Here at Marrying the Army I make it part of my mission and my promise to my readers that I’ll embrace life as an Army spouse. Sometimes that’s easy to do, but sometimes it’s not.
I’m going through one of those times when embracing the Army lifestyle is a bigger challenge for me than normal. I’ve held myself together through the end of the pregnancy and our baby’s birth, but yesterday I finally melted down. In a German grocery store parking lot. I cried a bunch, and I may have dropped an f-bomb in front of my mom.
No matter how much I embrace it, the truth is that Army life is not without its meltdown moments. Strength and resilience are musts, but every now and then, so is a good cry in the grocery store parking lot.
Why did I melt down?
We have a two week old baby, and today’s my first day on my own after my husband’s paternity leave. We’ll be PCSing again soon after less than a year in Wiesbaden, and Army bureaucracy has made acquiring our official orders for that PCS into something of a nightmare.
My husband began processing our request for orders (RFO) in late December, and we still don’t have orders in hand. For a number of reasons, mostly minutia, the RFO has been pushed back to use ten times.
The tenth rejection took place the same day I called Nick at work to tell him I was in labor with our daughter. I begged him to take me to the orders people to talk to them myself that afternoon, envisioning myself at 41 weeks, contracting every 4 or so minutes, striking fear into the hearts of the paperwork people. He took me to the hospital instead. My water broke 30 minutes later.
Bah. If I weren’t breastfeeding, I might take up whiskey drinking.
Life is on hold (as it so often is in the military). We don’t know yet when we’ll be allowed to relocate, although we do know that Nick will need to have a presence in the new duty station beginning in less than a month.
The Army’s policies prevent families from PCSing more than once every 12 months. As a result, it’s likely that this policy — which is designed to protect families — will actually separate us for several weeks while he reports to the new station in early April and Baby Shaw, the dog and I wait for the 12-month mark in May to be able to join him at the new post.
Then again, it’s possible that by some miracle, we’ll be able to PCS together as a family. We’ll find out when the orders are cut.
Wish us luck…