One of the best parts of my job is working with active military and veterans. For the most part, I would describe my military students as engaged, smart, and still healing from their service.
I didn’t know until I began teaching near Fort Bragg that female soldiers are expected to deploy as soon as four months postpartum. Some of my students have left their babies at four months and not seen them again until they were a year old. I can’t fathom that.
These women breastfeed their babies for one last time, get on plane, fly across the world, and get to work. And the thing is, many of them love their work. They are badass. They are strong beyond measure. They compartmentalize to an extent that I haven’t achieved and I don’t know if I’d ever want to be in a position to have to.
I also have the spouses of active military in my courses. These women parent for months and years by themselves. They stay at home with three kids and there isn’t any relief in sight. She cooks, cleans, puts them to bed, gets up in the middle of the night, and starts over tomorrow. She doesn’t know when he’s coming home. She worries and worries.Then she does more laundry and pays the bills.
And these students/moms rarely have a self-pitying attitude. In fact, they are some of the most resilient women I know. They don’t make excuses. They make shit happen.
Military Mamas, y’all amaze me.