On Today’s episode, I sit down with Kaitlyn Law, a mother of two (with one on the way!) and a wife to a military man.
In this episode, Kaitlyn and I discuss what it’s like to marry military, the sacrifices that are required of it, and how to step out of your comfort zone.
I loved talking with Kaitlyn, and if you are married or engaged to military, this episode is for you.
Ann Losinski 0:00
Welcome Back to the Catholic Bride podcast today I’m joined by Kaitlyn Law. She is a mom to two with more than one on the way. She is a military spouse and is coming on the show today to tell us a little bit about her story, and what it’s like to be married to somebody in the military. Welcome to the show Kaitlin
Hi Ann, thank you I’m so happy to be here. For sure,
Ann Losinski 0:27
Why don’t we start with you just telling us a little bit about yourself and your background.
Yeah, absolutely. So, like you’ve said, my name is Kaitlyn I’m originally from Kansas. Born and raised Midwesterner. I grew up in the Kansas City area, and I actually went to Catholic school like kindergarten all the way through high school. And then I went to college at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, and it was there that I actually met my husband, who also grew up in Kansas, but grew up in Wichita, Kansas, which is about three hours away. And so we started dating actually my fresh well both of our freshman year of college. And it’s a long story but basically we ended up meeting in Florida, which is kind of funny in Orlando Florida at a SEEK conference, which is through focus. For those of you who know what FOCUS is. So we actually neither of us wanted to go on this conference, and we were convinced by separate focus missionaries to go we ended up meeting. We became very good friends and then ended up dating. Several months later on we dated all throughout college. And at the time he was in Army ROTC, and so that was how he started in the army in the military. After graduating. Well, so our senior year we got engaged, and then we both graduated we got married, a couple weeks. Two weeks after we graduated and then we actually moved to Georgia Fort Benning, Georgia, just a couple of weeks after that. And so it was a very, very rapid pace environment and it has been ever since. So, Nate, is born and raised Catholic as well. And it’s actually kind of cool we found out, as we were like preparing for our marriage prep that we actually were baptized in the same church. Just a couple weeks apart from each other soon after being born.
We were actually born in the same hospital in Kansas City, which is really crazy as well but we grew up three hours apart our entire lives and then. Yeah, very very cool so I’ll tell you what, if you’re looking for your spouse God has planned it from day one. So yeah, that’s just a little bit about myself. So we’re both in Kansas. After getting married, we moved to Fort Benning, Georgia, which is where he had his initial like officer training. And then after that, we actually moved to Fort Stewart Georgia which is near Savannah, Georgia. So it was only about a four hour, move from where we had been. And we were there for three years and we actually had both of our children in Savannah, Georgia, which is kind of cool. And then just right around a year ago, we moved from Savannah, Georgia, all the way to Fort Huachuca Arizona, which is actually like on the Mexico border so very different environments, and that was in the middle of COVID and all that so we got to move in the middle of the pandemic which is pretty crazy. and we only lived in Arizona for about five months, and then we actually moved again right before Christmas, the week before Christmas. Just of 2020, just this past year, and we actually moved back to Kansas so my husband’s currently stationed at Fort Riley, which is in Kansas and it’s only about an hour and a half, from both of our families now which is really exciting. Yeah, so we have had lots of moves, lots of change. Just within Nate and I are coming up on our five year wedding anniversary.
Just this upcoming baby so lots of change and big things within the very beginning of our marriage so it’s been very beautiful.
Ann Losinski 4:38
That is beautiful, that’s funny because I also met my husband officially at a Sikh conference. So did you guys bring people together.
Ann Losinski 4:49
That’s crazy. I didn’t know that. Yeah. So, I know you were talking a lot about moving around to different places, can we talk a little bit about that especially like that’s something that a lot of people struggle with, or like think about when they’re either preparing to get married to a spouse or military spouse, or have a military spouse, um, just like that process of like uprooting your family and moving to another place and maybe some of the difficult things about it but also some of the beautiful things about it.
