Clickin' Moms

Five Myths About Military Spouses

88888-959-J10_BG_ABHere is the thing about Military Spouses, we are not all the same. We come from different backgrounds and different places. We have different likes and dislikes. This post is all about some of the things people might assume about us and how we really are not all the same.

1) We are all Christians and go to church. There are Military spouses of every religion. I know there seems to be a lot of Christians and there are. I am one of them but there are also a lot of people who are not. I love talking about religion with people. I find it so fascinating. And I like that we are not all the same. We can teach each other things we have learned from our own faith and I find that really valuable, especially in a community with a lot of stressful situations going on.

2) We are all Republicans. A lot of the Military Community lean to the right politically, but we are not all Republicans. We all support the troops but we might see other topics really differently.

3) We all want to have children. There are so many Military children but not every Military spouse wants to be a mom. Some are waiting until after their husband is out of the Military and others are fine without never having children. There are also many spouses that want children and cannot have them. This can get hard when it comes to planning FRG events as some are really geared towards children and others are not. I have also heard that it can be hard to make friends on a Military post when you don’t have children.

4) We are all SAHMs or SAHWs. There are a lot of SAHMs in the Military world. That does not mean that everyone who is married to someone in the Military wants to be one. Some people have their own careers, others wish they could have a career but are unable to do so because of where they are currently living. It can be quite difficult to keep up your career when you have to move every few years. Some spouses are going to school. Some spouses have a college degree. Some plan to work once their spouse retires.

5) We can get through anything with a smile on our face. We are not always happy. We can’t be. Life gets rough sometimes. We need to vent. We get frustrated and we need to figure out how to get through whatever stressful situation we have to go through. We simply can’t be happy all the time. We can try to be positive but the reality is it isn’t always easy to keep a smile on your face 24/7.

Do you ever feel like you don’t fit in to the Military Spouse world?

How To Become a Military Spouse Blogger

It was 2009 and we were not quite done with our 2nd deployment. It was getting colder in Germany and I really didn’t have that many things to do besides taking care of the kids and the house. For a while I had wanted to become what I call a “public” blogger. I had been blogging since 2004 but up until that time it was just for friends and family. It was just little updates. Maybe just a couple of pictures. I did most of that before Facebook started getting popular. When I realized I was posting everything I already posted on Facebook, I didn’t really blog that way anymore.

I decided to start a Military spouse blog. I really didn’t know what I was doing. I posted about homecoming outfits and the end of the deployments. I then found other Military spouse blogs and left comments. I went on Twitter and started to connect with others that way too. Before I knew it I had a little following. A few months later I was asked if I wanted to giveaway a book for Military Spouses. Things just progressed and I eventually moved from Julie the Army Wife to Soldier’s Wife, Crazy Life which is now almost three years old.

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I love blogging and love that there is such a great Milspouse blogging community. We have all been through a lot of the same things and we can really help each other out.

So how does one become a Military Spouse Blogger?

  • Start a blog- This is obvious, you must start a blog. Now some Milspouse bloggers blog a lot about Military life. Others blog about everyday life that does include life as a Military spouse. The choice is up to on what to blog about. You can start a free blog on Blogger or WordPress. You can also go self-hosted which means you will have to pay a small hosting fee. You might also want a domain name. I have found if you wait for sales you can get them for $.99 for the first year.
  • Start writing- After you have set up your blog, you need to start writing. You don’t have to write everyday but if you want to get your name out there, you need to do it often. This is especially important when you first start out. Make a schedule for yourself and try to stick to it.
  • Comment on other Milspouse blogs- This is a really good way to get to know other Military spouses while you drive traffic to your own blog. Plus it is a lot of fun! Use a blog reader like Bloglovin to help keep track of them.
  • Being active on social media- Set up a Facebook and Twitter account to go along with your blog. Don’t just post blog links. Ask questions, make comments and talk with others. Don’t be shy about Retweeting things that you agree with or enjoy. Again, this is a really fun way to get to know others and create interest in your own blog.

