Consider the title a warning, and enter with caution…
Blame it on the lack of sleep or on spending every minute this weekend with a sick baby, but I woke up (or should I say Audrey WOKE me up) feeling a little bit resentful and extra irritable this morning. All of my little annoyances/frustrations/stressors combined into the perfect storm.
Malmstrom (the base here) has been under an inspection for the last two or so weeks, which means family time is cut way short (and that’s being generous.) The AF has no problem telling people last minute (ie: the day before) that they have to come into work over the weekend–any other plans be damned! This is annoying not only for Brian, but also for me because it essentially means that I get no weekend either because I have to watch Audrey w/ no backup, and all of my plans need to be canceled. Canceling a new mother’s much-needed trip to the salon last minute IS A BAD IDEA.
The military (at least this base, anyway…I’ve heard from others that it’s not so bad elsewhere) really has a knack for making spouses feel completely inferior. My life, my career, my plans, etc don’t matter. Brian is the only one whom they really care about. Without even mentioning the “big” stuff (ie: having to move constantly which isn’t exactly helpful when it comes to advancing a career; having to deal with not seeing their significant other for large chunks of time, etc), there are tons of little ways they can chip away at your feelings of worth. When Audrey is sick, who has to take time off, regardless of the fact that I’ve burned all my sick leave because of maternity leave? Me. Like I mentioned above, whose weekend plans (and much needed break!) have to get canceled constantly because duty calls? Mine. It feels like the AF is saying, “Well, your job and your sanity isn’t as important, so YOU can stay home with the baby all the time.” Oh, and I never mentioned the fact that my plans got canceled so Brian could come into the office, watch TV and play XBox…seriously!?
My life already revolves around the military enough in terms of “big” things; it would be nice to be able to actually make appointments/plans and not have to worry about being able to keep them. There are so many days when I feel like I was just not meant to be a good military wife. I am not flexible or selfless enough. I get really irritated when I have to alter my life at the drop of a hat because someone else says so…isn’t living in Montana enough of a life alteration!? Ironically, I’m a big fan of schedules and order, and yet it’s the military that can’t seem to get those things right. A lot of the time, it feels like the military is all about take, take, take and no give.
Now before I say this next thought, I need to preface it by saying that I would never change anything Audrey-related EVER. That being said, between always feeling secondary to Brian and always devoting every single ounce of my time and life to Audrey, I feel like I am not seen as “me” anymore (if that makes sense.) I’m so busy being Brian’s wife and Audrey’s mother that there are times when I feel like I’ve lost “me.” It hasn’t helped that I haven’t been able to keep any of my personal plans over the last few weeks. I definitely have moments where I feel undervalued and unappreciated, and this morning just happened to be one of those times.
We always have so many people offer to come over and watch Audrey so I can get a break, for which I’m so thankful (honestly.) What is hard, though, is that sometimes I want my breaks to be at home so I can nap or sit on the couch or just get things done. I don’t necessarily want to feel forced out of my house because that wouldn’t be relaxing to me, BUT at the same time, I don’t want Audrey to be with someone she isn’t super familiar with AND out of her element by being in a strange place. It’s such a catch-22. Regardless, all I want is an 8-hour stretch of sleep where I don’t have to worry about when Audrey’s going to wake up and I don’t have to listen to fussing.
Like I said before, I wouldn’t change anything related to Audrey because I realize I’m so blessed to have her. I also realize that there are a lot of perks to military life (free health-care is about all I can think of at the moment, but I still have some lingering resentment from only getting 4 hours of sleep.) I think, though, that sometimes (especially as mommies) we feel like we can’t complain because we wanted children and they’re a blessing, but I don’t think keeping it all bottled inside is beneficial, so I’m sure this isn’t going to be the last rant.
Audrey does make it easier to keep things in perspective, especially when I can come home to a smile that lights up my world.