The Nomadic Life

I don’t talk much about E’s job* here, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I don’t want to get him in trouble by running my mouth and accidentally giving away something that could compromise national security. (Do I really know anything that important? I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you.) (Sorry, military joke.) Secondly, his job’s not really a big part of our lives right now. Well, not a bigger part of our lives than a normal civilian’s job is – you go there in the morning, you sit at a desk, you go to boring meetings, you come home for dinner, rinse, repeat. The fact that he wears a uniform and answers to people named Lieutenant and Admiral doesn’t matter so much while he’s on shore duty instead of attached to a submarine.

But in a few weeks our contented life of Daddy being home to tuck the baby in at night may change. Last fall, E applied to be a Limited Duty Officer – which is a great career decision for a lot of reasons – and we find out the results in February.  If he’s picked up it would mean a move followed by at least one deployment, probably on an aircraft carrier (Our friend who was picked up and commissioned this past spring is currently on the Carl Vinson helping with the relief effort in Haiti)…followed by several more moves and probably more deployments.  I wouldn’t be the first woman to become a single mother** because of the Navy but it’s certainly not something I’m looking forward to with all the joy and excitement of Christmas morning.

The whole situation is one big question mark until after we hear the LDO results but it’s all I can think about. There are a ton of if’s going on right now and I hate ifs. IF E gets picked up. IF he gets the job path he’s hoping for. IF they transfer us. IF we have to sell the house. IF we can’t sell the house because of the stupid housing market. IF we get to choose where we want to go. IF he’s going to be at sea for 6 months. IF we plan to expand our family again in the next two years. IF IF IF IF.

All I know for sure is IF we have to leave Connecticut I’m going to be more upset than I’ve ever been about a move before. It’s so nice to know how to get to the mall and the doctor’s office and the post office and the other post office that actually has parking and to know which mechanic won’t rip me off and where to get a bridesmaid’s dress fitted and where to buy fresh pasta and who makes the best local wine. Learning all those things in a new place is exhausting, even more so now that I also need to know all the baby related stuff too – pediatricians and 24-hour pharmacies and playgrounds and restaurants where no one complains about a few coasters thrown on the floor and maybe a screaming fit or two. I like it here, New England weather and all and will be very sad to leave.

*E’s job: He’s a Chief Petty Officer (E-7) who runs nuclear reactors on fast-attack submarines. Currently working at Electric Boat to help coordinate construction and repair work between the shipyard and the Navy.

**I hate using the term single mother because having a husband who’s away at sea is in NO WAY like being an actual single mother. I can stay home without working and still pay my bills – not to mention the health insurance benefits. But I can’t think of a better term right now. Suggestions welcome.

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5 Responses to “The Nomadic Life”

  1. Meg says:

    I know how you feel–I am just settling into life in my town here in Central California and I might get laid off. I have no idea–the “IFs” are huge. IF there are pink slips. IF my shitty evaluation by the ONE boss I’ve ever had who hates me gets me laid off. IF, IF, IF.

    But as the daughter of a retired Lt. Col. in the US Air Force, I can tell you that the benefits of being an officer–in any way–are awesome, and E. would greatly benefit. I can also tell you, as the daughter of a retired Lt. Col. in the US Air Force, that it requires sacrifice on the part of the officer, and ALL of the slack gets picked up by Mom at home.

    However, my mom survived it, and, like her, you are a hell of a woman. So while the IFs are driving you crazy, know that you have a lot of support and you can make it work no matter what happens!

  2. ryan says:

    those damn IFs will cut a b!tch! my husband is a freelance camera operator/soundman/video production guru who works a lot of 12 hour days out of town. i absolutely HATE IT when jobs don’t confirm until the last minute or pop up hours before call time. it is not unusual for him to get a call at 8 p.m. the night before a week long shoot and be at the airport the following morning at 4 a.m. poof! gone for a week. it’s been a struggle for me to learn to let go and be flexible because i’ve always been such a planner. when i got pregnant things got a little more tense and i started to question whether his work schedule was going to work for our family. but i echo Meg’s sentiment above, he is making just as many sacrifices as i am and it’s important to remember that. it may sound sappy but you really do have to find the positive in all things and not get caught up with the IFs. you have a great husband, a support system that will never allow you to fail and a healthy, happy baby. everything else will fall into place.

  3. halfg1rl says:

    oh how I know how you feel. We, I mean my husband, is currently undecided on if he wants to stay in the Navy. Me, I’m down for him doing 20, but him not so much. Our if’s are just as big.. if he finds a job here in CT we’ll stay, if he doesn’t do we stay in the navy or go back home to TX? Now with baby girl decisions are critical.

    But I must say you are a strong navy wife and you’ve been through a deployment will manage well and baby E. will help bring those sad lonely days more pleasant with his smile… and then you and baby E can visit Big E when he’s deployed.

  4. Emmie Bee says:

    Wow. You know, I just feel like an asshole reading this. Because when my husband leaves for work in the morning- I am pouting because he may have to work till 7 that night or couldn’t take off a few hours to go to a doctor’s appointment with me.

    Your husband’s job is very admirable and you are very admirable for being the kind of woman who can handle it. And Baby E? He’s a better baby for being raised by the two of you!

    I am sure that no matter what happens you guys will do great!!

  5. Mitch says:

    Name suggestion : MASP (Military Action Single Parent)

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