I Am Looking for a Military Sister Wife

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Most mornings, I wake up alone. Yes, there are four people clinging to me, begging for my attention and toaster waffles, but for all intents and purposes, I am alone while I foggily pour juice, change diapers and try to solve the inevitable quandary of who indeed dealt it. Alone, I teach my 7-year-old to read words with complex digraphs, alone I teach my 5-year-old to recognize sight words, alone I teach my 4-year-old to recognize letters in print, and alone I pray my 2-year-old just keeps his clothes on.

Yes, I can call friends. I’ve been blessed with several who share my viewpoint of life, and approach their own with a light heart. I can set up play dates. When he’s in our country, my husband might be home for a few hours while the kids are awake, but other than that, I am parenting alone.

Humans are social, communal creatures. We aren’t meant to live like this.

I need a military sister wife.

I want someone else to help make breakfast in the morning, a fellow human old enough to understand the social implications of riding the Quad City DJ’s train. I want her to help me separate fire and kerosene, I mean my two middle children who fight like Roman gladiators. I want her to remind me to drink my coffee before it’s cold. I’ll get the syrup while she pours the juice.

I suspect she would have her own kids. That’s okay. My kids could use some others to keep them honest. It’s good to grow up in a herd. One learns kindness and responsibility. Maybe she will love art, but hate math. I can hand over my drama queens for some painting, and teach her kids the finer points of the order of operations. I’ll even let her kids play with my fancy pants graphing calculator while I wipe the paint off the table.

She can read to the kids while I mop the dining room floor. If I had a sister wife, my tile floor might not be a carpet of spilled juice puddles and fish stick crumbs. Mostly, we could just yell adult conversations across the house at each other. They would probably still be about bodily functions, but that’s okay, too.

We could cook better lunches, and start dinner on time. Maybe she would enjoy grocery shopping. She could go alone. It would be like a date, but with explicit lyrics on the radio. I could supervise the kids as they played outside, and she could put away groceries without someone maniacally ripping the Box Tops off the cereal.

We could back each other up when the tiny tyrants gang up on us. No more toddler fodder music. The radio will be rocking “Livin’ on a Prayer,” on repeat. The kids will just have to let it go.

The kids wouldn’t even mind that much. There would be more kids to help them build a fort out of the coffee table, an ottoman, a bed sheet, and two winter scarves. Yes, more kids might mean more fighting, but there would be two of us to referee, like breaking up a fight at a hockey game. We could take turns, with one separating with the use of brute strength, and the other calming the children and sending them to their penalty boxes.

There would be two of us to remind each other to parent positively. We can get through this without yelling.

One of us could wash, while the other dries. One could fold clothes, and the other could put them away. Yes, we would likely squabble with each other and pout when we’re just tired of it all, but ultimately agree we’re fighting the good fight together.

Then, on the rare occasions my husband is home and awake when I am, I wouldn’t alternate between throwing the kids at him while I hide in the bathroom, and jabbering his ear off because his age has two digits.

This brings the sticking point: my husband. I don’t want to share mine, so I guess wanting a sister wife really means wanting a commune. “Commune” stinks of patchouli and bad weed, but maybe we could make it our own. We could grow fresh vegetables in container gardens in post housing, and take turns watching our children play in our tiny, shared yards. It would be like Big Love, but without the polygamy.

We always hear, “It takes a village.” I guess it’s time I found mine.

 

Hannah Weatherford is a homeschooling mom of a 7-year-old math prodigy, 5- and 4-year-old MMA hopefuls, and a naked toddler. She’s been an Air Force wife for 8 years, and the family is stationed at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware.

 

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Pamela J. Eisenberg via the Creative Commons license.

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  • rscairns

    This. Is. Brilliant. And I do… :)

  • Annamemy78

    You melted my heart with your words! Hope you find what you looking for!

