A Day in the Life of a Military Wife During Posting Season

It’s early spring at Posting Season. As the ever-so-popular meme says, “May the odds be ever in your favour”.

For those outside the military circle, “posting season” is the time of year when military members get the official document, (“posting message“), that tells them exactly where they are being moved (“posted“), exactly when, and what their job will be. People *usually* have an idea that this posting message is coming.

Nearly every military spouse has been admired from civilian friends who say, “I don’t know how you do it!”. Well, I’m going to tell you. Many spouses (I’m going to defer to calling them “wives” again here since this is my experience and that of many of my closest friends) have a daily routine at this time of year that looks very similar. My days usually go like this:

5:30am (or 6:30 or whatever time you get up):
Wake up, stretch, yawn, maybe fart (oh shut up, you do it, too). First thoughts include: which bedroom am I in? Is there leaked-PullUp-pee on me? Is this a weekend? WILL TODAY BE THE DAY?

5:35am:
Sneak out of the grasp of your toddler (yes, you were in his room and no, thank your lucky stars, you did not wake up wet) and pad down to the bathroom. Face/teeth/hair etc. all the while thinking, “This could be the day. We could get our posting message today. Or not. It might not be. I’m so nervous! Or excited? I shouldn’t be. It’s probably not today. But it might be……dear Lord, it’s too early for this”.

7:00am:
Get to work. Mentally tally the number of times you hear, “Hey Mel! Posting message yet?” today from well-meaning co-workers. Discuss for the hundredth time that you still don’t know when you’re moving and cannot yet commit to an end date for your job. Pretend that it’s totally okay that you have no idea when your contract will end or when you need to start wrapping things up or stop new projects.

9:02am:
Check email. The daily real estate listing your new potential realtor sent comes automatically every day at 9:01am. Skim it to see if any glorious homes that you probably won’t be able to buy have come on the market.

Just a little light reading – the military relocation directive and a cuppa!

12:00pm:
Eat lunch with co-workers. Discuss that you still don’t have a posting message. Enjoy the commiseration of people who GET IT. Enjoy such lovely people while refusing to get too invested in their friendship since there’s an expiry date a few months’ down the road. The all the Facebook groups about relocation and your new town.

1:00pm:
Get a text from your husband. Panic. This is it! The posting message has arrived! Take a breath and pick up your phone with shaky hands. Excited if it’s what you hoped for but bracing yourself not to cry at work if it’s not.
…………………False alarm. He just needs to get bread on the way home from work.

**Repeat the 1pm experience many, many times throughout this and all days even weekends.

3:30pm:
Drive home with Hubby. Avoid asking him for the ZILLIONTH time, “So…no news today?”. You do value your marriage after all.

4:15pm:
Arrive home. Pretend you aren’t both relieved and super disappointed that you didn’t learn anything new today.

8:00pm (“Magic Crazy Hour(s)”)
Power on the laptop (you cannot analyze every detail of MLS listings on your iPhone). Check both the realtor’s private real estate website she set up for you as well as MLS. You never know, something could be missed. Re-evaluate every home you’ve already seen. Send listings to your friends. Imagine which colour you’d paint the rooms. Resign yourself to living in an affordable dump and then move your cursor a little further west and get excited that with a bit of a commute you can find a dream home. Show the listings to your Hubby who pretends to care but is also logical and knows that that house will not be for sale when you are actually in a position to buy one. Show him another house. Then another one. One more. Make sure he’s trying to do something else while you’re trying to show him houses.

Or something like that…

10:00pm:
Fall into bed, bleary-eyed from the computer screen, dreaming of houses, getting excited about moving, getting sad about moving, remind yourself you’re ready for change, remind yourself you have it good the way it is, looking forward to see old friends, feeling emotional at leaving new friends…fall…asleep.

5:30am:
Repeat.

Not every wife does this. Some are great at being the “take it as it comes” person. I’m not this person. I’m the “plan every detail before it happens” person. I’m good with that, I like that about me. It makes me feel organized and in control and calm and happy and I don’t want to change or be different (in case you were wondering. And yes, that’s an extra special kind of crazy 😉 ) But many of us do this. Over, and over, and over again.

It seems a bit…well…nuts, doesn’t it? But I’ll tell you why we do this: Because soon, in the very near future, our worlds will, once again, be turned upside down. I won’t even begin to list the things that are required when you have to start your life over again, especially in a new province. It isn’t our choice exactly where or when we will move or even which house we buy (there are only so many options on the exact day you will be there to look). We have to manage the feelings of our friends, family, kids, co-workers, neighbours, and more. So being just a *bit* cuckoo like this, being a little obsessed with real estate and planning, makes us feeling like we are actually DOING something active instead of passively waiting around.

Maybe that makes sense to you. Maybe it doesn’t. But either way, next time someone wants to ask me, “I don’t know how you do it!”, maybe I’ll send them a link to this blog.

Stay awesome, my friends. And you do whatever it is you need to do to find balance, be it regarding postings or any other aspect of this wild and crazy military wife life.

Take care of yourself,
<3 Mel

PS Remember this is all before we even get the posting message. Stay tuned for a future blog about the cracken we unleash when we actually get it!

Leave a Reply