Motherhood the Military Wife Way.

Why does no one talk about the Parallel Universe of new flung parenthood?

Sure there are a zillion million websites and vlogs devoted to telling you platitudes Such as “you’re doing brilliantly” and also the bloody classic “motherhood is so hard but it’s so rewarding”.

Well I am just here to raise a small flag (as a mother of 2 and 3 year old girls) to say to hell it is!!!

As a new Mum all you can think about is four things (mostly 1 &2 to be fair)

  1. sleep. Glorious sexy wanton sleep. SLEEP.
  2. breastfeeding- my boobs! They hurt! Am I doing this right? Are they getting enough and I can’t believe stuff is coming out of them!!!!

3. Am I clean? *sniffs self*. Nope.

4. I really should eat.

5. Sleep. I really want to sleep. I would commit a crime in order to sleep right now.

And that’s basically it.

For the first few week or so as a new Mum the entire world can just do one.

All that matters in the world is you and your little one. And getting the sodding bastarding latch right.

And I think that’s okay.

In fact I think it’s more than ok.

I think it’s a essential component of human kinds survival.

I think it’s an instinct.

I think it’s a way of saying that I NEED to hold my baby right now, thanks mother in law/ helpful now-great-aunt but this is MY JOB.

And yes- I don’t know what the fuck I am doing.

And yes!!! It fucking hurts!

And yes!!! I AM GOING TO KEEP GOING

Because…

It’s my baby and my body and my mind all involved in this gig called motherhood.

My body can tolerate more than my husband or partner will ever know.

I know my mind is strong. I’m the strongest woman Popeye will ever know and I’ve got this.

I look at my baby’s face and realise failure not an option anymore because I made this.

This total and utter perfection. This smallness. This beauty.

This infinite potential.

Let me tell you mothers of small squidgins of loveliness- the haze will lift. And you won’t even know its happening.

An hours more sleep here, a shower alone during nap time there, slowly the streams of babbling get clearer, they reach out a small hand into the wide world and grasp precisely what they were aiming for.

And suddenly they are there- demanding food in receptacles that YOU TAUGHT HER TO SAY. And she can sing all the songs from Frozen.

Now suddenly she can get dressed, tell me the plot to moana and insist she has pigtails today.

And I know. I’ve done it.

I’m a mother.

The fog. It’s gone. Her clarity brings my role sharply into focus like it wasn’t when she was my infant baby.

How did this happen?! From those first crazy days of learning how to latch, how baby wipes are an essential component of civilised society and wtf a jumperoo was- I really don’t know. But I did it man.

I never ever knew what I was doing.

I was alone and scared a lot of the time. During deployments with a newborn to a six month old, and another 9 month deployment with a 2 year old and a six month old. Woah.

I did that. We did that.

I don’t know how it happened. From the moment I found out I was pregnant it’s been like a runaway train. There was excitement. Then tiredness. And goodbyes. And homecomings. Then more goodbyes then (more) tiredness. And another homecoming.

I see them grow and bloom. And now I’m back at excitement again.

What will they do next?

I pause for a moment.

And away my babies fly.

Muchos love, Olive x

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Deployment dreams

Ok *oversharing alert* family and friends click away now.

Popeye has just reminded me of something that has happened every deployment and I’m wondering if it happens to you too.

Thing is, it’s a tad embarrassing.

A smidge, a pinch, a wee bit cringe inducing.

Soooo….

When your partner deploys, companionship and wholesome friendship issues aside, it leaves a big gap in your sex life. There’s a *ahem* how do I put it- a romantic need that he just *ahem* can’t fulfill because he is several thousand miles away.

We all have our own “coping mechanisms” and this post is not about that. It’s about something else that happens after a “dry spell” spanning several months.

Every time Popeye has been on deployment I have had (occasional) rude dreams.

(This, so far, is pretty normal right? Stay with me. It gets weird)

Every time Popeye has been on deployment I have had rude dreams that are not starring Popeye.

(Ok ok we’re all grown ups here, we can admit that dreaming about someone other than your partner does happen and although totes cringey and not something you mention down the phone- not exactly something entering into the realms of bizarre.)

Here it is- 

Every time Popeye has deployed I have had rude dreams about low status TV personalities. 

Not even proper slebs! These fantasy dreams have starred such well known hotties as 

  • Alan Titchmarsh


    And

    • Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall 



    Each time I’ve woken up totally and utterly freaked out and emailed Popeye in a state of utter squeamishness. 


