Her question kind of stumped me. When a military spouse at a book club meeting in South Carolina asked me if military life ever got any better, I jumped right in with my answer: YES!
Of course, yes!
Via the wonder of Skype, I could see that this lady had three (or four?) little kids. Her husband had the kind of job that meant he was gone all the time. They lived in a tiny community.
I swear I was looking at a retro version of myself. That’s the thing about military life — you are always running into your past self and your future self every time you turn around.
Back then, my toddler was so active, so capable, so dangerous that none of my friends wanted to exchange babysitting.
“There is no equal trade for Sam,” my girlfriend Kath told me, laughing.
I wasn’t laughing back then. It seemed like the demands of the family and the demands of the Navy were never-ending. I felt like I was losing ground every day.
Yet the minute Sam was in preschool, my life got a whole lot better. So I rashly promised this lady in South Carolina that things would get better, especially when her kids started school.
She didn’t look convinced — any more than I looked convinced back when people told me the same thing. Military life can be hard with kids or without kids. It has good times and bad times, hard times and times when you get a chance to look up and feel like things really are getting better.
But it is different for everyone, isn’t it? That is why I am asking you. Did your military life ever get any better? And if so, when? Take our poll and then check out the results below: