Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Day in the Life of an Officer's Wife

There are several search topics that often bring visitors to my blog. The most popular topic is a recipe for dry foam shampoo for a Kirby. The second relates to being an officer wife. Many times it's the general, "being an army officer wife" and occasionally, it's the "enlisted vs officer army wife".

Although my husband was enlisted prior to us being married, I really don't know what that side of life is like, but I imagine it's relatively similar. My sister is married to an enlisted Marine, and I'm pretty sure we still lead rather parallel lives. I feel like I do the same things as my friends who are married to enlisted Soldiers. Most stay at home moms/wives have the same routine, right?

So, to give you an idea of what it's like to be an Army officer's wife, here's a break down of my usual day-to-day. Let's start from midnight, shall we.

0330: Hubster's cell phone rings. I have to roll over and kick him to wake him up, because he sleeps like a hibernating bear. Some idiot got a DUI or beat their spouse.

0430: I'm still awake. It always takes me forever to fall asleep. I think about playing Candy Crush or logging on to Facebook to see what people on the mainland are up to, but I know it'll keep me awake for the rest of the morning.

0600: I think I fell asleep about an hour ago. The alarm is going off for PT. If the alarm didn't wake me up, the sound of water running in the bathroom will. Hubster shaves, gets dressed and kisses me goodbye. I'm lucky to go back to sleep.

0715: The first minion makes her way to my bed. I pretend to be asleep in hopes of convincing her to lay down quietly with me. It doesn't work. 

0720: The next one shows up. They fight over who gets to be on which side of mom. I continue to lay motionless

0800: I get out of bed. If V has school, I get her dressed, attempt to make myself presentable and head out the door to drop her off. If there's no school, I attempt to get the girls to eat breakfast, which usually consists of either toast, waffles, or cereal. The Toaster Strudles are reserved for me, but sometimes they trick me into sharing. 

0900: I send the girls off to watch Disney Jr or Lilo & Stitch on Netflix for the 5726393th time. I sit down with a cup of tea and make an effort to read some blogs or news or Facebook.

0930: My daily "Don't Die" alarm goes off to remind me to take my blood pressure pill and prenatal vitamin. I snooze it four or five times before I actually get up and take them. I get annoyed that the snooze is for nine minutes instead of some multiple of five. 

1030: The housekeeper hasn't shown up, so I guess I should do something. Sometimes it's cleaning bathrooms, sometimes I do dishes, occasionally I consider folding laundry. Normally the clean clothes piles up in a basket. 

1200: Lunch time. Hubster usually comes home around this time for about an hour. It's nice since he never came home for lunch when we lived off-post. On the menu: a sandwich or leftovers. The kids normally have something along the lines of pb&j, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, or mini corndogs. If I'm feeling adventurous, I'll include some fruit with their lunch too. 

1300: <- That's 1pm. Hubster heads back to work. I try my hardest to get the girls to lay on the couch with me for a nap. I repeat, "c'mon guys" no fewer than 300 times while scratching little backs. If V is at school, sometimes I can manage to get Adri to lay down with me. If they're both home, there's no chance in hell of that happening.

1400: I've given up. Let's go outside and play in hopes of everyone going to bed early. Adri usually manages to step in poop somewhere.

1600: My alarm goes off to remind me to pick up my kid from preschool. I have this alarm set just in case I happen to be napping. That's probably not the case though.

1700: I haven't heard from our personal chef in a few years, so I guess I'm on my own as far as making dinner tonight. I look up a recipe for whatever is on my meal plan, and follow it loosely. And by loosely, I mean I see which main ingredients I need and don't worry about the weird stuff like thyme. Do people actually measure these things out? Every now and then, I'll text my sister and ask her how she makes certain thing.

1830: Occasionally, Hubster is home by now. We sit down to eat dinner. Normally, the girls eat what we're eating. Sometimes I leave the meat part out to avoid fights. V doesn't like real meat. She's all about the nasty processed stuff, but I know better than to try to get her to eat some baked chicken breast.

1900: We're still at the table. Dinner turns into a fight just about every night. I beg the girls to eat their food. If they don't eat, I feel guilty that they're going to bed hungry. If they finish, they can have dessert. If not, there's no dessert and no snacks.

