OK, my husband has only been away at training for 1 week, and we have actually had a great time here! Sure, the kids frustrate me at times, but for the most part we had a really relaxing week, got to spend some time with friends, and I even read THREE books during my free time! I'm realizing how much LESS work I have to do when husband is gone-- I don't have to cook fresh dinners each night or make his lunch, there was 1 less load of laundry, I didn't have to run any errands for him, and I didn't have to watch any hockey! :-)
But already, some of the younger/newer wives in the battalion are starting to bug me. Sure, communication has been limited this week, but my husband has made a few brief phone calls, and we each know the other is doing fine, we say our I love you's, and that's that. But through Facebook and direct conversations, some wives have made it clear that they are already struggling--emotionally, financially, or for some other reason. I was shocked by the situations some wives are in. I want to be compassionate and helpful, but I also think there is a list of reasonable things a wife should have when her husband leaves for any length of time:
1. She should have a phone and a way to consistently pay the bill
2. She should have a drivers' license
3. She should have access to a vehicle to get herself to the grocery store and doctor's appointments.
4. She should be able to pay the household bills and track the family budget
5. She should have at least one person, (friend or family member), who is in the local area and can be reached in case of emergency.
It amazes me that there are wives who somehow get by without some of these things, especially when they are responsible for 1 or more small children! But it amazes me more when husbands leave their wives without working out solutions to some of the above problems. Because then it suddenly falls into the lap of the FRO or the nearest spouse in the battalion when these women aren't able to function without their husband around. Does this list sound reasonable to you? Or are these luxuries that I have come to take for granted?