  • guest

    There are a lot of ways to say one needs camaraderie without dragging “sister wives” and all of the negative connotations associated with that word into the military community.
    Polygamy very often ends up with the exploitation of young women and the abuse and ejection from the community to create scarcity of men. So there is no apt comparison between sister wives and military spouse, even if we *giggle* leave the polygamy out of it.
    Badly done! Totally insensitive! Maybe you should read up on the hell many men and women experience in they idyllic polygamist world you analogize before making such a horrific comparison for laughs.
    Sincerely, Utah Spouse

    • chibi_sarah

      Have you not heard the whole “wife needs a wife” thing? Lol it’s a joke. And ya we know polygamist cults are bad. This wasn’t even going there with that.

      • guest

        It’s still offensive. It never ceases to amaze me how people co-opt something and then when someone says it’s inappropriate they simply brush it off as being taken out of context- usually because they really just can’t fathom how insulting they are being to people who have survived polygamy.
        Polygamy is culturally oppressive to women, but yes, let’s celebrate a fanciful notion of it. Because what really matters is our belief of how it should operate and not how it did/does operate. It sort of reminds me of how straight, white, old men carry on about how great the 1950s were for everyone.

        • Justine

          The people offended by this really really and I mean really need to obtain a sense of humor and stop looking for things to be offended by. It’s exhausting to deal with people like you. The world is tough enough without having to pander to cry babies

          • guest

            Amen!

          • Megan

            Yep, totally agree!! Quit cutting down and help the girl out if you can understand her dilemma. She’s just reaching out…wish I could help. I am an ex military bratt and understand the loneliness. My mom had it all together, in those days (1950-1990’s). For some reason, those days weren’t so stressful for the woman. We barely saw dad but he loved mom and us kids. We made a go if it together. I was the only girl with three brothers. I had a lot of responsibility but it made me a great mother when my time came. God bless you and I hope this wasn’t offensive!! :-)

          • aimsab

            Amen sister. Everyone needs to quit being so sensitive. I found her article hilarious and heartwarming.

        • thetruth

          What in the world is wrong with you? She isn’t speaking of polygamy. She is speaking of support. A sisterhood. Someone who understands what she is going through and understands what she needs because they have been there. This has got to be a troll post.

        • chibi_sarah

          Correction to your comment…Polygamist cults run by men are oppressive to women. Lol I know polygamists (both genders) who choose it and they don’t seem to be oppressed by it. Monogamy is not for everyone.

          • chibi_sarah

            But yes, like thethruth said, this isn’t about actually being polygamist in any way. It’s about needing support.

    • Tabitha

      As a social worker and activist and military wife, I believe that we need to be careful and sensitive with our humor so that we don’t re-traumatize others. Really LISTEN to what someone is trying to say and what triggers them. With that being said, I also believe it is important to meet the writer where she’s at. It seems like she is suffering to a certain degree, and chose to express her yearning in this way. We could address her writing style or her underlying needs. I propose we listen to her needs first.

      Love & Peace

      • Megan

        Love your educated comment!!

    • Ace

      Oh lighten up!

    • Aubie

      What bush have you been hiding under? Polygamy, abuse, exploitation?? You totally missed the point. This article had nothing to do with any of those topics!!

    • B. Fielding

      Very good, we lived thru 26 years of USAF, life and survived, and now enjoying out retirement together.

    • Judge not

      Get a grip, this wife and mother was just expressing her views in a literary way. I am also from Utah and did not find it offensive at all. In fact I thought it was well written and heart felt. All of your negative connotations are what gives people the wrong idea of Utah women. She was not promoting polygamy and said so. Lighten up and share a sister’s burden not add to it.

  • not offended

    I really like this post. I too know the overwhelming feeling of parenting alone while married, and thinking, “something isn’t right with this picture.” The “tiny tyrants” and “juice puddles with fish stick crumbs” can get to the most competent homemaker at times. I took the term, “sister wife” as it was offered; as a desire for a sharing of responsibility and division of labor with someone who gets it, not an endorsement of the kind of polygamy that can be exploitative, abusive and yes, horrific. I didn’t go there when reading because it was clear that was not the intent. Utah Spouse has a right to his or her response. I just did not take it that way. Maybe “sister mom” would be a better term. There was a time when neighbors routinely functioned that way. The village mentality (without any literal connection to abusive cult-like situations) might do a lot of good for a lot of folks, military or not.