    I don’t know why my subconscious seeks out middle aged gardeners and organic chefs as prime X rated dream stars.

    But it does. And it scares me. I don’t get my brain. When I’m awake, they do nothing for me. Sorry Al and Hugh, no offence but you’re just not my type(s). 

    Tell me I’m not the only one?

    Seriously, you guys have had freaky weird sex dreams too, right guys? Right?!

    Muchos love

    Olive x 

    Well Meaning People- Part 2

    I want to set the record straight once and for all about something that gets said to military wives frequently around homecoming time. It is usually said by our old pals Well Meaning people but can also be chucked around by randoms you meet out and about, who have all the quiet tact and discretion of HMS Queen Liz coming into Portsmouth.

    Heres the basic script:

    Military spouse: “OMGOMGOMG I CANNOT WAIT UNTIL POPEYE IS HOOOOOME!”

    Well meaning twat person: “Aww thats cute. Give it a few days and you’ll wish they were away again. Lolz”.

    Related image
    Excuse me? Wtf did you just say to me?

    Oh how we all laughed! These well meaning people, how spot on they are. How well they know what we go through. Its uncanny. Unsettling even.

    (Heavy sarcasm alert.)

    Why on gods green earth would we want them to bugger off again?

    Image result for 1950s woman pissed off
    “Im just going to file that comment under “B” for Bullshit.”

    This is what I want to say to these well meaning people (because you cant really say it to their faces, unless you’re a total cow/self confident superstar.)

    Statement of truth, from Olive, to all you Well Meaning People:

    “When the loves of our lives return to us from the sea, or the land, or the sky, from war torn countries, landscapes filled with unimaginable horrors, dangers and poor wifi, we are elated. 

    They are home safe. We can speak to them again, we can touch them again, we can smell them again (not in a creep way).

    After the initial dazzling, hazy period after homecoming fades, when all the friends and relatives have been visited, the family holiday completed, the special homecoming food and booze consumed; the return to real life commences.

    Its not glamorous, its not perfect, its not chocolates and flowers.

    Its remembering their annoying habits (leaving his toothbrush on the side of the sink), their idiosyncrasies (like letting rip with the hugest fart every morning when they wake), and their faults (cannot load the dishwasher correctly).

    Its them getting used to being at home with us again too. Its very much a two way street. We change when they’re away too. 

    We are stronger, we are more confident, we can top up the oil in the car, get two kids up and out by 8am and we can manage the family finances alone.

    It takes time to find the balance.

    Healthy, normal couples find the balance by communicating. Synonyms for this include bickering, nagging, sarcastically reminding, huffing and stropping and of course, the old classic, moaning.

    And here we come to the core of the issue-

    None of this means we want them to leave again!

    Yes they can do our heads in, and I’m sure I annoy the hell out of Popeye at times (infact I know I do, because he tells me).

    But understand, dearest Well Meaning Person, that this in NO way equates to us wanting them to leave, to having to go through a deployment again.

    What it does mean is that we, as a normal couple, are finding our way back to everyday life together, again.

    So please, when you think of your “hilarious” commentary on my relationship, kindly STFU.

    Yours in frankness,

    Olive Oyl,

    Muchos Love xxxx”

    Image result for 1950s woman husband deploying
    “I could SO go for another 9 monther right now” said no Military Spouse ever.

     

     

    The truth about deployment.

    What deployment is really like. And what it’s really not like.

    It’s not all staring off into the horizon in a floaty white dress with a single tear rolling down a polished cheek.

    floaty dress? check. staring into middle distance? check. must be a navy wife

    It’s not about getting a long awaited dog eared letter in the post, hugging it to your chest in quiet bliss and rushing up to your room to flop down onto the bed to read it in matching pyjamas.

    Seriously, who the fuck does this?!

    It’s not beaming ear to ear with pride whilst waving a Union Jack (well homecoming is but that’s only a couple of hours out of the whole thing).

    Standard navy wife Tuesday activity

    It’s not romantic. It’s not magical.

    It’s cereal for dinner.

    It’s explaining again and again and again where they are and why they couldn’t make it.

    It’s wine. Or gin.

    It’s weddings and BBQs and Friday nights and Tuesday lunchtimes alone.

    It’s having to take both kids with you to your smear test because there’s no one else to help.

    It’s suffering the same questions at every family gathering.

    “Where is he now then?”

