Listen. Let’s have a bit of real talk right now. There’s so much weird pressure when it comes to different things in the military. The military’s always been a little behind the times, a little old fashioned. (I don’t think I need to explain that.) But there’s a lot of unsaid (and sometimes spoken) pressure on what it means to be a military spouse. What we should (and shouldn’t) be doing. And honestly, I think most of it comes from ourselves.
So, ready? Here’s how you can really become an awesome milspouse. (And it has nothing to do with FRGs, tea parties, or what to wear at homecoming.)
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Make decisions that are best for your family
Geobaching. PCSing. Getting out. Staying in. Everyone has an opinion on it. If you don’t relocate to be with your partner, you’re a terrible person. If you do, you’re hurting your kids by ripping them away from their friends. No one knows your circumstances and no one has to live with those decisions except for you and your family. Period. No one else. No one else has to listen to your kids cry about missing their friends or their dad. No one else has to rebuild their career from the ground up… again. No one else has to spend a year alone wondering why on earth they said okay to re-uping one more time. To be the best military spouse, you just have to be part of making the best decisions for your family.
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Wear what you want to wear
Want to wear an Army shirt? Have one of those nametape bags? Got a dogtag that makes you feel close to your husband or wife? Cool. Wear it if it makes you comfortable. And if you don’t wear those things? That’s fine. Jam the haterz. You be you. Wear what makes you happy. And you know, within reason. Because the Commissary really does have a dress code.
Be kind and empathetic
You know first-hand how tough the military life can be. Extend a little bit of kindness and empathy to the people around you who need it. Offer to help someone who is on the Struggle Bus (and I can call it that since I’ve often driven said bus). And by the way, don’t shame people online– it’s not funny. It’s classless and mean.
Ask for help if you need it
You don’t have to do this alone. Ask for help when you need it and don’t be embarrassed. We’ve all been there. We’ve all struggled at one point or another. And anyone who says otherwise is either lying to your face or the most well-adjusted person ever.
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As a commuinty, we need you to be you. It doesn’t matter if you don’t fit into a mold that you think you should. It doesn’t matter if you’re not part of the FRG. Or if you have pink hair. Or if you love Country. Or if you have an Al Gore for President sticker stuck on your car. Or if you live, breathe, and sleep military. We need you, we need your personality, and we need your story as part of our story because you are enough.
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Let me repeat that: you are enough.