    • Megan

      Yep, too TRUE!!

  • Nita

    I loved you post…Wish you were here, I love shopping, cleaning and cooking now that my son is grown. U have a military sister here in Texas willing to assist :-)

  • USAArmyProud

    I felt the reality of every word and the memory of my own lonely isolation when I was alone raising my children. Our lift styles create this situation , we are far away from family, friends at best are temporary, and our souses have no choice in the matter of being home, most of the time. Long ago i had a young girl move in with us to help out but that was a very mixed blessing. Now its the same but without the kids, but I was recommended to Work Away and HelpX . This has been a great help to me, to us, some of course are better than others but that’s life. I don’t know if it can work for you but check it out to try. My spouse is away working 14 hour days most of the week, and the other days are so over-filled with ”things to do ” that its still lonely here for me often. I homeschooled our kids for about 8 years , wonderful experience and wonderful life for all of us. I knew that the worst I could do was better than the best that was being done in our schools. You should be having fun with your wonderful kids, and not be lonely also for some adult camaraderie and I really believe you should keep searching for another human to help fill in the empty spaces of parenting alone. When I was a child, my grandmother lived next door, also aunts and cousins were near by and often in our house and my mom had some gal friends her own age who used to come over and do exactly what you describe to keep her company and take care of me. I came to love at least one of them myself. Our son is stationed in Oklahoma right now with a new wife but both work , she works 2 jobs. Good luck .

    • guest

      Sorry, “our souses have no choice in the matter” cracked me up. Freudian slip?

      • USAArmyProud

        No , not really a Freudian slip. Most of the time they are on duty or away on assignment so they really have no choice. Sometimes when they do have a choice they chose to take a break also from wife and kids and that happens if and when the wife forgets how she won his heart in the first place. It wasn’t with dirty laundry, doing housework, or complaints about kids . Men don’t lose their identity in marriage but women often do and we become the opposite of what he thinks he married. Double trouble then. Remember, Men really are from Mars, while Women are from Venus.

  • T

    I can relate. I am new to my duty station and seriously wishing for a sister wife.

  • Toya

    This was awesome, polygamy or not, as a mother of 3 and a husband in the military, I welcome the idea of having a sister wife. There’s only so much ABCs and 123s I can take. We forget what it’s like to have adult conversations because we’ve become consumed with children and cleaning and cooking and cleaning some more. Where do I find the time to shop? To sip and paint? Who on Earth would I do those things with??? I totally understand!!

  • Julia

    How about having an Au-Pair?

  • USAArmyProud

    An au pair could work out , a few of my friends did that program also , but for us the work away and help x programs are doing ok. The help we get is better than from our own family most of the time.

  • G-Ma Kitty

    My heart goes’ out to you . My husband was always on alert or TDY when the appendicitis hit or the moving truck driver went nuts. ( Air Force 22 years ) All of that was over 38 years ago and in that respect not much has changed.
    I wish for you the support you need and deserve, If I lived next door I could help I cook a mean scrambled egg , and Grandkids !

  • Sonny

    I didn’t get the writers age…we all entitle to our ideas but please be respectful of others views. We are all present or past military wives and we should be proud of what we do or done to raise healthy families. In a perfect world by being a military wife you are and always will be part of a sisterhood…there is s lot to growth and learn and also resources to help u along the way…may you find the right balance..

  • Bobbie

    I joined the ranks of Navy wives in ’71. We attended Navy Wives School in Norfolk, somewhere I even have my graduation picture. Our teachers were warm and funny and taught us things that made it a bit easier. “Pack a sandwich, go get lost and find your way home.” ” You will know you are home when the first stranger says hi and remembers your name.” “Create a babysitting co-op using hours reciprocated instead of cash.” Using the old go and grow themes from girl scouts, summer camps,and church potlucks we were encouraged to make friends for life and be there for each other. They reminded us of all the work women did as settlers and during war times. They made it a thing of pride not a hippie commune exclusive. It is a good thing to be a woman. We can be brave enough to admit we are sometimes tired and see the value that a wife brings to a family unit. I too wanted a wife on those days when my 5 young children were straining to Go and Grow RIGHT NOW! My generation wanted to be free of prudish conventions. But we’ve not made much progress if sexual liberty becomes another way to deny us the comfort of shared life challenges. We deserve to honor our roles of wife, sister, mother, friend. A lot of good things have come of our pride in the jobs we have done. My African friends from the D.R. Congo are in the value of each other far richer than we allow ourselves to be. Maybe the time has finally come for us all to simply smile and relearn the joy of being able to rely on each other. It does not destroy our individuality to find friendship.