Yeah, absolutely. So, as you mentioned, obviously there’s a lot of, I guess you could say like pain points or not so great things about it, just in regards to like technicalities and logistics. We have lived on post, so like on the military installation. Now for three of us for three of our moves, and then when we lived in the Savannah, Georgia area. And we actually lived off post and we bought a house. And the only reason we did that was because we were close enough to be able to go and like look at homes and go through that whole process, but I I know of military spouses who have bought homes unseen. And just everything you know is online now so I have spouses who have talked about that whole process and obviously it’s not super ideal, But, you know, based on what your family needs in regards to space and all of that sometimes you know you just kind of have to do what you got to do. And throughout the course of all of it though truly I feel like a it can be stressful, but when in doubt I feel like for our family specifically God has always provided for us. Very, very strongly, and just this past move actually we were coming from Arizona to Kansas. And we, it was a very short period of time that we had to figure out where specifically we were going to live.
And obviously when you’re looking at homes you know you’re considering finances. When you have. It’s different when you do and don’t have children but when you have children, you’re considering the schools that they’re going to be going to. And the education that they’re going to be getting. And so there’s just lots of different factors that go into where you want to physically live. And so my husband and I went back and forth, you know, should we live on post for these reasons, should we live off post for these reasons, and it’s very easy for us to get caught up in all the details on, and I remember saying very specifically in prayer, like, you know what I’m not God like I’m not gonna waste my time on this like I trust that you’re going to provide for us and I trust that you are going to clearly show us where we need to be.
And with in I kid you not within 24 hours. We actually got a call from the on post housing here at Fort Riley, telling us that they had, you know, this three bedroom home available for us if we wanted it. They sent us pictures of it and it was. It’s like the most beautiful housing that we have ever been offered. And it’s just very fitting for our family and what we need right now. And so we ended up accepting that, and God, 100% provided. And so that was a very beautiful experience for us, and just very also reassuring the fact that, you know, if we ask him to provide for us he is going to give us what we need and when we need it. So there’s lots of, of course details to regards to like having to change your address legally like through the postal system, and updating you know all your credit card information and your Amazon subscription and like all the things that you just kind of forget, oh wait I have all of this stuff shipped to my house now I need to change the address on it, and Nate and I have joked multiple times that we now have like four or five, because we use my parents address when we’re in the process of moving we use my parents addresses like a safe haven, any random stuff that we want to make sure we don’t get it doesn’t get lost. So we have like five addresses now in our heads and we have to make sure we put the rightone down when we’re updating things.
So, yeah, that’s just a little bit in regards to the logistic spot when in doubt we have the whole experience in and of itself, physically moving has just really taught us to trust. Being a military spouse too I feel like prior. I’ve always had a little bit more of an outgoing personality, but there was still this sense of, you know, you move somewhere and you make these really great friends and you develop these really amazing relationships. And then you move again and you have to start over. And that’s something that can be a little bit daunting, and it can be especially when you’re only living somewhere for like six months or less and you think to yourself when you get there you know is it worth the effort. Is it worth the time to invest in these people, when I know that I’m just going to move. And we learned very very quickly that it’s always worth it, it’s always worth the effort to put ourselves out there, because how else are we going to evangelize, you know how else are we going to spread God’s joy and his beauty with the people that surround us if we don’t put ourselves out there a little bit. And so just being a military spouse in general has forced me to come out of my comfort zone, but has also allowed me the opportunity to get to meet so many people that I would have never imagined that I would have had the opportunity to meet. I have friends who are living in Germany now friends who are moving to New York City who are in Savannah, Georgia who live in Arizona friends just all over the world, that our relationships will be able to have not only now and in the present but in the future too and it’s fun to watch all of these friends move different places, and to have, you know, these new places to be able to visit and to go see because of these friends that you develop. So, yeah, this military experience in general has just taught our family and they and I very much so how to trust that God always provides, and that he’s going to provide friends. Throughout the process that are going to love us as much as we love them and that he’s going to provide fellowship throughout all of this as well.
Ann Losinski 11:39
I was actually going to be my next question was about the community of people like, like how you build that. And that’s beautiful. How you mentioned that you have people all over the world, that you can connect with now that you wouldn’t have otherwise had to without being a military spouse and I think that’s like super beautiful and a super good reminder of God’s goodness, and it like that you can build these friendships up, even though you are moving around.
