Jen Farlin Military Family

I’m in TJ Maxx and somehow I find myself talking to a stranger about the Navy and I become exasperated.

I’m so tired of hearing people say to me “I don’t know how you do it”, referring to the fact that my husband is in the military, I can’t help but feel really annoyed.  I know there is a “complement” in there but it still bugs me.  To me, it’s saying “Wow I feel sorry for you because your life is so hard”. And, again, I know the intent is not to make me feel bad but it does.  My family might have different challenges than you but we all have challenges.

Yes, I have experienced deployments with small children.  This gave me the opportunity to flipping dig deep!  Want to know what you are made of?  Get rid of your safety net.  That’s what deployments do.  You are on your own and you have to figure it out.  Sometimes you are in a brand new place too.  And it’s hard.  You don’t always have the luxury of someone to bail you out, relieve you, or back you up.  What are you going to do?  Fall apart?  Maybe.  But don’t we all from time to time?  You pick yourself back up and keep trucking through.  I got resiliency training from those deployments.

Yes, I have moved a fair amount.  It has averaged every 3 years more or less.  Dislike your neighbors? Awesome, you get to move soon.  Don’t like your city?  Ditto.  Have too much stuff?  Well moving is a great motivator to purge.  Always wanted to try a new area of the country?  Or even world?  Want to make new friends?  Want to start over?  Want to create new habits?  Want to try a new job? Well we get to do that.

No my parents don’t live down the street, nor do any relatives live nearby, or my childhood best friend.  There are cars, planes, phones, new friends to make (and that doesn’t mean they replace the old ones), and now I get the opportunity to DIG DEEP (see above).

I have health insurance, my husband has job security, and I have friends EVERYWHERE.  For real.  I mean I really do have friends all over the country and the world.

Yes, I have to say good-bye to really good friends.  I also get to say hello to really good friends when our paths cross again, and again, because they always do.

I don’t want to live forever in my hometown.  I don’t want the same house for years and years.  I like making new friends, seeing new places.  No, I don’t like it when my husband leaves.  But I bet you don’t like things you have to deal with too.  It’s life.

I don’t want to pick on your life.  So if you see me please don’t say “I don’t know how you do it” because I’ll have to say the same thing back to you.


Jennifer is a military spouse and Mom to two little boys.  She is imported from Detroit and a graduate from Michigan State University.  She believes in paying it forward—spread joy and be a positive vibe.   Jennifer can be found at Bella Home Staging.