We now have Walmart Grocery Delivery. I am so excited! Not only for myself but for all the parents with small children, going through a deployment, who loathe having to take their kids to the grocery store with them.
I have been there so many times. Put the baby in my baby carrier, put a toddler in the cart, hoping they won’t open anything, and make your older child walk beside you. Going to a grocery store with all your kids is a big chore. And it isn’t very fun.
But, thanks to modern life, you no longer have to if you don’t want to. Your spouse can be deployed for a year and you might never have to attempt the grocery store with kids the whole time they are gone.
This got me thinking, what else is different about being a military spouse today, versus in the past? What else has changed to make life a little easier for us? What should we celebrate, even in the midst of hard deployment days?
Communication has changed so much. Way back in World War II, the only way my grandparents communicated with each other was through letters on paper, sent across the ocean in the mail, only to be delivered weeks later. I have some of these letters and they really are so sweet to read, but just imagining that those letters were it, as far as communication went, is hard to wrap my mind around.
We can get frustrated when we can’t talk to our spouse all the time, but at least we can talk to them, on the phone, in real time. Or we can video chat. Or even send an email.
Even during my time as a military spouse things have changed. During our first two deployments, if my husband called, he called our house phone and would have to leave a message if I wasn’t home. These days, I basically carry him in my pocket if he is away from home.
And amazing as all this communication is, I think when we can’t communicate this way, we can get even more frustrated. We expect to talk every day, text every day, communicate every day, and when we can’t, that can be frustrating.
Try to remember how things used to be and how far we have come, even if you are going a few days without talking to your spouse.
Back in the day, you made friends in person. Only in person. If you moved somewhere new, you couldn’t join a community ahead of time online. There was no online.
When I was 16 years old, my dad came home with a free trial of CompuServe. This was my very first experience with the internet. Of being on a computer, and connecting with other, real people, in other parts of the country, and even the world. My mind was blown.
These days, I carry that technology in my pocket. I am closer to some friends I met online than to some of my family members, simply because of social media. If a friend moves away, we can still easily keep in touch, and I talk over text with my best friend all day long.
Social media has really changed everything and there is no turning back. And while there are some issues with social media in general, social media can help me make friends, stay connected with the people I care about and learn more about any subject I am interested in.
Social media is life changing, and for us military spouses, a way to really connect with others, in ways we otherwise might not be able to.
Military Spouse Culture
Military spouse culture has also changed over the years. You no longer have to be a stay at home mom, just because your spouse joined the military. You no longer have to fit in a specific box.
You can figure out ways to work on your own career while your spouse is working on theirs. While there is still so much that can be done, military spouse employment can still be a huge issue, we have come a long way.
In addition to the military spouse employment issues, military spouses are more diverse than they have ever been before. We don’t all fit into the same mold. Not every military spouse is a woman and not every military spouse is married to a man. There is no one way to be a military spouse, all that is required is to love a service member.
We can be nostalgic about the past, sometimes those years can seem so romantic or easier than our modern life, but there is something to the way technology has changed, and the way people are treated, that makes me excited to be a military spouse in today’s world.
Even in the 13 years I have been a military spouse, things have changed. Through the little things, my life has become a little bit easier. And that is something to be excited about.
What is your most favorite modern convenience when it comes to your military spouse life?