Yes. Yeah, um, and to answer it even more specifically, I mean I learned very quickly that the best place to start, especially for finding friends that we know are going to at least kind of be on the same page as us is just finding a church that we feel comfortable in very very early on, like the second, we get there we are trying to find a church community because it’s always so nice to have other people obviously that you know believe the same thing that you do, and just have that same kind of level moral ground. And we have just establish the best friends in that way but also truly living on post, and living on the military installations we feel like has been such an amazing opportunity for us to meet people, more quickly and more easily because everyone’s kind of in the same boat, like we all understand that if you want friends you just got to make them like there’s no you know just hiding behind your shell like you can do that but you’re not going to make friends. And so, military spouses, from what I’ve noticed so far and of course not everyone, but a lot of them tend to be fairly outgoing, they tend to be fairly straightforward. Because they. There’s no time to waste. You know, so, yeah, that’s something that I’ve learned very quickly and have really appreciated about the environment and about the people.
Ann Losinski 13:34
I think that’s like a super good reminder even for people that don’t aren’t like married to a military spouse that like putting yourself out there like that and they’re reminder that we are being more like straightforward and such because we don’t have like you don’t have time to waste and even just in life in general like you don’t know how much time you have to be able to invest in people so I think that’s a super good reminder for anybody, no matter who you are.
Yeah, absolutely. It is it is. And I think that is one of those things about, like you said just being a military spouse, that is very cool to see God, to see how God works in that way of just, it is a good reminder like we don’t know when our time will be over we don’t know when we’re not going to be able to have the opportunity to make friends like this. Um, so yeah. Why wait why waste your time.
Ann Losinski 14:28
For sure. Another question I had was in regards to like your relationship with your husband. Is it hard to be married to a military spouse because obviously I’m assuming he has all of these different obligations and things that he needs to take care of in regards to the military. Is there a difficult, difficult ness to that.
Yes, there, there absolutely is. And I mean Truthfully, I feel like the challenges of being a military spouse can Mir and be similar to any challenges that we face and any sort of regular marriage and relationship. I think it all comes down to just communication being able to communicate with one another. Very early on. Being a newly married couple. We both moved away from family we did not have family close to us was an 18 hour drive to any family, right after we got married. So we, in military spouses we learned very very quickly how to rely on each other, which is a little bit scary at first, because that’s married someone new, and you know you’re still kind of getting to know them, and you don’t have just like your parents house to go over to to like talk to or your friend’s house to go over and talk to you to them about things you know that come up in your relationship. But it was very beautiful because it really forced us to communicate with each other and to talk through, you know any fights that we had or misunderstandings or anything like that there was no excuse to just leave it unrested like it was always something that was discussed right away. And there was always a solution sooner than later. Because we have each other and we have to rely on each other so we need that relationship to be strong. I’m trying to think other things with complications, on any military spouse will agree with me on this it’s difficult at times, because our husbands are contracted to the military and so they have a lot of very strict rules that they have to follow. Just being a service member that not a lot of civilian spouses have to adhere to. We have a lot more restrictions as a family. My husband can’t just take off work, and go on a family vacation whenever he wants, especially right now with COVID, there’s a lot of very very strict rules, because obviously we want our servicemembers safe so that if something happens they can be ready to go, wherever they need to to serve our country. And so that in and of itself has also been hard as a spouse to accept the fact that not only, not only does my husband have to follow these rules, and of course I’m not contracted to the military I’m just a spouse. But in order for my husband to be able to follow those rules to the best of his ability as a spouse, I’ve got to be able to support him in that. And of course you don’t have to, as a spouse like I could do my own thing and travel and go wherever I wanted, but that would be me abandoning him and not supporting him in this role that he’s called to and God has called him to in his life right now.
So a lot of small sacrifices in regards to like physical freedom, and the things that we want to be able to just do whenever we want. But has also again I think really strengthened our relationship, and allowed us to rely more deeply on each other. In those circumstances, there’s times where my husband will have to be away for weeks or months on end for like training exercises.
