Clickin' Moms

Where To Meet Army Wife Friends

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.Army Wife Friends
  • 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.

Where have you met some of your Military spouse friends?

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.

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