  • Judy

    I’m a vet along with my husband. I got out of the service to start a family. My husband stayed in and we had two childen. I stayed home with them till they started school and then I went back to work. No, its not easy being a military spouce, no its not easy raising childen on your own or with a spouce gone. But, I’m sorry you find this so difficult to raise your childen on your own. You had a choice 1 to have or not to have children 2. to get married to a service member. Its a rough life. Quit crying over spilt milk and raise the childen the best you can. If you need help ask for it or hire a nanny or babysitter to come over a couple hours a day or week.

  • Gina

    I have a sister wife! Okay, so technically she is technically an au pair but after a year of her helping me stay sane while my husband is on unaccompanied geobach tour and I’m home with two smalls, one with special health needs, I affectionately call her my sister wife. The best part is there isn’t any of that awkward husband sharing business. She played with my kids while I make dinner, she cleans the dinner dishes while I do baths and bed time. She does their laundry for the love of all things sweet and right in universe! I love her.

    I highly recommend an au pair if you can swing it. I work part time to afford her full time and I can’t remember the last time I had a haircut or new clothes, but it’s the best money I’ve ever spent.

    • Jillian Easterhouse

      Hey are you guys by any chance looking for another wife? I’m in evergreen park illinois. I been trying to find a sisterwive for so long. I’m single

  • Military wife

    I completely agree with Judy above, and I’m really tired of reading this as the wife perspective, all the time, on this site. Why don’t the people choosing the topics to be shared understand that some of us chose to work, not to have a pile of kids, and to be self-sufficient? The problem is easy to see: The “naked” toddler and the “math prodigy” sound so self-absorbed, and nobody can find their fulfillment solely in one thing, including motherhood, which is a serving, tiring, thankless job in the early stages, at least. (Yes, please spare me the lectures on how rewarding it is, ladies!…I know that comes with the territory too.) But, this is about not allowing the children to be the center of one’s life and home, not in the way that allows that to control everything about one’s identity. There are classes galore about how to make parenting easier, but there are NO classes for how to adjust to the career expectations in a new place, how to file for unemployment in the new duty station because a spouse worked (full time and not with a business based at home) in the last duty station, etc. There’s not really an advocate for the professionals among us. Space out your children, don’t get married and find yourself 8 years later with four children, the oldest barely a year after you married! Do like the women who stayed at home, raised kids, etc. did when my Mom was a military spouse: have days you can do things by yourself, trade babysitting with other parents (okay, that was when children behaved, too, they weren’t so difficult to deal with and spoiled or bratty or both), find some adult-centered time to relax, give yourself a pedicure, tell the children to take naps and do your own thing and get dressed up. If kids are the sole focus, they become needy and think the world revolves around them, and there are ways to show them love. The sister wife thing is still a little weird, folks. Stop being a victim, and the rest will come, and I agree with the wives of the older generation: Once you get outside your own self, start finding ways to be of service to your community, it all comes back to you, too, ten-fold!

    • Carol

      You are the self absorbed one. I think you totally missed the point. You are way too critical. Have a little compassion and get down off your pedestal.

      • guest

        Uh no, she was spot on. All of these articles deal with popping out babies and milking/changing military benefits. There is NOTHING career oriented on this site…ever

        • Military wife

          Thanks for the validation, Guest! It’s so true! Almost all these stories are about people who made the same life choices, someone whose husband is cheating, someone burned out on Motherhood, etc. I wish there was a little variety here. I don’t need to read about “whether or not a spouse ‘earned’ her husband’s parking space on base” stupidity! And, I’ve given that feedback before to the site, hoping for change. All we get are more articles about things that sound like victims. And, why someone who is home and miserable would spend hours and hours on this site posting things, instead of getting out there and making a change, is beyond me, too!

