Vent from an AF Pilot's Wife — The Bump
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Vent from an AF Pilot's Wife

I can't believe how the scheduling powers that be just jerk people around and expect us to just roll over and say "OK"... if we didn't have a 4 week old baby, I might be more flexible but the fact is we do and I'm ticked off.

Here's the situation: My DH is going to start pilot training soon. Originally, he was going to start much later in the year which we were fine with because that would allow more time for us to be together as a family before he started a very rigorous course of academics and flying. However, they bumped him to an earlier class which starts a month before his original start date. This wasn't a big deal and we made plans for visitors and events (our daughter's christening) for the month leading up to the revised start date. Now they want him to start a month before that start date which means he would start while we have visitors (for 2 weeks) and the christening would be during his academics course... On top of that, housing wants us out of our house before August and if they keep him in this new class there is no way we can move before he starts which means yet another big stressor during pilot training...

I hate how they're stealing away time with my husband from my little girl and I. He's going to be doing 12 hour days once he starts flying and even though it's nothing compared to a deployment, it still sucks...

Most of the time, I love being an Air Force wife, but it's things like this that make me crazy!! Does anyone else have experiences like this?

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Re: Vent from an AF Pilot's Wife

  • Honestly, I think a better question might be "does anyone else NOT have experiences like this?" I really bet every lady on here has a military related schedule horror story. Our most recent one was DH returned from his second tour and was to be home for at a minimum six months, and was sent back for his third tour before he had been home for even two months. Long enough for me to get pregnant and for him to miss everything.

     I'm really sorry you're going through this, sounds stressful, but you have to remember it's not personal. The military doesn't realize you have a family and mission comes first. Unfortunately they make us learn that over and over again. The only thing I try to do is have my sad day and then I laugh about it, because at this point, I can't really be surprised. Then, I lean on my friends and coach myself everyday to focus on the positive (like you said, he's still going to be with you, and your LO, maybe not as much as you wanted, but any time is good time in my book!)

     Hang in there, you will get through it, and then it will happen again, and you'll get through it again. 

  • image SMCbride2b:

    I can't believe how the scheduling powers that be just jerk people around and expect us to just roll over and say "OK"... if we didn't have a 4 week old baby, I might be more flexible but the fact is we do and I'm ticked off.

    Here's the situation: My DH is going to start pilot training soon. Originally, he was going to start much later in the year which we were fine with because that would allow more time for us to be together as a family before he started a very rigorous course of academics and flying. However, they bumped him to an earlier class which starts a month before his original start date. This wasn't a big deal and we made plans for visitors and events (our daughter's christening) for the month leading up to the revised start date. Now they want him to start a month before that start date which means he would start while we have visitors (for 2 weeks) and the christening would be during his academics course... On top of that, housing wants us out of our house before August and if they keep him in this new class there is no way we can move before he starts which means yet another big stressor during pilot training...

    I hate how they're stealing away time with my husband from my little girl and I. He's going to be doing 12 hour days once he starts flying and even though it's nothing compared to a deployment, it still sucks...

    Most of the time, I love being an Air Force wife, but it's things like this that make me crazy!! Does anyone else have experiences like this?

    As for the bolded, he's doing his job. They aren't "stealing away time".

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  • Welcome to the joy of flight training!

    Is he coming down to NAS Pensacola? If so... I think you might be misinformed about the whole process. My H has never worked a 12 hour day (unless you count the time he's at home studying) so far and we had months where he was on base for maybe an hour a day at most. He's Navy so it may be slightly different, but they go through the same stages of training. 

    Plus, we've been here for approx. 9 months and he isn't even flying yet. 

    I know it sucks to have your plans jerked around so much. I'd be annoyed too, but you never know, he may be able to have leave to be there for all the important events or his scheduling might get changed around. 

    If you are coming down to Pcola, feel free to PM me with any questions. 

  • You are not the first wife to have this problem, and you are certainly not the last. A friend of mine has two daughters, one has been having seizures and it's been recently discovered she has cancer. You think her husband gets to come home from Afghanistan to hold her hand through treatment? No. Does his wife throw a beebee hissy fit over it? No.

    So, I mean really, a Christening?

  • There's nothing you can do about, but roll with it. Does it suck? Yes. DH is going through Army flight school and we are gearing up for 12 hours days starting next month, but it beats the 15-16 hour days when he was in Primary. They have moved his class date up for his advanced air craft several times now to the point that both of our families will here now while he is in class for the kids birthday. So I get to plan, clean, and entertain 2-1year olds plus the IL's, while DH is flying. Not looking foward to it, but all you can do is suck it up and keep going.
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  • ::blink blink::

    Seriously?