    “Heard from Popeye lately?”

    “It can’t be much longer now surely?”

    Gah.

    It’s making coffee for one every morning.

    It’s being ill and having to carry on.

    It’s dutifully sending one email (at least) a day and hearing nothing back for days.

    It’s learning to carry the ache of missing them around with you and realising that it won’t go away until you’re back together again.

    It’s checking your email a zillion times a day just incase, and keeping your phone within arms reach for months without fail.

    Deployments are not what people think they are. They are marathons not sprints and we are running in a race we’d rather not have to enter.

    But we get to cross that finish line eventually and that part of the illusion is true. That moment is indescribably scrummy and romantic and fantastic.

    So even if well meaning family and friends don’t have a clue of the reality of a deployment, or even if this is your first deployment and you’ve realised you didn’t have a clue, just trust me, even if the race is a steaming pile of groundhog poop, that finish line will be so worth it. 

    Must dash, got me some sea starin’ to do.

    *i doubt shes going through the lidl shopping list or what to cook for tea*

    Muchos love,

    Olive X

    I’m a Finalist! 2 of 2

    Now that I’ve had the weekend to think about my nomination for Best Lifestyle Blog I’m about 60-80% sure that there’s been some kind of cock up and I will soon receive an email to say “sozzles Olive old girl but actually you’re not up for Best Lifestyle Blog because, let’s face it, your life has no style.”

    Seriously. I’ve had a nosey at the other blogs in my category and I’m up against some heavy hitters. They all have HUGE Twitter followings and seem v v professional and clean and cool and trendy and stuff.

    Half my blogs have typos and are many are written whilst a semi naked toddler sings “let it gooooo let it goooo” at me whilst perched precariously on an IKEA  value lime green potty. The other half of my posts are written inbetween nappy changes, nose wipes and breastfeeds. I have no uber hip blogster office, no cool blogger friends to have coffee mornings with and I don’t even have my iPad to write posts on anymore because Sweetpea nicked it to fuel her Peppa Pig YouTube clip habit. 

    My life has no style! 

    I don’t blog about clothes or fashion because I either have no idea of what’s in fashion, or I see teenagers on the street and think they are dressing like I did back in the 90’s (black velvet ribbon chokers and trouser skirts anyone? Since when did that become cool again???)

    I am generally wearing the same outfit for 2-3 days and if you ever bump into me there’s a 95% probability I will have baby puke on my left shoulder.

    I don’t even brush my hair some days I just tie it up and hope for the best. 

    I can’t remember the last time my feet had heels on. I can’t remember the last time I wore an underwired bra and not a nursing bra. There is no such thing as matching knickers and bra sets in my house. Heck there’s no such thing as matching socks in my house.

    My life has no style. 

    My blog posts don’t have nice stylish photos on them. They either are from the fruits of a 30 second Google search or are the result of a quick snap with my iPhone. I do not look good in these photos. I haven’t got the time or the talent, I wish I did.

    Popeye said to me he hopes that if there’s a “Bloggers Biography” or the MAD blog Award team need to use my photo for anything that they use this one, from my post Safety and the Navy Wife – because I look fucking mental.


    My life has NO STYLE!

    I can’t blog about “normal life” of what I’ve done with my hubby at the weekend because I never sodding see him. 

    I’m much more likely to be blogging about sniffing his dirty T-shirt or crying over his snotty tissues, drinking too much wine and eating cereal for dinner or how to kick a full packed kitbag off the bed with minimum effort, in a childish attempt to stop him deploying again than blogging about anything chic or classy. 

    Argh! My life has no style! Zilch! Zip! Nada! Zero! Squat! 

    Calm down Olive, just pause for a second and think.

    I guess I am blogging about a way of life. 

    A navy way of life, a military way of life. A way thousands of families are living day in day out, right under everyone else’s noses. 

    I guess that that is the lifestyle angle. Hmm, food for thought, no?

    My life may not have style per se but, thanks to the Royal Navy, my life sure does have a lot it life in it. 

    I guess. 

    Tots100

    I just want to say a HUGE MASHOOSIVE HONKING THANKYOU to all my supporters, followers and friends for coming with me on this adventure. 

    Please, if you haven’t yet just quickly throw a vote my way, and if you have time share this post or one of your other faves, it means the world to me.

    You can vote for me as Best Life(without any) style Blog by clicking right here and filling out a little form.

    Muchos love, Olive X