      • Military wife

        I’m not at all “self-absorbed”: I am self-sufficient and take responsibility for my choices. We all have burdens to bear, but what I find so sad is that military wives choose to get married, have children, not finish their education, home school (and thus not have time for themselves). All those things are choices, that’s great if you make them and are happy, but I found too many times women do not realize they are NOT happy with these choices in the long run, for the same conclusion you jumped to: They don’t put themselves into the equation, put themselves and their needs somewhere into the hierarchy of the family life, and therefore, they are burned out and don’t see having all these homebody responsibilities can be exhausting. My Mom stayed home with us when we were young, as a military wife, and she also didn’t work. But, she had groups to keep her busy with other adults and we were not allowed to bother the women when they did crafts, had a coffee hour, etc. And, she traded babysitting and took time for herself, if only occasionally. Everyone has a child-centered life, and what is “self-absorbed” are the people who cannot look at their life, decide what is working, and then go out and meet their needs by making some new choices. The bases, posts, and barracks are filled with people just like you, those with children and who are at home, and for those of us who decided on something else, we don’t have those classes to take, those validation ‘extras’ the military gives to people who had kids. For me, that works just fine, but the resources are there to help everyone cope, including free babysitting, counseling, classes, and a child development center. Don’t continue to point the finger and whine, but believe me, if someone said on this site, “Hey I am a working military wife, I am burned out, I don’t know what to do, I want to keep going back to school but cannot afford to do it…”, etc. I would give them similar advice. Quit whining on this site, folks, and go out there and pursue what meets your needs, plus make wiser choices about family planning and how you budget your time, money, and your daily schedules, so you have a little time for yourself once in awhile.

        • guest

          You realize though in our current society of helicopter parenting, that you are asking for a damn miracle right?

          I saw this with my neighbors yesterday, one is Mormon with 4 kids, the other has a single child. My Mormon neighbor raises her kids like you and I were raised. The front door is open but they do as they please playing outside, whining is not allowed, and the children are not allowed to interrupt the adults when they are talking. The other one…he’s a demon in a 3 yr old body.

          So demon child comes up and pushes the youngest neighbor down the front steps…she hits her head fairly hard on the final step and starts BAWLING…demon childs mom tries to make him apologize to which he kicks her and makes a break for it. Mom says “I am with him EVERY second and he still does this, I”m just at wits end!”

          Mormon mom has already calmed the youngest by pretty much looking her over telling her she’s OK, and that she needs to stop the drama. Mormon mom looks at the other one and goes…that’s the problem, you are with him 100% of the time, he doesn’t have the chance to hurt himself to know how it feels, and you make the world all about him so he thinks he’s the most important thing in the whole world. Mine, well they know my goal is to make sure they don’t die until they are 18, whatever else they do, well, that’s on them and I have no pity.

      • robbie

        I agree, I just have to say…do you have kids?

  • Laura

    Did you write my life story? I’m a homeschooling mom, 5 kids are ages 7, 6, 4, 1 1/2, and 2 weeks. I’ve been trying to survive a deployment as a mom of 4 until just barely where I’m trying to survive with a newborn as well. And from the rest of your descriptions, I think we may be a perfect match. :)

  • Toya

    Being a military wife is not easy… And hard for other to understand unless they have lived the life.
    Keep your head up high things do get better and always remember God doesn’t give us more than we can handle. I have been in your shoes feeling alone and desperate But proud I stood by my man now after he has retired from the Army and have had a son due 20 also and have seen how his wife stood by him I am glad that he got his father’s values because now I see him being there for his wife and his young children as my husband has been there for us and stood tall through some of my hardest times . So just remember kids will be kids and do the best you can and find a friend or a baby sister even if its only for a few hours every week to take some me time. Thats how i got through it sometime my me time took me to a good movie other times
    had baby sister at home and just shut the door to the bathroom took a hot shower listen to some music by candlelight and had some wine and shut the kids out i knew with the baby sitter they where safe and if my man was on post not deployment we took a date night so just remember sometimes you have to take some me time to move forward and keep the faith you will conquer it in the end and have a lot of good as well as memories of hard times but so proud of you accomplishments 7 kids later there are times I couldn’t ever see myself doing it again but then I see what I have and how blessed i am and thank the Lord that I stood tall for my children my husband and I am proud of the kids Honored to have been a proud being a wife and of my Husband Military life is not for everyone but It teaches our children to have respect and ethics in this world and it is safer bringing them up in a military setting with values then this insane world out here where some parents as hard as they try cant control there children I would have hated to have lost my son in Iraq or Desert Storm thank to God he came home safe but if I had to chose losing him to gangs I would have rather
    lost him fighting for what we believe and stand for when we chose Military life So keep your spirits up and take some quality time for you and remember you remain in my prayers as I pray for all our retired and new military families

