Support is essential for a military wife’s well-being. Scratch that, its essential for any woman. By nature, we women flock to each other to talk about our lives- our husbands/boyfriends/significant others, our kids, our experiences. And I am blessed to have a great network of support groups including my family, my husband’s unit, my mommy’s group, and my friends that I have made while in the Marine Corps. I’m sure that as time goes on I will talk about each one of these awesome groups of people, but today I have been touched by a special group. A group I have never, ever met.
When I became pregnant with Evelyn, I was excited that I could finally move from “The Knot” to “The Bump” (if you don’t know what these websites are, which rock is yours? No, I’m kidding. Just click here and here– they are a set of sites about the things women love: our weddings, our houses, and our children). Once I found the “community” section I was stoked. Finally, people I could talk to about my pregnancy without making James listen to me question whether or not I could have a hot dog for the 12th time (so wait, can we have hot dogs? The jury is still out on that one).
Of course there are the trimester boards. First trimester is filled with said hot dog-like questions. Second trimester is full of “Its a boy!”, “Its a girl!” and “Can you people with no medical background whatsoever tell me what you think I’m having by looking at my ultrasound photo?” Third trimester is full of “Am I in labor? No wait, I think I just have to poop,” and “I feel as big as a house, why isn’t this baby coming out?!”
There are also specialty boards such as Stay at Home Moms (SAHMs), Working Moms, Preganant after a Loss (PgAL), Parenting after a Loss (PAL), Parenting after 35, 0-3 Months, 3-6 Months, 6-9 Months, 9-12 Months, Toodlers, Preschool, School Age, and What the Hell Am I Doing, I Don’t Know Anything About Babies (WtHAIDIDKAAB). Ok, the last one isn’t a real board but all the rest are. Some boards are snarky (that’s us “Bumpies” term for pissy and/or witty. Yes, we call ourselves Bumpies). And some boards are filled with puppies and rainbows (again, our term for those who only have good things to say but to the extent that its really annoying).
No matter which board you’re on, you’ll eventually come across some MUD (made-up drama) or a troll (a person who comes onto The Bump simply to ridicule us true Bumpies). And there are those darn acronyms. They even have a friggin’ glossary so you can learn all these gems. Here are just a few:
- BFP/BFN- Big Fat Positive/Big Fat Negative
- EBF, EFF, EP- Exclusively Breastfeeding, Exclusively Formula Feeding, Exclusively Pumping
- PP- Postpartum
- DH, DD, DS, DC- Darling husband, daughter, son, child
- KU- Knocked Up
Honestly, its like learning a new language. But after finally filing through many of these boards and more acronyms than the Marine Corps, I finally found my home: October 2011 Moms.
Over the past year (wait, what? A year? Geez…), I have come to know and love these women. Yet I have never met a single one of them. I know them by their screennames and siggys (signatures- pictures, etc…its getting hard to explain all of this) but if I saw them on the street I wouldn’t know it. Now, maybe if I saw their baby, but them? Probably not.
We have shared laughs and tears together. We have argued during Unpopular Opinion Thursdays and Flame Free Friday Confessions. We watched each other grow during Hump Day Bump Days and now we’re watching each others children grow. We’ve vented to one another about crazy in-laws, lazy DH’s, and non-sleeping babies. We have backed each other up when other boards (or ah hem, Facebookers) have tried to take down one of our own. I have learned about so many things that I don’t think any books could have taught me. They are supportive, kind, honest, and always there for any one who needs them (especially during those 4am feedings…).
Now, you’re probably wondering what sparked me to write this *book* on my wonderful October Mom friends. Well, the other day one of the girls was asking advice about meal planning. Since I do that here on my blog I offered for her to take a look and see if it helps. And the response I got was not what I was expecting.
I had several women tell me how strong I was and impressed they were that I did this blog all while taking care of Evelyn and James being gone. After James had left I posted about it and their support was amazing. I vented one day about Evelyn having a bad day and that I felt like I was at a loss, and they continuously told me how strong I was and how I could always vent to them when needed. Their heartfelt messages over these past couple weeks have made me tear up and in these instances I felt so grateful and blessed to have these wonderful women in my life.
There are other military wives on our BMB (Birth Month Board) that have gone through, are going through, or are going to go through the same struggles as I have. One mom had her baby and her husband left just a few weeks after the birth. Another mom went through almost the entire pregnancy and then the birth on her own and one other one will be saying goodbye to her husband shortly. Yes, we military wives go through some hard times and it is not an easy life that we have chosen. But I don’t feel that we are any different than any other wife who deals with hardships and struggles in her family. We do it because our husbands depend on us to keep our heads up while they’re gone. Our children depend on us to be both parents. We just do it because it needs to be done.
But honestly, I can’t imagine doing it alone. And with my October Moms by my side I know I don’t have to. I can run to them and vent when James isn’t here for me to talk to. I can ask them stupid FTM (first time mom) questions and have them talk me down from my crazy since my husband isn’t here to do the same. I can cry to them that I’m lonely and they will cheer me up. I know I can depend on these women. And I don’t seem them as strangers, not anymore. I see them as my friends. My honest, dependable, amazing friends who I have never met. I love you ladies, and thank you for everything.
Here are some of our October 2011 Mom Badges for your viewing pleasure.