My husband has been in National Guard for almost two years now, and after active duty – I was ready for a little break from constant Army and felt like one weekend a month was manageable. As long as it was part-time Army life, I could handle it, right?
Drill weekends happen once a month, and we have a schedule in advance to know when they are coming. Sometimes we have to miss going places and doing some of the things we want to do because my husband is going to be gone all weekend, but we figure it out and make it work for us.
However, why does it seem that certain things tend to happen on drill weekends? These type of things have all month to happen, and it decides to pick a weekend where my family and I are fending for ourselves? Similar to Murphy’s Law, “What can go wrong will go wrong, and it surely will happen on drill weekend.” Or how about the deployment gremlins? Yup, those come out on drill weekends too!
If your spouse is in the National Guard or Reserves, you can surely relate to these 5 things that always seem to happen when your spouse is away.
5 Things That Will Always Happen on Drill Weekend
- Sick Kids– The worst thing about having sick kids when you are a solo parent is having to take care of them and yourself without getting a break. Being a solo parent is exhausting and if your kids are sick you also have to stay home. That means if my husband is gone for the weekend I have sick kids, the days are very long and I am ready to head for the hills when he walks through the door Sunday night.
- Something Breaks– If something is going to break, it’s going to be on drill weekend. Something might even happen a few hours after he leaves. It’s that Murphy’s law of military life coming at us again, and Murphy doesn’t stay away just because he is in the Guard. When something breaks I just hope I can wait things out because a lot of the times my husband will be able to fix whatever happened in a few minutes. Other times I use Google and YouTube and try to figure things out myself, which I admit is pretty empowering.
- Hanging Out with Friends– I can’t tell you how many fun ladies nights I have had to miss because they fell on drill weekend. When this happens I think surely bunco won’t fall on drill weekend the next month, but then that’s exactly what happens. To be fair, sometimes nights out get changed and I can go to them. I need to just start planning my own, then I know I can go.
- Fun Family Events– On some weekends there is a lot going on around here. Other weekends we have to make our own fun. The best events tend to fall on drill weekends more often than not. How does that happen? Then I have to decide if the event is something I can do on my own with the boys. I find myself often thinking, “If only they could have planned that event a week later!”
- I could use a break– I can’t even tell you the amount of weekends when, on Thursday or Friday night, I think to myself, “The very last thing I need right now is a solo parenting weekend!” And yet, that is exactly what is going to happen. I have to remember, it’s possible I would feel that way any weekend he had drill. But that feeling always seems to coincide with every weekend he is in fact gone.
At the end of the day, drill weekends provide our family with a little extra money each month, the ability to keep TriCare, and for my husband to advance in his Army career. They also can give me a chance to catch up on TV shows my husband can’t stand, enjoy some alone time after the boys get to bed, and really take advantage of the weekends we do have together. When he’s not always there, it reminds me of how truly special our family time is.
What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on drill weekend?