Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Balancing Act

Ooops! I totally forgot to post this two weeks ago, so there will be back-to-back Crystal Clears. If you're not at Fort Jackson, I may not be able to help you with specific about your post, but I can certainly point you in the right direction!

Last Wednesday, on our production day (i.e., the day we send the newspaper to the publisher for printing) I was stressed out. We were running a bit behind and were scrambling to make our mid-afternoon deadline. As stressed as I already was, I doubted it could get any more hectic.

And then I got a phone call from the day care. The baby had a rash and it looked bad, they said. I texted my husband to pick him up but that was a no go — he would not be free until several hours later. And I couldn’t reach the friends I thought might be able to babysit for a few hours.

Within a matter of moments, my day had gone from normal-stress (the type of stress in which Inormally thrive) to super-stress (the type of stress that makes me wish I’d stayed in bed).

Although everything worked out in the end, I couldn’t stop the anxiety I was feeling, even throughout the next day. Could I really do this working mom thing? Did my coworkers think me less professional? If I’d paid more attention, could I have prevented the rash (which turned out to be a bad diaper rash)?

All of us experience stress from time-to-time. As military spouses, I (with much bias) say that I think we may have it worse than some others. In addition to the normal stress that comes from being a mom, working, volunteering and trying to get dinner on the table every night, we also have a few added stressors.

What if my Soldier deploys? Will my drill sergeant/ supply sergeant/company commander husband get home from work in time for the baby’s first birthday party?  How will I ever be able to find another job if we PCS? We can’t sell our house, but BAH will only pay for one dwelling — how will we make ends meet? If Igo talk to the chaplain, will it affect my husband’s career? What will people think if they find out?

One great thing about the military, however, is that we do not have to go it alone. 

The Army’s not just an institution, we are a family; here on post, we are Team Jackson. 

And there is someone on post who can answer each and every one of your questions.

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