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You KNEW What You Were Getting Into When You Married Him!

Erin Whitehead
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tagged: military life, opinion
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(Photo credits: Photo Pin)

Honestly, if I hear this comment one more time I might need a padded cell, because it makes me nuts. Many military spouses hear this from friends, family… even other military spouses.  It is usually in response to a military spouse admitting that she is having a tough time with something. 

I get it.  Nobody likes a whiner.  And if you are on the receiving end of the whining, you might just want to say “Suck it up! You knew what you were getting into!” A little bit of tough love is always good, right?  But see, the problem is that no matter who you are, how you prepared, what you thought you knew about life as a military spouse… the only way to understand it is to simply live it.

Honestly, there are many things in life that we may prepare for, but realize that we really didn’t know what we were getting into after all.  Let’s just take parenting as an example.  Oh yeah, I read the books, I had experience babysitting, I knew lots of people who had babies and they had no problem giving advice.  But nothing prepares you for that moment when you realize that YOU are now 100% responsible for a little human being.  Nothing prepares you for the sleepless nights, the worry, or the doubt that you are doing the right thing.  Nothing prepares you for the tantrums they throw when they are toddlers.  Nothing prepares you for your heart break when they go to kindergarten.  Nothing prepares you for the shock you feel when a pre-teen first slams their door in a fit of hormonal nonsense.  Nothing prepares you for the teenage years.    

If you have more than one child, things are different.  Each child has their own personality, their own issues, and your circumstances may have changed when raising the second kid as opposed to the first. And let’s just talk about selective memory.  There is a reason that we never remember the world’s worst pregnancy to be “that bad” years later.  There is a reason why we convince ourselves that those late nights of colic were really “quality time” when we are considering having another child.  Selective memory has ensured that people are willing to do it all again… saving the human race.

There are days when you think you have this parenting thing under control… and then there are days when you watch that show about animals eating their young with a little bit of understanding.  There are days when you love being a parent, you have a wonderful time with the kids… and there are times when you start day-dreaming about running away to an island with no children, and lots of vodka.  There are days when you are certain your children will be productive members of society… and there are days when you wonder if that college fund will turn into bail money.

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