Published: June 27, 2022
Did you know that this phrase was first coined about a service member? Seriously. Edward J. Murphy was a major in the Air Force in the 1940s specializing in engineering. He was frequently faced with things that didn’t go to plan and as a result, one team member coined the phrase.
Fast forward to today, and almost every service member and military family are familiar with the concept. From PCS horror stories to deployment dilemmas, it seems like Murphy’s Law is a part of military life. And though it may be inevitable, most families have learned to go with the flow and laugh about the little missteps in life.
Meet Sarah and Kailey. They’ve been together for five years, moved three times with the military, and have had their fair share of “PCS setbacks.” Sarah (like Murphy) is an engineer in the Air Force. During their most recent move, they found their new mattress was somehow folded in half. So despite looking forward to getting some quality sleep in their new home, they spent several nights sleeping on the floor.
Despite the unimaginable setback — seriously, how do you fold a mattress — both Kailey and Sarah knew the best way to get through it was to be flexible with their expectations and laugh a little. “People assume that everything is taken care of because we are in the military community. That we’re financially secure or that we don’t deal with any hardships or are stressed out. That’s not the case, we deal with a lot, the only difference is we’re used to it, so it’s constant re-conforming to what’s happening. A lot of civilians aren’t aware of how many hoops we’re jumping through all the time just to stay resilient, happy, and healthy,” Kailey said.
According to the 2021 Military Family Lifestyle Survey, we know that 37% of active-duty spouse respondents report they don’t get enough sleep to function effectively. Besides a folded mattress, when asked what keeps them awake at night, Kailey said, “We’re getting ready to start a family, so we feel a bit of stress doing it in a different way than normal. Through foster care and adoption, there are additional things to keep in mind. It’s an overwhelming process itself [not considering] the military aspect. I lay awake at night thinking how is this going to work?”
After hearing about the hurdles that Sarah and Kailey have faced, Blue Star Families and Sleep Number joined forces again to honor the couple during Pride Month and support their health and well-being through better quality sleep. Military families may be experts in adjusting to their surroundings, but Sleep Number beds can do the same for your sleep experience — adjusting to your needs to ensure the best sleep possible.
Not only were they surprised with a brand new Sleep Number bed, but they can sleep well at night knowing that both organizations are there to support them at every stage in life. Sarah said, “We need the next generation of people who want to serve in the military to see themselves in this service. I’m proud to be a leader that’s openly a lesbian. Hopefully, young folks that want to serve can see themselves in our family and what we do. It’s so important to have someone like Sleep Number to support and accept you for yourself.”
Although they may seem busy in both their professional and personal lives, Sarah and Kailey understand the power of helping others, staying true to yourself, and showing up for your community. Sarah said it best, “Just be yourself, your story may not be for everyone, but be true to yourself. Serve, be a good person, stay authentic.”
So even though Murphy’s Law presents more headaches than we intend, it also teaches us to laugh and go with the flow. Maybe we should coin the term Sarah’s Law to remind us to serve one another and be kind to others — because when we do that, the good comes back around.