Does it feel like every other military spouse you know is doing something that you have no desire to do? Do you ever feel lost in a sea of other spouses? Sometimes we can get stuck thinking something is wrong with us if we are not military spousing like other people are. But the truth is, we should military spouse the way that works best for us, not everyone else. You be you.
Here are seven things you don’t have to do even if other military spouses are doing them:
1. Shop at the Commissary and PX/BX on a regular basis
When we lived in Germany, shopping at the Commissary and PX was a must if we wanted anything American. In the states, things are a little different. Unless your duty station is in the middle of nowhere, there are a lot of other stores in your city to get the same type of things you can find at the Commissary and PX/BX. You don’t have to shop at these places if other stores work better for you.
2. Drink wine
While it might seem like every other military spouse out there is drinking wine on a regular basis, I assure you they are not. Some spouses don’t drink at all. Some only do when they go out with their friends. “Drinking wine” has turned into a phrase that simply means, “letting loose and trying to relax.”
3. Live on post/base
We have lived on post, in government leased housing, and off post/base in our own home. If my husband was active duty, I think I would want to try living on post again. There are so many pros and cons to each decision based on where you are and what you want for your family. If on post/base doesn’t work for you, living off can be the right choice.
4. Be a SAHM
One of the stereotypes about military spouses is that they don’t work. But in real life, the military spouse world is made up of SAHMs, WAHMs, moms who work outside the home, and moms who also serve. While there are a lot of SAHMs in the military world, there are plenty of spouses who are working in a career or going to school to do so. And if you do want to be a SAHM, that is good too. There are so many reasons, and even seasons when being a SAHM is what makes sense for your family.
5. Send a lot of care packages
Care packages are a lot of fun and can be an excellent way to connect with your spouse overseas, but if they are not something that works for you and your spouse, don’t feel like you have to do them. For my husband, I usually would send him a care package when he would ask for something specific verses on a regular basis. If you are the type, who loves to send care packages, have fun and enjoy making them.
6. Hate the military
Sometimes I hate the military. Sometimes I love the military. It just depends on the day. If you don’t hate the military, that is okay. Not everyone does. And whether you hate the military or not might just depend on the year.
7. Hate your duty station
There are some duty stations that are more popular than others. Sometimes hating these not so popular places is the thing to do. You find out you are going there and everyone tells you how awful that place is. However, some people love unpopular duty stations. Maybe they just bloom where they are stationed; maybe the place just fits their personality. Whatever the reason, if you like your duty station, that is fine. Don’t let negative talk about the place get to you.
What would you add to this list?