And now, we’re very fortunate to be close to families, be able to see family and have them help in those times. But for the past five years we weren’t, and there were months where my husband would be gone and it would be me, taking care of our children and you know that’s hard. That’s a very physically, emotionally, spiritually draining thing for myself but also for my husband because he knows that that’s hard for me and obviously he’s, you know missing out on that opportunity with his own children. So that in and of itself is an experience that, again, causes us to communicate more and be able to talk through those things that we’re feeling, and those experiences that although we’re separate we’re still experiencing those things together in a way
Ann Losinski 19:18
that is that is beautiful how we see the positive light in it, and the fact that I feel like it would be really really hard to move away from family and to have that type of lifestyle but the fact that you looked at the positive light of it of seeing how can we communicate more and how can we grow more from this is would be very, very helpful in living that lifestyle. Yes, yes.
Yes, God has forced us very early on, to learn how to rely on each other and to communicate with one another. And it’s difficult but I feel very grateful for it too because otherwise, it may have taken us a little bit longer to figure out you know
Ann Losinski 20:02
for sure. So another question would be yet, how does this affect your children like how, how is it raising children as part of being a military family.
Yeah. So, you know, because there’s still so little, I can’t tell you 100% how it’s gonna affect them. I’ve been able to make friends who have older children who you can more apparently see the impact, or just like how it’s affected them. And I guess now that taught so Tommy’s three and Addie is one. And I feel like truthfully, it makes these children so much more resilient, which is like the best way for me to describe it, it makes them flexible, for sure. And I think. Truthfully, I feel like it makes them, maybe more outgoing or more personable than they would have been if they weren’t in this environment. Again, you know every child is so different and they all have their own personality. And they all cope in different ways with different changes. This past move when they’re really really little you don’t, they’re still really flexible because they don’t 100% know what’s going on, which we’ve been very fortunate that most of our moves have been with them so small, but this move, was the first time that Tommy had been in kind of like a daycare slash preschool and you’re in Arizona. And then we moved here and he started like a full time preschool. And when we got here. It was my first time really experiencing this idea of having to explain to him that like you know you’re not going to be going back to school with the same friends that you’ve been with. And of course you can only explain that to a certain extent to a three year old. And so, like he had several friends that he had made at his old school and going to his new school within the first couple days he kept asking me, you know, oh where so and so, who was like his best friend from school. And that for me was like, kind of hard for some mom to realize like, oh man, like this really is going to impact them and they’re going to have to learn to be flexible and to make friends more quickly than, you know, it would have been any other environment or any other kind of family lifestyle, I have friends who have talked about how they had, they’ve had children who between like first grade and fifth grade has been in like four different schools. And when I was first coming into this military lifestyle, before we even having children and I just thought to myself man like emotionally that’s got to be exhausting. And after talking with friends whose children have experienced it firsthand they were like, you know, it is hard and it’s not easy, but it really does. I feel like develop the children in a way that gives them. I don’t know a sense of sense of like responsibility but also just independence and resilience, and these personalities that will allow them to just kind of roll with the punches and be flexible and do what they need to. So, yeah, I hope that kind of answered your question.
Ann Losinski 23:33
Yeah, it does. Yeah, I can see how that would, it’s a different lifestyle than we were used to but it also, I would feel like crazy as kids that are like you said more outgoing and more able to adapt to different situations and new situations early on, especially because you continue to do it throughout their growing up period as long as you are part of the military. It keeps going on. So I’m assuming like. I think that’s very good for our children to have those experiences. And like we could see the blessings in that for them as well even though it is hard. There is good things that come out of it.
Ann Losinski 24:14
What advice would you have for women that are just just newly married women that are just starting out their journey as a military spouse.
I would say, I mean, ultimately you just have to trust. Ultimately you just truly have to trust that God is always going to provide you with what you need, where you need it. Um, I am very I love to plan. I love to be able to have a plan, and to like see it through, which is such a joke, being a military spouse, because our plans change very quickly, a lot of times and a lot of stuff is out of our control. And so, something I would suggest is, it’s okay to have a plan, but it’s also okay for it to not work out. And it’s okay to again like trust that God is going to put you where you need to be, and he’s going to give you people that you need to be the best version of yourself and to be the best spouse that you can be as well. 100% to always you know rely on your spouse, and to truly, truly, truly have the biggest line of communication with your spouse, I think that really is so important. Very early on, even if you’re just dating to have such an open line of communication with them is very very vital.
Ann Losinski 25:45
And what would you say would be the biggest way that you can support your husband and his like his job.
Yeah, that’s a great question. Um, so, I mean ultimately again being flexible, like when they come to you and they say, and this has happened to me when they say hey, we have to move in 10 days. Just saying. Okay, all right, like this is what we have to do so. How can I, what can I do to help you like what you know just being flexible in supporting them on, and when they say sorry. You know this vacation that we planned or this trip that we planned next weekend, we can’t go on it anymore. I’m not holding it against them, because, more than likely it’s not their fault. You know like more than like we this is something that’s coming from upper command and there’s a change in plans. And so to just be flexible, and to not resent them for things that they can’t control. So ultimately just supporting them in what they do and asking what you can do to support them best.
Ann Losinski 26:56
Yeah that’s such a good reminder to to that it’s not their fault and I feel like there would be a temptation there to resent them for continuing to like cancel plans and things but just to remind yourself that it’s not their fault. And this is what God has called us to do in this moment.
Yes, Yes, absolutely. It is. I just actually two days ago was talking to a military spouse, who’s a dear friend of mine who we actually were roommates in college on, and she ended up marrying military after I did, and she ended up actually having their first child while her husband was deployed, which was a very, very, you know, challenging experience for both of them. And I was talking to her, and was you know just asking her about that, and she said one of the biggest things she struggled with was resentment. And I think that’s a very very common thing that is a temptation for us as military spouses. When we’re in situations that we can’t control, and when we’re disappointed when things don’t turn out the way we planned. But again, like you said, and just remember that it is out of our control sometimes, and obviously like her husband didn’t want to miss the birth of his son. Um, but unfortunately that was God’s plan and that was God’s will for their family and her experience and what my friends went through and what her husband went through is something that she has been able to talk to me about, and even poach me as another fellow military spouse, and the potential of my husband being on when I’m taking care of my children, and talking to me about how to avoid resentment in these situations. So I you know we go through these experiences and they’re not fun, but we’ve go through them for a reason, and if we’re open to talking about them with other people, it can always help to.
Ann Losinski 28:56
That’s beautiful. And then, yeah, like you said, making sure to talk to other people about it, I think is super helpful and super beneficial especially people that you could relate to, like other military spouses would be very helpful. One other question. The last question I have for you, that is not really related to anything that we’ve been talking about. But I like to ask it to all my guests that come on the show is, what is your favorite Bible verse, and why.
Unknown Speaker 29:26
Oh gosh, one of my favorite Bible verses… One that really stands out to me and I can’t even remember where specifically in the Bible, it is which is terrible. It’s the phrase. He must increase, and I must decrease. And that is a phrase that has been very strong, just in my experience as a military spouse to remember that, like God must increase in all of these situations and I must crease, I must be willing to allow God’s plan to play out because his plan is always so much better than mine, ever is that he’s proved that to me from day one. So he must increase, I must decrease that verse. Yes, just a very it’s so simple and it’s so easy to remember. But there’s such a great impact from those words if we can just hold them in our hearts and keep them in the back of our mind, for sure.
Ann Losinski 30:53
Well thank you so much Kaitlyn for coming on the show today. If people want to reach out to you or. Where can I find you on the internet.
Yes, absolutely. Um, so people are absolutely more than welcome to always email me if they want to I’m so happy to talk to anyone. You can reach me at my email address, which is firstname.lastname@example.org, or you are more than welcome to actually follow me on Instagram and send me a message through Instagram I’m pretty quick to respond there, and it’s pretty much the same, it’s the at Caitlyn law two eight. So either way, feel free to send me a message I would love to answer any questions that you have. Awesome.
Ann Losinski 31:41
Well thank you so much Caitlin It has been a pleasure having you on the show today. Yes,
thank you so much and for inviting me it was great getting to talk with you.
Ann Losinski 31:48
And thank you everybody for tuning in today, and I will see you again on the next episode. God bless you.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai