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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Air Force Wife Lesson #9: Be patient with things involving work that aren't his fault

Lesson #9 = Be patient with things involving work that aren't his fault.  For example, when he's working a really hard shift the last thing he needs is for YOU to whine about it!  As if he isn't under enough stress...

A very serious, and super difficult example, would be a last minute deployment... as some of my friends have experienced with all the craziness that's been happening in the world recently.  What I'm dealing with is nothing compared to that...

But Jesse's schedule in the last two weeks has been a giant bummer.  Definitely not as much of a bummer as a last minute deployment but hey, it's serious to me.  And I want to make sure you don't hear me complaining with a nasty, whiny, pity-me-voice.  I just want to be honest with what I'm going through.  And yes, I am complaining.  But just a little.

Before I discuss how frustrated I am, let me say a few positive things...

1) J has recently been promoted (yay for more wiggle room in the budget!)
2) He got "forecaster of the month" at the squadron
3) He got a 95 (out of 100) on his PT test!

So things aren't going too shabby for us around here.  Not to mention the fact that we live in Europe and we get paid for it.  

And now that I've been a little bit positive, let's carry on...

There was a two day stretch this week that I saw Jesse (awake) for a total of 4 hours.  The girls are asking about him all the time... and I don't know if Lily's more annoyed at me SHHHing her because "Daddy's sleeping" or if I'm more annoyed that I constantly have to SHHH her.  I'm just thankful he hasn't died driving home from work, yet.  (Not to scare his Mom or anything.)

But this working midnight to noon thing is killing me.  It's the worst of all worlds... I don't see him during the day cause he's sleeping and then if we're lucky (it's SO HARD keeping the kids quiet) he's still sleeping after the kids go to bed... I see him a few hours before I crash... and I sleep alone cause he's at work.  And all I can say is at least I'm not the one working this much.  I'd die.  Seriously, he's a champ about it.

There are a few things going on right now that are making all these 12 hour shifts necessary.  First, Jesse is doing an extra four hours of training after each regular shift... so it's not that he's scheduled for 12s, per se, it's just that it worked out that way this month.  But training ended yesterday so hopefully he won't have any more shifts like that for awhile.

Second, our squadron has stopped receiving newbies from Keesler because they were planning on decreasing the number of people that work at our squadron by the year 2014.  So even though they're working 8 hour shifts usually, they seem to be working more of them now than when we first moved here.  If you remember, we were going to stay an extra year in Germany but then we couldn't.  Part of the reason for that was the WIFTO course, but part of it was the squadron changing some things...

And I didn't want to have to explain all that.  Actually, there's a lot more to explain about what's happening with our squadron... but a) I don't fully understand it all and b) it's definitely not my business to be posting online.  Not that the inner workings of our weather squadron directly impact "operational security" as we call it, but still.  You don't really need to know and it doesn't really matter to my story here.

For the purpose of documenting our own little Air Force journey here, and if it would help any other new military spouses out, I just want to say that sometimes this job sucks.  For my husband, for my kids, and for myself.  I've been kicking it single-mom style these past two weeks, desperately clinging to the hope that next month's schedule will be better...

And even if it's not, I'm still glad Jesse enlisted.  I'm thankful for a steady job.  I'm thankful for good health care.  I'm thankful for the money we've been able to save.  For the opportunity to live in Germany.  For the wonderful friends we've met along the way.

And for the fact that my husband's job matters to the mission.  I don't care how much he and his buddies joke about how lame and useless their job is... I'm sure that it matters.  Knowing the weather forecast is important, and sometimes even life-saving, for those pilots and the people they are transporting.  I'm proud of my Airman.

Even if I don't remember what he looks like!


  1. it seems to me like being a single mom would for all intents and purposes be easier than being a married wife/mom acting like a single mom. just saying!

    we were out of the house a LOT when my H was sleeping during the day. Even being in the yard instead of living room seemed to help.

    I worked out in the evenings while watching tv when H was gone or sleeping. better than eating on the couch!

  2. Hm. I never thought of it that way... but I still wouldn't wish "single-momhood" on anyone. I do try to get out of the house a lot. Not so good on the gas tank, but at least I don't have the stress of SHHHing all the time. If you could do it with two young boys then I have courage to do it with two (much less energetic!) girls. Thanks for the encouragement Em!