Life of a Military Mom

The life of a military mom is never easy. You’d think having your deployed husband return home would be a joyful family affair. That’s not always the case.

By Emily Nail

As I sit here and write this, my husband is deployed.  Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we were able to FaceTime with him for a few minutes.  The emotions are always so mixed both for myself and my children.


Backup to almost 8 years ago when I said ‘I Do’ to a military man.


I knew I would be alone during deployments.  I knew we would move around. I knew that I would always be looking for the next job or the next volunteer opportunity. I knew it was going to be hard at times.


What I didn’t know was how much harder separation, deployments, and military life would be when you have children.


Children do not understand daddy has to go on a ‘long work trip’ or doesn’t get to come home every night at the same time.  Children do not understand why daddy is on the phone and cannot give them a hug. Children cry for daddy when they are sad, ask for daddy when going on a fun adventure, and wonder where he is as we head to church on Sunday morning.


Our 4-year-old is starting to grasp the ‘long work trip’ game whereas our almost 2-year-old has no clue why daddy isn’t here.


So, as I mentioned, yesterday was Thanksgiving, which makes today Black Friday.


I am so incredibly blessed to currently be living near my mother-in-law.  She loves my kids like her own.  She shows grace, love and patience while dealing with my children.  In fact, I wanted to go Black Friday shopping (it is a family tradition I grew up doing and I love the crowds, the deals, and the whole experience) and my MIL had BOTH children sleepover with her IN THE SAME ROOM with her since she has additional family in town visiting.


This is something that I do not even consider doing at my house.  Each child sleeps in his or her own room- no exception- because really- mommy NEEDS her sleep.


So I got to shop today.  It was still lonely without my family and my husband, but I got to do something that I enjoy doing and I know that without my MIL, I would not have had that pleasure.

I expect him to transform back to daddy, friend, companion, and husband. Well, let me tell you something- that never happens.

As we go through each deployment I think about all the blessings we have and try not to count the days down till my husband comes home.  I really love my husband and want him home, however, when he comes home we have an adjustment time that isn’t fun for anyone.


He has just come (normally) from a very uncomfortable location, not great food, and living in the same space with other service people for an extended amount of time.  I know this, however, I always expect him to arrive home and get on our routine.


I expect him to transform back to daddy, friend, companion, and husband. Well, let me tell you something- that never happens.


We struggle. We fight. We HATE the transition time.


I don’t have the answer for it so this deployment I booked a trip to visit my folks out of state for when he is scheduled to get back.  This is a new idea of mine.  Maybe, just maybe the transition will be better if when he comes home he has some downtime.  Time to adjust to our time zone, being home, and sleep.


Maybe our adjustment will go more smooth… time will tell. We have several weeks till that happens, but for now, I will continue to count my blessings and pray for my husband’s safe return.


In the end, we will get through this and other deployments because that is what humans do and that is why we have such great days that continue to let us count our blessings.

Emily Nail
Emily Nail

Emily is mom to three children.

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