1930: Bath time for the children. This is pretty easy. I wash them for all of five minutes, and then fill up the tub with bubbles a watch while I crush candy.

2030 (8:30pm): Ideally, it's time to put Adri in bed. Some nights I have to sit there with her for half an hour rubbing her back. Most of the time, I get tired and tell her that I'm going to bed. Usually she stays in bed. I go back to the couch and watch TV with the husband and V.

2200: Bed time for the rest of us. Around this time I have to convince V that it's time to go to sleep. She's afraid of the dark, but I've learned that she's ok if there's a night light in every electrical socket in her room. Hubster is asleep within five minutes of hitting the mattress. It takes me 20 times as long.

And then the cycle repeats itself over and over again. Somewhere during the day I'll change a few diapers. The dog will get fed. Someone will call at an inconvenient time and I'll either ignore it or just miss it all together. I get on social media. A lot. Sometimes I stalk OSMW, because it's funny.

On the weekends we go to the beach or hang out with friends. I avoid the commissary at all costs on pay-day. I've never read the Army Wife Handbook, and I definitely don't think I have the toughest job in the Army. I have a tattoo. I like to drink bottles of wine (when I'm not pregnant). I've purchased things for cheap off of the buy/sell/trade Facebook pages.  I enjoy being involved in the FRG and meeting the other spouses from my husband's unit, regardless of their Soldier's rank.

I find that pretty normal. I think it's safe to say that as spouses, we go through the same things, whether our Soldier is enlisted or an officer.

Love, Alex

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  1. Yes, I avoid the commissary around pay day too. Otherwise? Yikes!

    I've had days like this too. Tom has been recalled at like 3 AM before. It stinks. The phone always scares the mess out of me.

  2. Just found your blog (but sadly, not from searching "officers wives").

    Thought this post was great!

  3. I love this! It is amazing to me how many people think Officer wives live some sort of glamorous life.

  4. This made me laugh! My life doesn't seem to be much different from when my husband was enlisted, recruiting, and now as an officer. I think the only persons life that changes dramatically is my husbands. I just continue to go through the motions.

  5. My husband's an NCO (going to WOCs in June though), and our schedules are fairly paralleled haha his PT is usually at 6 AM though, so his alarm is going off at 4:30 AM. I work for a company in Boston, so I have to work east coast hours anyway, so I'm online from 6 AM, so I pretty much live by his clock, too ;)

  6. Love love love this! I agree with Jen that many Officer wives seriously think they are above all. They obviously wear their husband's rank. Thanks for being a real human being :) And I lurk on OSMW too.

  7. I hate going to the commissary on payday. Worst idea ever!

  8. I don't think I'll ever read that book. All exerpts seems like such crap.

  9. OSMW.. Yess!! hahah

    I had no idea your husband was an officer, so for that you get a high five!

  10. Haaa I couldn't help but laugh girl. Seriously -- I think you are BRAVE, keeping your kids up as late as you do. I think I'd have NO HAIR AT ALL if mine were up that much longer during the day. Especially without naps. We do 730pm bedtime for both of them ... and sometimes thats not soon enough! HA!

  11. You joke about staff, but my grandfather was an Air Force officer from the 40s to the 70s. At points in time, my housewife / stay at home mom grandmother had a housekeeper, maid, driver, and gardener.

  12. Gotta love those picky eaters! Haha. Weekends at the beach are my favorite type of weekend :).

  13. This cracked me up! It's such a glamorous life we lead. ;) And this might be stupid, but what is OSMW?

  14. Why is it that some nights it's like pulling teeth trying to get the kids to eat! SO frustrating. Hope you are doing well sweets!!


  15. "I haven't heard from our personal chef in a few years, so I guess I'm on my own as far as making dinner tonight." Hahaha! I like your humor.

  16. Oh my goodness, you crack me up! I'm an enlisted wife and my day looks about the same. I love your honesty about candy crush, that is also my bath tub supervising tool. great post!

    1. Thanks! I'm so glad that you could relate! That was my goal! (:

  17. Whew, that;s a full day and this post cracked me up.


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