Military Wife Life: Hurry Up and Wait

“Hurry up and wait” is a commonly known phrase in the world of the military wife (it is also the title of a book by Petawawa author Dianne Collier). One minute we’re rushing: we need to figure THIS out quickly; Hubby is rushed off to THERE in an instant; our plans changed at the last second…AGAIN. Then the next minute, we’re just waiting around: waiting for news about this, that, or the other thing; waiting for Hubby to get home for supper because he’s later than he thought….again; waiting for a phone call; waiting for him to come home.

It’s a game. And not one that is bound to end any time soon. Most days I like to think I’m getting a little better at playing it. Other days I’m just better at hiding my frustration and impatience. And some days I’m just pissed off (and quite openly so).

I know it’s not my Hubby’s fault, that he is not the one making the decisions that require me to hurry up or wait. I know he gets frustrated, too, and that he is caught in the middle between understanding the logic of the system and seeing his wife become frustrated. He is patient (usually!) and explains to me why we’re hurrying or why we’re rushing. But truth be told, I don’t really care. I don’t care about the WHY, I just care about how it affects our family. That might sounds extraordinarily selfish, but it’s the truth. Sometimes when he is explaining something to me about how Major So-And-So doesn’t know because it’s situation dependent so how could my hubby know, I just want to say, “I don’t care about WHY!” (ok and sometimes I really do say that). As my Dad often says, “Quite frankly, Scarlet, I don’t give a ________”.

Thanksgiving is on Monday. My parents will be visiting and my wonderful Mama is cooking us a full out Thanksgiving dinner. It’s Monkey’s first major holiday. Will Hubby be home? Who knows! Not me and not he. I know if it was up to him he’d be here in a second but it isn’t and we probably won’t know until the turkey is being carved. Fab-u-lous.

I don’t like making Hubby feel any worse about his situation and try to prevent too many outbursts like the one I had last night when I basically yelled into the phone, “Right now, at this moment, I HATE that you’re in the military. Not forever, not always, just right now, I really hate it. Because I’m here and you’re not here and I need you.” This was in reaction to the realization that Lucas was not falling asleep at night because he had terrible gas and we were out of gas drops so I had to get him up, get out of my jammies (ok it was 8:30 but I had been peed on earlier and sooooo deserved an early jammie night), pack him into the car and hit up WalMart. Bra-less (again, I had been peed on).

But we muddle through. We keep those proverbial “home fires” burning even in the middle of the night, even in WalMart without a bra. Because we have to. What is the other option? I love Hubby to the ends of the earth and I’m in this for the long haul. There is no other option for me. Sometimes we cry til our mascara runs, but we wipe it away and go on. Sometimes we’re up with gassy babies and see every hour on the clock, but when the sun comes up (or when Monkey wakes up for the day at 5:40am) we get dressed, kiss our baby, and go on. Sometimes we wonder why the days slow down so much when we’re alone, but we go on. We have a glass of wine, or a cup of coffee, and commiserate with a friend. I know I friends in worse positions than me at the moment: Miss K’s husband is away for 11 weeks leaving her alone with their 13 week old baby; Miss J’s husband has moved away leaving her alone with their 1 year old until she joins him in a few months’ time. To quote my Grade 9 self, “It really sucks”.

But we go on.
Because we are strong and resilient and independent women, wives, and mothers.
And because we love our husbands so, so much, there is no other way.

So hurry up and get yourself that wine or coffee, and then wait to feel strong and resilient and independent again. Because it will come, and you will go on.



  • So, I totally get your frustration. And yes it does suck. No other way about it. Cant make it any better for ya. But I have to say, I almost had a pee on my chair thinking about you having to go to WalMart without a bra…if you were closer I think we would of ended up with bowls on our heads.

  • Logic in the military? Really? Someday I hope to understand their logic as it sure doesn't jive with mine! I'm glad to know I'm not the only frustrated wife. Thanks for sharing Mel!

  • What a day!!

    I am so thinking of you and am thrilled that your parents will be here soon. I really really hope Brad can make it home for you soon.

    I absolutely have those days too.

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