  • Rebekah Sanderlin

    Great post! I love it! If I lived in Delaware I’d be knocking on her door right now with sleeping bags for me & my kids, a box of wine & a playlist of Quad City DJs!

  • Corie

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one! It’s a hard path that either chose me or I chose it?! I think it was destiny / fate. I denied this lifestyle before and God did not want ” no ” as my answer! So here I sit day in and day out ! I too am teaching sight words at the top of my lungs as the neighbors ( who think of me as that crazy lady across the street ) hear me through my paper thin walls! As they watch me chase after my 2 year old who is quick to take a diaper off and pee all over these floors! I am not one of them I’m a military wife . As I think to myself …” Look at you and your family spending time and taking walks! From my family to yours , your welcome!” . I crave that adult ear to talk into and I am constantly voicing outloud to myself ” I wish he was here to HELP!!” . I’m just as strong as he is, that’s why I’m perfect for this job! I’m also as crazy as he can be , and I’m damn proud of my accomplishments! To all those military spouses out there, hold your head high and stay strong and proud of not only he or she but yourself !!!

    • Susan

      Good answer Corie!

  • Toya

    Being a military wife is not easy… And hard for other to understand unless they have lived the life.

  • NavyWife

    I am in absolute heterosexual love with you. You read my mind. I wish we could get the heck out of Norfolk and come be with you. I’ve wanted the same thing for so long. My and my little autism superhero would have a blast with you, it sounds like.

    Love,
    A Mama (who is also good at art)

  • CPTAmericaLvzRN

    This is HILARIOUS! Glad this in the HUMOR section except that it did say the word “alone” 11 times so it could also fall under the SAD section. I wouldn’t want to be your sister wife as there are way too many expectations in the details mentioned here. Expectation rather than acceptance are the reason you feel alone.

  • Nicole from Dover

    Hannah.
    Beautiful. Honest. Emotional. Real.
    Thanks for putting into words how many of us feel. Even those of us who have fewer children and work out of the home can relate-as I do.
    Sometimes I just want a grown human in my house to ask me questions other than “why are the clouds flying by so fast” “what is the longest building on the earth” “how DID I get out of your belly”?. :-)
    Lots of love to you… We got this

  • gypsy wind

    Being a military wife is tough in every way. You learn independence, how to be self sufficient, how to gets things done and how to pack. I have no idea where some of you came up with the polyagmy angle. I read it as a lonely woman trying to come to terms with being in a strange place trying to do the best she can and wishing for a friend that understands to help even if its just to listen. I was an Army wife for 24 years, moved more times than I can count, my kids teavelled all over the world and have become amazing people that know how to cope with life. This life is what you make of it. Learn to love it and the path it leads you to or get out. Military life is hard and one of the most amazing kind of life you will have.

    • diggerbee

      Some folks like to focus or imagine the lurid and the negative. Thank you for being better than that. A sister–we all know what that is. Someone who is like or who is family. So often military and vet families are far removed from their home of origin where family is.

      Wife–there was once an essay by a feminist author way back when who wrote that she too needed a wife by Judy Brady, published in MS magazine http://womenshistory.about.com/od/feministtexts/a

      The essay looked how wives were doing so many jobs and how nice it would be to have someone fill the role for them, that wives often fill for others. It didn’t have to do with sex necessarily. Though I am sure now that I have used the feminist word–all sorts of things will be said and not contextualized.