    My husband went back to working 24 hour shifts when our twins were 2 weeks old.  Then we moved cross country when they were 4 months old.  He's been in and out of training since then, gone anywhere from a few days to a month at a time, and he's leaving soon for our 4th, year-long deployment as a couple, first with kids.  And sadly enough I know many military families who have had it far worse off than we have/will. 

    I don't normally play the "my life is harder than yours" game but seriously, suck it up because you could have it a lot worse.  It's pilot training, not the end of the world.  He'll still be around to see her first milestones, for weekend picnics, holidays as a family, and all that.  You'll live, and complaining about it isn't going to change anything anyway.

  • I agree with the pp's.  Suck it up.  It could be worse.  My H left for a deployment 9 days after our son was born. 

    BTW, just throwing this out there.  Your H isn't a pilot.  You aren't a pilot's wife.  Your H is about to enter training to become a pilot.  Don't put the horse before the cart.

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  • well you aren't required to "roll over" and be ok with it. YH does, because, well, he signed up for it. I suppose by your continued support and continued marriage to YH while he is a pilot and/or in the military you are agreeing to "roll over" and be ok with military changing their minds often.

    Also, BTW, it is not just pilots or their wives that have to deal with these issues, the rest of us do too.

    He is at the whim of the AF, so when they say  go to this class tomorrow, uh, he goes.

    Yup, it sucks sometimes (I really do get that this sucks), but the AF isn't stealing time from y'all. They're asking YH to follow through with his obligations. 

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  • image iluvmytxrgr:

    I agree with the pp's.  Suck it up.  It could be worse.  My H left for a deployment 9 days after our son was born. 

    BTW, just throwing this out there.  Your H isn't a pilot.  You aren't a pilot's wife.  Your H is about to enter training to become a pilot.  Don't put the horse before the cart.

    I understand why you are frustrated with the change in schedule. But let me tell you from experience, flight school is only the beginning. If your H graduates UPT you will have things like this happen ALL THE TIME. 

    Here are my thoughts: 1. Try to be happy that his training is actually getting pushed up - everyone should be so lucky

    2. Once training starts he will need your support to get through the long days, learn the checklists, memorize EPs and study on the weekends.

    3. Take comfort in the fact that some of your closest friends will come from this experience and that the spouse community is very tight-knit

    4. Everything you are going through right now has been survived by many others before you. Ask for help from the other spouses.

    5. Once he completes flight school you're in for another 8 years so the sooner you get used to it to the better.

     

  • image kristin2t:

    Honestly, I think a better question might be "does anyone else NOT have experiences like this?" I really bet every lady on here has a military related schedule horror story. Our most recent one was DH returned from his second tour and was to be home for at a minimum six months, and was sent back for his third tour before he had been home for even two months. Long enough for me to get pregnant and for him to miss everything.

     I'm really sorry you're going through this, sounds stressful, but you have to remember it's not personal. The military doesn't realize you have a family and mission comes first. Unfortunately they make us learn that over and over again. The only thing I try to do is have my sad day and then I laugh about it, because at this point, I can't really be surprised. Then, I lean on my friends and coach myself everyday to focus on the positive (like you said, he's still going to be with you, and your LO, maybe not as much as you wanted, but any time is good time in my book!)

     Hang in there, you will get through it, and then it will happen again, and you'll get through it again. 

    Very well worded. DH got deployment orders the weekend after finding out I was pregnant. He left when DD was 2 months old, and I had a lot of complications after delivery, so it sucked. I AM sympathetic, but the situation could be much worse.

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  • I know it sucks but you have to stay strong. When DH has a crummy scheduling conflict, I try to remind myself that someone has it worse.  It doesn't help everyone but it might.  Keep up the hard work and support for your hubby - he'll need it.  Try joining your bases/posts spousal support group.  They can help too. Good luck
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  • BTW DH is leaving again in 2 weeks. So, it sucks but get used to it.
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  • The only thing I have to say is SUCK IT UP and GET USED TO IT!  This is how the military works.  If you can't handle it, then you shouldn't have married a military man, period. 

    Let me give you my experience.  DH found out when I was 8 months pregnant that he had orders to Japan for one year. Guess when he was supposed to leave?  The day after my due date.  That gave him one month until his orders were supposed to be completed.  Fortunately, he was able to trade orders and stay, but it could have went another way completely.