If you have your own Milspouse blog or just started one, leave your link in the comments. I would love to stop by :)

 

 

Learning From Other Army Wives

It was 2006 and I was new to Germany and the Military life. My FRG leader was giving me a ride somewhere and she was talking about the upcoming ball that we were going to have. I was excited. I knew the Military had balls but to be able to go to one seemed like a dream. She told me about the food and what to expect. She went through the ceremony part of it. I learned a lot about the ball that day. The same FRG leader also told me what a deployment was like. She had been there and since I was new, I had no idea what to expect.

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The amazing thing about the Military community is that spouses help each other out. In my case, it has been the support and advice of the other Army wives that have come before me that has made this whole journey a little bit easier. They have been there to share about deployments and what they have done to get through them. They have shared parenting advice when my sons were so little and they knew what to expect because of having gone through it already. I watched as they prepared for a PCS back to the US before I did. I listened as they shared what worked and what didn’t.

Somewhere along the way things changed a bit. I went from the one really needing that advice to the one giving it. I was now the one who had been there. I would meet someone who had never gone through a deployment and was scared about communication. I could tell her how it has been for us and what to expect. I run into women who are at their first duty station. They have questions and I can help with that. I look at the moms with the little babies and I remember back when we were at that stage. I remember what it was like to be pregnant, with a two year and have to say goodbye to your husband for while. I have been in their shoes and can offer my support.

Even though I am now at a place to offer advice, I still might need some for myself for what is ahead. In our case, hearing stories from those who have gotten out of the Army if very helpful. For others, hearing about life as an E-7 or E-8 wife might help them better understand what to expect when their husband gets to that level. Hearing stories from the wives of retired soldiers can help prepare those for that important transition.

The point is, we as Military spouses can all help each other out. No matter what hardship you might be going through, someone else has probably gone through it before. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and try to help others out that might need it. There is something comforting about knowing you are not the first person to go through a specific situation. It is also nice to be prepared for the life ahead, especially during the first few months or years of Military life when you really don’t know what to expect.

Bloom Where You Are Stationed

“I hate it here.”

“We just got orders there and I am scared. I have only heard bad things.”

“I really don’t want to leave here and have to move there. It is the worst place we could go.”

“I really just want the next three years to pass quickly so we can move somewhere else.”

“This place is so boring. There is nothing to do here. I hate it.”

Have you heard people say things like that before? Maybe it was you? I am not going to lie. I was so ready to leave Germany after we had been there a few years. That was hard for me. Very hard. And it was Germany. A place many people would LOVE to go and who never want to leave.

It was the end of 2007. I was standing outside a bookstore with my Mother-in-law in California during our post-deployment vacation. “I don’t want to go back to Germany. I really really don’t” I told her. And I didn’t. I just wasn’t excited about it. I knew another deployment was coming and didn’t want to be over there anymore. However, my husband still have a few years left before we would move back to the US.

I did what you have to do as a Military Spouse, I sucked it up and got on the airplane and we went back “home” to Germany.

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A few months later, we moved to a different duty station. Our housing was a lot better. So much so that I cried happy tears when I walked into our new home. But still, I was missing the US and just wanted to be back there. I didn’t want to still be in Germany. Then I bought a new camera. I started taking pictures everyday and started really noticing where I was. From the trees to the flowers to the old buildings. I was in a magical land. I needed to take advantage of it.

Things being what they were, having two little kids, I wasn’t going to be able to travel every week or even all that often. But I could put them in the stroller and walk around my village. I could walk them around town and into the country a little bit. So that is what I did. One Sunday my husband had to work so I decided to take them for a long walk. It took us five hours there and back but it was amazing. We passed by forests, rivers, fields, apple trees, sheep and old buildings. I doubt my kids remember that walk but I know I always will.

So, if you are feeling like you are hating your current duty station, maybe it it is time to change things up? Grab your camera, grab a friend or just go and explore. You never know what you might encounter. Remember that once you leave, you might never be able to return. Try to find the positives in where you live, even if they are well hidden. Of course some places are easier to do this than others. I really do think if you try, you can find something good about every place you might live. And really, it isn’t fun to be living in a place you hate. So finding some good in a place like that just might make life there a little more pleasant.

Have you ever lived somewhere you couldn’t stand? What did you do about it?

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