Everyone knows that in the military, nothing is ever guaranteed. Leave gets cancelled and plans change at the last minute. It’s one part of this life that is never easy to get used to. It’s always difficult to deal with plans changing and everything being out of your control, just something we have to accept. But what about when the military changes your plans during the holidays? It surely does make it all the more difficult to accept and move on.
When the Military Has Other Plans for Your Holidays…
The holidays for most families are stressful to begin with. For military families, we have the added stress of being away from home and unset schedules. We deal with last minute duty schedules and deployments. We have to handle our significant others not being with us during this time of year, and even when they are, it is not guaranteed they will even be around for the big days. We do what we have to in order to still make the holidays special, meaningful and happy. We enjoy the time we do have with our significant others and cherish those moments even more.
But the problem comes when we do try to make plans and the military has another idea. This is exactly what has happened to us this year. We made plans for the week of Christmas and were so excited to try something new this year… Then his unit changed the schedule and low and behold, he is standing duty that week! Now, I’ve been a military wife for over a decade and I am very used to last minute changes to our plans. Most of the time I go with the flow and let it slide right off my back. This time, however, it hit me really hard and I had a meltdown. Even the most seasoned spouse will have those moments every once in a while!
We all get to our breaking point. The stress of the holidays can bring on that break with the simplest things. It isn’t easy to have your plans be out of your hands. It isn’t easy to lack control over your own time. The key to handling it is to be flexible. Like I said, we all reach our breaking point. The important thing is to cry if you have to cry and vent if you need to vent, but then move on. I had my meltdown when my husband told me he would be on duty that week of Christmas. I cried and yelled, and then I moved on. A few hours later I was fine and was ready to make plans for the time we will have together that week.
If this crazy life teaches us anything, it is to cherish every moment we have together as a family. We never know when they will get called off and our plans will once again be out of our hands. Especially now, during the holiday season, take hold of each moment you have and enjoy it. Don’t stress about the changes that are out of your control. Don’t stress about the plans you may have to break because the military comes first. Embrace the little moments. Let the magic of the holidays wash over you and fill you with love in every moment you have together!