    DH changed MOS's when he re-enlisted the first time.  He was told that he had a good month before he would leave for his training.  He got a call one day that said, "Pack your bags.  You're leaving next week."  That was an entire 3 weeks before he was supposed to leave.  He was gone for 4 months.  The day he returned and attached to his new unit, they said, "You can't take any leave. You need to get some training done because you're leaving for Iraq in 2 months."  Awesome.

    When he came home from his 7 month deployment, he left for Africa for a month.  He had only been home for maybe 2-3 months.  Six months after he returned from the deployment, he was sent to CA for 6 months for a support position.  We had 2 weeks notice.

    DH was gone for more than 2/3 of the time between February 2007-March 2009.  Does it suck, especially when you have a young child?  Absolutely.  Do you need to suck it up?  Absolutely.  The military isn't stealing away his time.  The military is requiring him to do the job he signed up for.  Get used to the long hours and short notices. 

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  • ames71ames71 member

    I really tried to be sympathetic, but man... seriously? Let's see... my husband left for this deployment when I was 8 or 9 weeks pregnant and he he'll be missing the majority of my first pregnancy, the birth of our first child, won't be here to help me recuperate afterwards or help with the baby, and won't be here for the first months of our son's life. Never once did I ever think of it as the military "stealing time away" from our life together. I was well aware that there would be sacrifices that would be made; just a few by me and many, many more by him. And it won't be the last time.

    I have to suggest to you that for the sake of your own happiness that you do what you can to stop looking at your husband's job with the military as something negative that's happening to you. It was a choice that was made to join and it entails a lot of sacrifice, a lot of missed big moments, holidays, birthdays, etc. It's sucks, but it's something that every other military family goes through. 

     

    ETA: This reads a little b!tchier than I meant it. I'm cranky tonight.

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  • image ames17:

    I really tried to be sympathetic, but man... seriously? Let's see... my husband left for this deployment when I was 8 or 9 weeks pregnant and he he'll be missing the majority of my first pregnancy, the birth of our first child, won't be here to help me recuperate afterwards or help with the baby, and won't be here for the first months of our son's life. Never once did I ever think of it as the military "stealing time away" from our life together. I was well aware that there would be sacrifices that would be made; just a few by me and many, many more by him. And it won't be the last time.

    I have to suggest to you that for the sake of your own happiness that you do what you can to stop looking at your husband's job with the military as something negative that's happening to you. It was a choice that was made to join and it entails a lot of sacrifice, a lot of missed big moments, holidays, birthdays, etc. It's sucks, but it's something that every other military family goes through. 

     

    ETA: This reads a little b!tchier than I meant it. I'm cranky tonight.

    This.  Dh also missed DS's first steps and his first birthday.  Lots of missed moments, but it is part of the package when you are a military family.

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  • I was going to let this go, but I just can't.

    The Air Force does not care about your christening plans.  They have to produce pilots to fight America's wars.  Pilot training is a very expensive production line, and they cannot let a class slot go unfilled.  So, if someone in the class ahead of your husband washes out, gets hurt, or quits, your husband may be rolled into that class...right now he's getting paid a full salary to do not a lot of work.

     The reason AF families are so close and have such a support system is because of the hardships they endure.  Please find a good support system so you can support your husband.  Many of the students who do poorly or washout do so because they are trying to balance family demands with pilot training.  His IPs will not be easy on him...they need to be confident enought in his flying abilities that he will not accidently kill himself or others.  Try to understand and enjoy the fact that despite the hours, you will see him every day.

  • Your DH is fulfilling his commitment he made to the USAF... Thats the military wife life, gotta keep rolling with the punches as they come at you... Just remember there are plenty of people that have it a lot worse then him just missing her christening and visiting with family.. So be thankful for what you have and that he will get to still come home and see you and his daughter grow, I don't want to sound rude but it is something that you signed up for when you agreed to be his wife..

    GL with your family situation

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  • First of all, thank you to those who actually gave me some encouragement and the "hang in there" response rather than the "suck it up" posts like most people wrote.

    Now for the rest of you- I wrote this post to vent- not to see who out there in Bumpie World has a harder life than me. Yes, this isn't the end of the world. Yes, having your husband deployed, working 12 hour+ days or whatever else makes your situation way worse than mine really, really sucks. BUT I put this out there not to say "My life is falling apart" or "Oh what will I do with my husband in training? I can't survive without him home at 5:00!" I just needed a place to vent about some scheduling switches and how it sucks and have some military wives commiserate with the fact that sometimes "Mission first" messes around with our lives.

