes need to be filed. The house needs to be packed for an upcoming move. The amount of stuff in the house is overwhelming me. There are Legos in every corner.  The daily chores are feeling like Groundhog’s Day (over and over again). The horrendous white tile kitchen floor will not remain clean…not even for one day. The Spring weather won’t arrive. And the cat keeps vomiting on the floor. At least the shed hasn’t collapsed and the hot water heater is still working and so is the furnace. Oh wait, those things all happened during our last separation!

And remember the time before the last one when the cat died in the middle of a blizzard? That was a joy to deal with on my own! That was the one when our then 3 year old needed counseling due to severe separation anxiety issues.  A dead cat did not help this situation.  But now that we have come this far…the kids are fine. And I am stronger than I ever imagined. I just needed to vent a little. But I am sure you hear it all the time. The same sad story of us spouses handling it all on our own. But it really isn’t that sad at all. I am proud of my husband and the job he does. And I am so empowered by the life I lead. So while I hate you sometimes, dear Army, I don’t know what I do without you in my life.

By the way, you can send my husband home any time now. We are waiting…

In the meantime, I will just enjoy a big pot of Cry Baby Soup.  Then I will pat myself on the back and carry on.



Outfit Details
Dress, Jacket, Boots: Target (All old).
Turtleneck, Necklace: Kohl’s (Old).
Belt: Dress Barn (Old).

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I am a 40 something Army wife and stay-at-home mother of 2 boys and 2 cats named Dave and Frankie. I have a passion for helping other women feel fabulous in the midst of this crazy, beautiful life.

30 Responses

  1. Wow…Shelbee. I can’t even imagine—it’s like being single and having to do it all.
    I totally feel for you!

  2. Warrior Mama

    “The amount of stuff in the house is overwhelming me. There are Legos in every corner. The daily chores are feeling like Groundhog’s Day (over and over again). The horrendous white tile kitchen floor will not remain clean…not even for one day. The Spring weather won’t arrive. And the cat keeps vomiting on the floor.”

    Check, check… yup all 5 of those things. Every day lol.

  3. Oh I can imagine that it’s extremely hard! I feel for you dear Shelbee😘😘😘😘 Hold on for a few more weeks!

  4. That dress is so great on you – love the skater cut.

  5. The dress looks fabulous.
    How very difficult for you and your kids. I certainly hope those days go by fast and that you find patience. Hugs.

  6. Baby!!!! My turn to send you that pot of cry baby soup along with a gazillion hugs!!!!!

  7. You are so strong! I can not imagine what you go through parenting on your own! Prayers for strength these next few weeks!

    • Thanks so much, Becky! That is very much appreciated! Some days I literally just go through the motions of parenting…like a vacant shell of a person! Ha. But the children don’t need to know that.


  8. Stopping by from Tuesday Talk. XOXO I honestly can’t even imagine being apart for that long and having to do it all on your own. I hope your time apart goes by very quickly! Thanks for linking up today!

    • Thanks so much, Stefanie! It is not even the doing it alone part that is hard (lots of women do it alone all the time)…it is the never even getting to send the children to their father on the weekends! Ha. We are down to 20 days left, so I can finally start seeing an end in sight.


  9. Thanks for joining the Ageless Style Linkup party.

  10. Shelbee, you are so awesome! I love your honesty, your bravery and your perseverance. And I love that you have your perspective in the right place. You know what the army requires. You know what your hubby signed up for and you know that you are going to survive, in fact I think even in the midst of the cat vomit, things being chaotic and overwhelming, you are going to thrive. Well done, girl! Keep walking! – Amy

    • Wow, Amy! Thank you so very much for this amazing comment! It really does mean a lot! I am just doing the best I can do and staying positive through it all with the occasional venting moment here and there.


  11. Oh wow Shelbee, I can not imagine what you are going through. I am always happy to see my husband arrive from work when he has only been away for 10 hours. Hope the days go quickly for you all to be together again 🙂

    • Thanks so much, Claire! It is so funny that you put it that way. My sister says the same thing…that she is so happy when her husband gets home just after the day of work. This separation has been the worst one for some reason. But we are down to 16 days left and he swears that won’t extend him again! Right now though, 16 days still seems like a really long time even with 62 days behind us!


  12. thank you to both yourself and your husband for your service. I have many friends in the military and know that it is a family effort #fridayfriviolity

  13. I couldn’t imaging being in your shoes! I know it’s tough to be separate but when you do have your time together that’s when you can make the most of it and enjoy being together even more!

    • It is definitely a crazy lifestyle, Sara! Thanks so much for your kind and encouraging words. I get used to the breaks and once he is home for a few months, I will be ready for him to go again! Haha! But I only enjoy the breaks if it is for a few days at a time. 80 days is too long!


  14. I do feel for you Shelbee. Having to hold the fort with kids to look after isn’t easy. Before we relocated almost four years ago my husband was working away, doing really early starts in a new and stressful job while I was at home with a three-year old having tantrums, working and trying to sell the house. I then made it worse by getting a secondment to where we wanted to be before moving, meaning I had to drive two hours each way to work, dropping off my daughter half way at my mother-in-law’s and picking her up on the way home. After four months of that nightmare I was hating my life and ended up with eczema all over my eyelids and a severe chest infection. On the day we sold our house I was told my role wouldn’t be continuing. When it was time to return to my old job my back was ruined from all the driving and I was off sick for six weeks and needed physio. Despite all of that I look back now and know it has all been worth it. I’m useless if something breaks or won’t work so my husband isn’t allowed to be away for too long!

    Emma xxx

    • Oh my goodness, Emma! What a disaster! Now I feel for you and I will quit whining about my plight! I did a super long commute like that for years but that was before a husband and kids and it was still treacherous. So I cannot even imagine having to deal with all that and worry about getting kids to where they need to be. And then such a horrible physical response to the stress. Oh my! You poor dear! But it does seem like all kinds of things go wrong when the husband is gone. It is sort of joke in the military community! Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your story! I am so glad you are in a better place!


  15. *hugs* It must be so difficult! My partner is a stay at home dad so I can’t even imagine being the one at home – let alone the -only- one at home. I don’t know if my patience could take it!

    I love that dress too by the way. The cut is fab! #FridayFrivolity

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