I have been an Army wife for 8.5 years now. I have made many many friends over those years. Some of my Army wife friends and I will be friends forever. Even though we no longer live close. Facebook has helped me keep in contact with more people than I would have been able to do years ago. I get to keep up with their lives, see photos of their children growing older and be able to still know what is going on with them.
The hardest part of being at a new duty station is finding those friends. Where do you look? How do you do it?
I thought I would write about all the places I have made friends over the years.
- FRG- It can be nice to bond with other women whose husbands work with yours. They will be going through the same trainings and deployments. FRG has a stereotype of being filled with drama but I think it just depends. I have experienced great FRGs and not as great ones. It doesn’t hurt to go to a few meetings, especially when you first get to your duty station. The FRG was a huge part of my life when we were stationed in Germany. We met for coffee every Monday during the deployment. It was so nice to have that to start off a new week.
- PWOC- This stands for Protestant Women of the Chapel. A lot of places also have a similar group for Catholic women. They meet weekly at a chapel on post. There is usually time for fellowship, singing, food and then you break up into Bible studies. When we were in Germany, PWOC was such a huge part of my life. I was on the board several years in a row. I found the Bible studies to be exactly what I needed to get through my deployments. I also met some great woman who I still are connected with today.
- The Park- This is a simple way to meet people if you have kids. Just take them to the park and see who else is there. You might go to the park and be the only mom, you might not talk with anyone or you might find someone else you want to hang out with later. If nothing else, taking your kids to the park is good for your kids so you really haven’t lost anything even if you don’t meet anyone there.
- Playgroups- Playgroups can be another way to make friends. We had an amazing playgroup on post when my older two were younger. My kids enjoyed the playtime and I loved talking with the other Moms. A group of us even went on a trip with the USO together. And just like the park, even if you don’t meet anyone you click with, your kids will still have fun.
- Kid Activities-I met one of my best friends at my son’s swim lessons. We jut clicked. If your kids are involved in activities, you will probably be able to meet other moms that way. And usually your kids have something in common too.
- MOPS- If your duty station or city has a MOPS group, it can be a great way to meet new people. MOPS is great because your kids are able to go play with other kids and you get some Mommy time. You eat, listen to a speaker, make a craft and have time to get to know other moms going through what you might be going through.
- Book Club- Not all of the places I have met people involve my kids. There are other parts of me besides being a Mom and my kids are a little older now so I can spend more time without them. I do remember how hard it is when they are babies. A friend of mine started a book club two years ago. We are small but we really enjoy getting together and talking about books, tv shows or whatever. Some of us have kids and some of us don’t. It is a great mix.
- Bunco, scrapbooking, other types of activities-What do you enjoy doing? Look and see if there is a group for that. I have been able to go to Bunco and scrapbooking groups over the years. I enjoy those types of activities and it is great getting to know others that do too.