    It wasn't a "beebee hissy fit" and I think if you're going to spend the time to write a post, then at least consider the person you're responding to and take a moment to think how you'd react if you were talking to them face to face. I would hope that most of you wouldn't have ranted like you did.

    Have a lovely night... Smile

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  • IlumineIlumine
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    image SMCbride2b:

    First of all, thank you to those who actually gave me some encouragement and the "hang in there" response rather than the "suck it up" posts like most people wrote.

    Now for the rest of you- I wrote this post to vent- not to see who out there in Bumpie World has a harder life than me. Yes, this isn't the end of the world. Yes, having your husband deployed, working 12 hour+ days or whatever else makes your situation way worse than mine really, really sucks. BUT I put this out there not to say "My life is falling apart" or "Oh what will I do with my husband in training? I can't survive without him home at 5:00!" I just needed a place to vent about some scheduling switches and how it sucks and have some military wives commiserate with the fact that sometimes "Mission first" messes around with our lives.

    It wasn't a "beebee hissy fit" and I think if you're going to spend the time to write a post, then at least consider the person you're responding to and take a moment to think how you'd react if you were talking to them face to face. I would hope that most of you wouldn't have ranted like you did.

    Have a lovely night... Smile

    First, I do understand the need to vent about life's curve balls.  It DOES help to get if off our chests.  So I am not gonna pounce on you.

    HOWEVER, I think you need to take your own advice "if you're going to spend the time to write a post, then at least consider the person you're responding to and take a moment to think how you'd react if you were talking to them face to face.

    Did YOU consider the people you were posting to? Did YOU consider how someone whose husband is deployed would feel when you posted your vent? 

    I am not saying, not to vent.  I am not saying to hold back your feelings from this board.  But I AM SAYING presentation matters. 

     

     

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  • IlumineIlumine
    Ninth Anniversary 2500 Comments 250 Answers 500 Love Its
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    And one other thing, that I think you MISSED from all of the "one-upmanships". 

    People were trying to give you perspective and to help you grown a much thicker skin - which you are going to need if you are going to be a military spouse. 

    The point is, missing a christening will become a NON-VENT worthy situation pretty darn soon.  So is moving by yourself is almost the norm (we all will do it once during our DH's military career) and having your training / deployments / life rescheduled a handful of times.

    Life is going to be very hard for you if you don't quickly progress past acceptance and on to an offense-type life.  Resentments will build up, kvetching will become annoying, and marriages will crumble.  And your child's life will be miserable (our children take our cues).

    So please take ALL of our responses for what they really are. 

     

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  • image SMCbride2b:

    It wasn't a "beebee hissy fit" and I think if you're going to spend the time to write a post, then at least consider the person you're responding to and take a moment to think how you'd react if you were talking to them face to face. I would hope that most of you wouldn't have ranted like you did.

    Have a lovely night... Smile

    If I met you in person and you were b*tching about this exact thing, I would look at you and say, "Suck it up!"  You're not even in the thick of it yet.  If you are already venting then I will assume that you will become a post wh*re in the coming months/years.

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  • I really think the OP was having a rough day and just needed to vent.  I don't think she meant to hurt anyone's feelings or say that she had the hardest life of any spouse.  We all have days where life seems harder than it is.  Some people just like to talk about it.
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  • You know what's great about pilot training?  Your husband is home almost every night.  From the time my husband commissioned, to the time he got his wings was 2.5 years.  He was gone on det for maybe 2.5 weeks that whole time.  While the training is very demanding at times, your husband is at home.

    A military wife needs to be flexible regardless of what her husband does.  Plans change and you have no choice, but to deal with it.  Sometimes it sucks A LOT, but that comes with the territory.

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  • ames71ames71 member
    image SMCbride2b:

    First of all, thank you to those who actually gave me some encouragement and the "hang in there" response rather than the "suck it up" posts like most people wrote.

    Now for the rest of you- I wrote this post to vent- not to see who out there in Bumpie World has a harder life than me. Yes, this isn't the end of the world. Yes, having your husband deployed, working 12 hour+ days or whatever else makes your situation way worse than mine really, really sucks. BUT I put this out there not to say "My life is falling apart" or "Oh what will I do with my husband in training? I can't survive without him home at 5:00!" I just needed a place to vent about some scheduling switches and how it sucks and have some military wives commiserate with the fact that sometimes "Mission first" messes around with our lives.

