Our roles as military spouses are very important, whether our spouse is deployed or home – we know that our priorities as spouses are to love, support and maintain the homefront. But is that all we feel we should do? Something that I often tell other spouses is that you can both be a supportive spouse and develop yourself as a person. What do I mean by develop? Define who you are, what you enjoy doing or perhaps what you want to do in the years to come.
The first thing I did when my husband was slapped with deployment orders was enroll back into school. I saw my life at a halt – unsure of what was to come. But one thing I knew that I wanted was to finish school. I wasn’t going to sit home and “literally” wait for him and do nothing. Although I worked full time out of the home and had our two year old son to care for, I saw my life as needing more in order to identify what made me happy. Opening the doors to my education would also allow me to have more options in a career, smoother moves in the future and a whole lot less to stress about. Stress was overcoming my happiness because I felt as if my identity as a spouse was just to be a spouse. But I soon noticed that I too had interests and things I wanted to accomplish. I was lucky enough to have a supporting husband along the way.
I am not saying that what we military spouses do is not important, because it is very important. You will choose what will work for you and your family but if you feel neglected in the sense that it has been sometime since you did something for yourself – get out there and do it. What can you do to help yourself grow as a person and individual? Go back to school, volunteer or pick up a hobby you have always been interested in.
And loose the guilt – take action in expanding your horizons and yes you deserve to have hobbies and other interests other than the military. It doesn’t make you a bad parent or spouse – it helps you grow to be a better person and understand who you are.
For more on Angela Caban, visit her website at www.angelacaban.com.
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