  • wake99

    So why did you have all those kids? People that breed and then whine are ridiculous. No sympathy here.

    • Teresa

      Shame on you! She isn’t complaining she has kids, or the amount of the “posse” she’s dealing with…she is just feeling alone and wanting a friend to share the load with. I find her satire and humor refreshing, as well as, heart felt and honest. Please try to have compassion for your fellow man (woman), she was not “whining” just looking for a pal to hang with.

  • Jacqueline Sully

    Brilliantly written, just know that those babies will grow up so very fast. They Will Know that they have a wonderful MOM with a wonderful sense of humor and, trust me, they will thank you!!! Just enjoy every minute, because you blink and they are 30!!!

  • Ann

    Back in the day when I stayed at home with my two daughters in Florida while my husband was stationed for four years in Alameda, California, we would just farm out the kids from time to time. Sometimes I kept my neighbors kids and sometimes she kept mine. Even just a few hours or an overnight sleepover was a big help to give me a chance to rest and keep my sanity. Then other times we would pile in the car and make the long trip to the Grandparents houses to visit a week or two. The Grandparents loved having time to spoil the kids and I enjoyed chance to share news and worries with someone who really cared about me. Some other woman living in my house would never have worked. I wanted help with the problems I had. I didn’t want someone else’s problems added to my burdens. Before I would commit to another person moving in, I would try a housekeeper, a nanny, etc. Who knows how much baggage someone else may bring in with them.

  • MomINco

    I have had this same thought so many times, I wish I could have help also, but it’s just a pipe dream… good luck to you. AND fyi, I did NOT find this offensive, but humorous and uplifting to see someone else in this boat making the best of it all.

  • Spouse

    I’m a military spouse with only one child and it’s not a matter of how many children it’s just a matter of being lonely when work is so demanding and your husband or significant other is gone all the time. It’s nice to help each other out, especially when you have a bad day and just need someone to lean on. Let’s be real. This lifestyle is not for the weak. There is nothing wrong with admitting you need companionship or help sometimes.

  • Jenna

    I’m surprised there aren’t more military mommies rooming together during deployments. I would jump at the chance to have an extra pair of hands too!:)

  • lou

    Why homeschool if it is difficult, send the kids to school on base.

  • Julie

    I was a Air Force Wife of 20 years my kids grow up in the service
    yes there were times when he was gone a lot of times but there are things you can do
    we had friends were one would take the kids for a few hours and you could relax or do what ever
    you wanted then you would do the same for her once in a while .
    I also joined the NCO wives group and family service then called Airman’s Attic
    I did that when the kids were in school and went home when they did
    gave me some time with others wives and to help out as well.
    day care at the base was good. and a lot of times if you were volunteering it was free gave the
    kids time to be with other kids.

  • Fiz

    You just described a professional private sector middle management wife. We too lmay have left our corporate lives to rear our children. We too have or had rivers of milk and juice falls from our kitchen table. Some if us gather our chicks and drop them off at day care and or school on our way to work. Not to pay a mortgage on a McMansion but to pay off hubby and our own college loans. Our husbands travel. A lot. Probably 60-70% of the time. Come home and play catch up with correspondence etc that piled on his desk while away.

    We make the decisions to replace or repair the car transmission or get our son or daughter help with a speech impediment or explain and deal with being bullied. We too unplug the toilets wash fold and put away laundry alone. We help with homework, attend school plays and drop the kids off for birthday parties alone. We mow the grass, keep at least two rooms in the house reasonably clean and take a shower and fluff our hair when our husbands come home. I said fluff not fix and I dudnt mention make up.

    If we work full time we are lucky to get five hours a fleet a night because after the kids homework baths and bed we do laundry clean up the kitchen and set out breakfast and make kids lunches. We get their clothes book bags backpacks sweaters jackets or coats and shoes ready. And we pull a reasonable clean and unweinkled outfit out for ourselves. And make sure everyone’s toothbrush is ready for the morning rush.

