Hi all! Kristle here from Kristle's Clarity -- photography and lifestyle blog. Outside of growing my brand I am a mother and wife to a Airman in the United States Air Force. I really appreciate Nena for inviting me to share my experience as a Military wife to three young boys while my husband was deployed.
I know my situation isn't unique- there are many many military wives all over the world experiencing deployments with children for six months and much longer. I do think this is a great opportunity to share from a dependents point of view. Even though six months is a sliver in time in the big picture of life, It was a hard yet simply beautifully raw six months. I think it is healthy to reflect back on times like this and continue to learn from them.
After one hundred and ninety five days I was a single parent to our three boys these are some of the things I continue to meditate on, to remind me to be grateful and to grow from.
Shortly after he left I came to realize that I can't press a magic button and speed through to the end, I had to remind myself that even though my husband was away, I still wanted to soak up the precious moments and this time our boys are so small and innocent. And to give them my all. Because mother hood is the greatest blessing and I wouldn't want to wish any part of this journey away.
Don't get me wrong, there were days that we didn't change out of our pjs and only left the house for take out. There were plenty of late afternoons spent in our back yard with them digging through the dirt in nothing but their diapers. But there were also times that I pushed myself to get in the mood to pack them all up and head for the park, to the air show or across the mountains to my parents house- and each time I did I was so thankful I did. We were on our own time. I rarely knew what day of the week it was. We had no one to report to, rarely had any set in stone plans and did what felt good/right at the moment! I learned to be more flexible and enjoyed bringing back my spontaneity that I had back in college.
I became more appreciative of the little things. The ability to FaceTime, email and connect over social media - as bad as the internet connection was, it was better than a letter every couple of weeks or nothing at all! So I would do my best to make each time we spoke on the positive side even when I wanted to whine about how much I missed him. Some days I failed at that.
Our village is amazing; family, friends, neighbors and the wonderful Instagram community. I am so thankful for everyone who had their hand in helping us through. From taking my trash out to the curb, sending a quick message to check in or to watching the boys so I could take a nap or get some things done. Please know that if in my stubborn- I can handle this mind set- I didn't take advantage of your offer to help it didn't go unrecognized.
The time apart made me appreciate my husband even more. There were so many things that he did that went unnoticed until he left. He really does his best to take care of us. His security was a world away and it was up to me to regain that confidence in myself for him, our children and even myself. And he also kept me grounded, from across the world he was still so supportive and strong when he knew I needed it.
I realized I am capable of a lot more than I gave myself credit for. Through those six months I started to find my independent side again. I am becoming a better wife and mother in doing so. As hard as it was I would do it again tomorrow if I had to. I would do anything for my family. And will continue to go after my dreams while doing so.
The boys and I can move mountains together. Sure there were days of tears from all of us. The tiredness, frustration, loneliness can get the best of anyone but we always bounced right back. When my little family has a big change that shakes our little world, life doest stop. We were stretched thin at times but we took each hard situation head on. We grew stronger together, our time bonded us even deeper. And as you can see my Nena bag carried all our goods on our adventures.