It was a cool, crisp morning. My shoes were wet from the rain the night before, and the only sound I could heard was the crunching of leaves as I pushed the stroller across the lawn. It was a perfect fall morning.
As B found his seat on the bus, close to the window, I suddenly felt a huge weight on my shoulders. I blew kisses as usual and watched him ride away. A few other moms, myself included, started to talk about our kids, our weekend plans, and moving.
You see, all my friends in the neighborhood are military wives. In one way or another, we’re able to relate. We’re familiar with deployments, moving often, and raising children away from family. For some reason, today felt different. For the most part, I have been pretty optimistic about moving to Guam. But not today. Today I was not strong. My eyes filled up with tears and I openly admitted that I was scared, something I had never disclosed to anyone before. I suppose I thought that if I never said it, it wasn’t true.
But the truth is, I am terrified.
I am scared to be far away from family. We haven’t lived close to family in 8 years, but never have we lived almost 8,000 miles away. We can no longer drive home for the holidays, or enjoy a long weekend visit. My children will go months, possibly an entire year without seeing their grandparents. Although our family bond is strong, and we’ll communicate often, I know this move will be hard on everyone.
I am scared of deployments. The truth about deployments is that it doesn’t get easier, we just learn how to adapt. There is nothing easy about it. I hate saying goodbye, I hate feeling alone, and I hate seeing the pain in my children’s eyes as they watch their daddy walk away. We’ve been so spoiled during shore duty that I forgot what is was like. Moving to Guam means we no longer have the luxury of having him home all the time.
I am scared to make new friends. Let’s be honest, making friends is hard! Especially when moving to an unfamiliar place as a stay at home mom. Do I join a mommy group? Do I approach that random woman sipping her coffee at the park? It’s a pretty stressful situation that requires putting yourself out there and feeling vulnerable.
I am scared about how well my kids will adapt. As military children, this is the only life they’ve ever know. They’re used to switching schools, making new friends and saying goodbye to our “home.” But the older they get, the more challenges we’re faced with. Yes this is an adventure, and I’m blessed they’ve learned to become fluid in our lifestyle; but they still miss their friends, they still cry, and they still miss what was once our home.
I am scared of the unknown. In a few months we will board a plane and not know our new address. We will not quite have a home, and not know where our son will go to school. We will not know our way around and not know a single person. We will not know his deployment schedule nor will it matter, because in the Navy, everything is subject to change.
This is my life, and it’s my job to remain strong, and to show my children that regardless what we’re dealt with, that we will always persevere. The struggle is real, my friends. Sometimes I am able to go with the flow and sometimes I’m in denial. But this is the crazy, unpredictable, yet beautiful journey I am on.
I have fears. Lots of them, but I will not let them dictate my life. Nor should you! It’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to cry, and it’s certainly ok to be scared. So today, I challenge you to confront your fears, acknowledge them, and overcome. You are strong mama, now show the world how unstoppable you are!