    It wasn't a "beebee hissy fit" and I think if you're going to spend the time to write a post, then at least consider the person you're responding to and take a moment to think how you'd react if you were talking to them face to face. I would hope that most of you wouldn't have ranted like you did.

    Have a lovely night... Smile

    I would have most certainly shown more sympathy if your post didn't have the tone that it did. I think we are all pretty empathetic when it comes to vents and very rarely do we compare our situations with each other. There's always someone who is in a tougher situation.

    It was the parts about the military expecting you to "roll over and say okay" and that you're being "jerked around" and having "time stolen" from your family that didn't sit right with me. None of those things are happening. No one is asking you to roll over?your husband is being told to fulfill his obligations. You're not being jerked around?time frames change all the time in the military. Not just for you and your family, but for everyone. My summer wedding turned into a courthouse wedding in January because of the same thing. And your time isn't being stolen from you. The fact is, you're GIVING it. Willingly. And it's not always easy, but you've got to start looking at things differently because you are just going to make it harder on yourself and your husband if your attitude doesn't change. 

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  • Ah, yes.  Big girl panties.  Suck it up.  It's his JOB.  Oh, yeah, well I had it way worse than you, honey.  

    So farking predictable.   

    I will never understand why these posts always turn into bitchy competitions of who has had it worse.  It's all relative.  I'm thankful that the military wives I know IRL would never respond like that no matter how petty the vent.  

    OP, it does suck.  It's OK for you to think that it sucks.  Its OK for you to think that people who tell you to suck it up are sucky.  

    I'm sorry you've been thrown for a  loop.  I would have felt the same way when DD was 4 weeks. It was nearly impossible for me to have a rational thought around that time. I hope Pennylane is right about the training process.  Maybe you can try to find out some more specifics so you can figure out how to adjust your plans.  I especially hope you can make arrangements with housing to lessen the stress.  Have you talked to housing since the change in plans?  

     

  • image cappyb13:

    Ah, yes.  Big girl panties.  Suck it up.  It's his JOB.  Oh, yeah, well I had it way worse than you, honey.  

    So farking predictable.   

    I will never understand why these posts always turn into bitchy competitions of who has had it worse.  It's all relative.  I'm thankful that the military wives I know IRL would never respond like that no matter how petty the vent.  

    OP, it does suck.  It's OK for you to think that it sucks.  Its OK for you to think that people who tell you to suck it up are sucky.  

    I'm sorry you've been thrown for a  loop.  I would have felt the same way when DD was 4 weeks. It was nearly impossible for me to have a rational thought around that time. I hope Pennylane is right about the training process.  Maybe you can try to find out some more specifics so you can figure out how to adjust your plans.  I especially hope you can make arrangements with housing to lessen the stress.  Have you talked to housing since the change in plans?  

     

    I totally agree with this reply.  DH and I have been married for 5 years, all of which he has spent in the Air Force.  You know what?  Sometimes they do jerk you around.  You know what else?  It sucks.  For me, it sucked just as much the 100th time as it did the 1st time.  And sometimes I need to complain about how much it sucks.  I hope I could get some sympathy for 2 seconds when I'm having a crappy day. 

    OP, I'm sorry the AF screwed up your plans.  I promise it will all work out.  On the plus side, as stressful as pilot training is for the whole family, we've never had a more closeknit group of friends than when DH was in pilot training.   

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  • hey there!

    I'm sorry you are so stressed out about everything going on with the AF- we are going through something semi similar right now and I completely feel your pain.  i would like to add in that never in my last 4 years of being a military wife has anyone ever told me to suck it up or put on my big girl panites when i need to vent....i only read about it on forums- so don't let them get you down.  Some people have nothing better to do.  I know many pilot's wives and I will say they are extremely close knit- they really take care of each other.  So though you are not looking forward to it- make the most out of training and meet some fantastic women who you will probably know for the next 8 + years!  I know it is hard to see the positive side but try to get excitied for it and I think you will find everything gets much better and your stress level will go down.  DH and I have one motto with the military...roll with it!

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  • yup. my DH is being forced to cross train into a new job.  the school doesn't end until 2 weeks after my due date.  he asked to move the school up so he wouldn't miss the birth of his first child, and they said they couldn't...the classes were full.  if it was a deployment, i'd be more understanding, but for this not so much.
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