    You described 99% of wives with little kids days. You are not alone in being alone. We all are alone

  • Dee

    I think people are so private now days about the “real” world of parenting. This idea is one that most people have had but never saw as reality. I know I have wished for a friend that we could spend my lonely times together….someone who was married to the military too, and had kids too. Great article

  • Susan

    how about all you home schooling moms send your kids to school? that gives you your alone time and much needed time to get things done. It gives your kids the much needed opportunity to be around kids their own age which they don’t get sitting at home all day with you. if you don’t like public schools, send them to private schools. Not saying everyone can afford private schools, but I know there are good Christian schools out there that don’t turn you away because you can’t afford the tuition. good grief! quit trying to be super woman…

  • marf12

    I too understand where she is coming from! Being a Marine wife for 22 yrs.! While stationed at Parris Island Recruit Depot and my husband a DI he worked all the time! We have twin girls 11/2 yrs. old! I almost lost it under the pressure of my husband never home (except to sleep) and I had a neighbor that would come over and get the girls and keep them a few hours on my stressful day! She was heaven sent! She would watch my kids when I went to the commisary or the doctor appt. I thank God she was there during the most stressful time in my life! Her children were older and they enjoyed taking care of them! So if you can help out someone you should!

  • aimsab

    This is brilliant, and hilarious! I don’t have kids your age but if you were in the west coast I would totally lend you a hand because I feel we could find the good humor in what life gives us. Amen sister. From a “sister wife”!

  • Chantal

    This is fantastic Hannah. I had no idea you were such a talented writer. I chuckled all the way through this article. Cuddos to you for finding an outlet. I may work a lot, but I’m always around the corner for some adult time. We can let all 7 kids have at it in the back yard!

  • Jesse

    You know, you read something like this and gain a little faith in humanity. Then, you make the mistake of reading the incessant stupidity of those who’ve commented, and POOF! It’s gone again. Why must every intelligent, articulate, amusing moment be ruined by the indefatigable stupidity of the American public? Anyway, it was a fun read Hanna. Well done Ma’am.

  • Randi Johnston

    Man Im not even in the military, jusy looking for a brother to my hisband he just found out he jad,however your story made me want to join just to apply for the job!!! Sister , youll find your friend ,your best friend ,watch youll see. In the meantime if you want you could help me locate my brother in law micheal Fortenberry he was in the USN in 2011 !

  • diggerbee

    I think that people forget that the military is a unique culture. The moving around, with it’s own language, each branch is a little different, and the need and expectation for self sufficiency. I think that all parents get very lonely in the way you describe. Even the ones whose spouses aren’t deployed. Social media ensures that we as a society don’t talk face to face like we should or need to, making it even lonelier, especially for parents. If I were your neighbor I would love to play some of that role for you. Most humans are social beings and they need each other for mental stimulation if nothing else. Parents need each other because parenting is complex and a constant job that always requires the eye of an adult on that process. Its wonderful but exhausting and when it’s not wonderful–it can be terrifying or overwhelming.

    I hope we all find the support and friendship and companionship that we need.

  • D Smith

    I really thought I was reading an advertisement, when I read this.
    I just moved into my area and have been dealing with moving my Dad into an assisted living apartment, so I haven’t had time to meet new friends.
    I want to get more involved in a regular life one day,….but I really think that ‘ad’ was a bit much. That is why it is getting so many ‘replies’.
    My advice,….
    get involved in your church, where you can get help when you need a break
    dont have any more kids
    make the best of the time when your hubby is around
    make special plans for when he does get back
    leave the messy house alone and try to raise the children the best you can,…teach them manners and
    consequences….(being in the military, that will be very important)
    ==============Appreciate what you have==================

  • Kat

    http://manicpixiedreammama.com/sisterwife/ Juuuuuuust gonna leave this here.

  • robbie

    My friend and I just talked about doing this awhile back. She and I were exactly how you described your future friend lol it was great, up until pcs time rolled around…I got hawaii she stayed in yuma:( we still try to keep up with each other a lives and talk almost daily, but it’s just not the same. We both wanted to place an ad or something to find replacements but we always compare people to eachother so it’s hard… Anyway if you’re ever in hawaii hit me up, I have two kids that sound a lot like yours:)