“Dear Jo,” the email began. “Thanks so much for your help with military life but…”
Whenever I get emails from readers, I’m both totally excited and completely terrified. That’s because I take this site absolutely seriously. I know that there are real, life people who read it and every one of those people have real, life problems, real, life spouses, and real, life military lives. And so, whenever I hear from someone, I can’t help but be a little scared that I’ve left someone down.
I forced myself to keep reading.
“…but I was wondering if you could share some bloggers who are Reserves or National Guard spouses?”
I was thrilled. I had been thinking of a post like that for quite some time anyway, but just hadn’t had the time to put it together. Yes, I wrote back. I’ll get right to work.
Then, just a few days later, I received two more emails from different readers asking for Reserve and National Guard spouse blogs. (Great minds think alike, right? Or there’s something in the water… ;-) )
So, you got it, Reserve and National Guard spouses and significant others! We scoured the internet to find you bloggers who know exactly what you’re going through, looking forward to, and how life is for those who love someone following this particular career path and call.
Looking for some great resources that understand the unique nature of being a National Guard or Reserves spouse? Check out the blogs below, written by and for folks who’ve been in your shoes. (These are in no particular order; make sure that you visit them all!)
If you’ve ever felt your role as a Reserve or National Guard spouse isn’t really understood by the military or civilian communities, you’re not alone. Angela Caban, an Army National Guard wife, began the Homefront United Network to build a stronger connection between military and Reserve/National Guard communities while provide better resources for everyone. (Be sure to check out Guard Guide 101!) The blog is authored by a team and their posts cover a variety of categories, including mental health/wellness, career/education, and military kids/special needs.
As a National Guard wife and mom of three boys, Julie hit the nail on the head when she named her blog. But don’t let the name fool you–Julie’s rockin’ this milspouse thing! Her posts will give you insight on “surviving deployment, PCSing, and all things military life.” Before her husband transitioned to the National Guard, they were an Army family that spent time OCONUS, as well, so she knows both sides of he coin. Spend a moment checking out her useful resource: Duty Station Guest Posts. These posts let you learn about your next duty station through the experiences of those who’ve lived there. Plus, gain wisdom from her expert advice with Julie’s Guide to the First 30 Days of a Deployment.
Erika, the gal behind The Midwest Press, is married to an Army National Guard veteran and member of the Army Reserve. Erika helps you see marriage, deployment, family life, and the challenges of being a Reserve spouse through her eyes. (Erika used to write Chambanachik though, due to a technical accident, she retired this site and moved on to The Midwest Press. Be sure to check out some of her older yet relevant and heartfelt posts on Chambanachik, like When They Thank Him and Her Bravery.)
4. Mil-Spec Mom
Nila is an Army National Guard spouse and writes Mil-Spec Mom, a website about her life as a spouse and a weapons instructor. While most of her posts are about more tactical information like how to create a prepper binder or a review about gun holsters and her faith, she also writes about her experience as a spouse. This piece is educational and perfect for those of us who don’t live a National Guard life; and if you do, I think you’ll find yourself nodding along in agreement.
Rheanna lives it up a National Guard spouse in Washington, D.C. Her happy lifestyle blog is full of travel, fashion, and books… but she doesn’t forget her military roots either. With articles like 10 Resources Every National Guard Family Should Know and Why It Is Important to Share Your National Guard Story, she’s a blogger who advocates for her community as well as writes about it. And Rheanna has a National Guard-focused Facebook page for more information and resources, too.
Writing about faith, infertility, and military life, National Guard spouse Jessi is the face and name behind The Sheepdog Wife. While the blog has only been in existence for a few months, Jessi’s heartfelt posts are something that you’ll fall in love with. Check out her post about books that helped her through military life for some great–and unexpected– choices.
While this blog isn’t written by a Reserve or National Guard spouse (it is written by a current Air National Guardsman), it includes a lot of top-notch, quality financial information for Reserve and Guard families. You’ll have to do some hunting on the site for white you’re looking for since there isn’t a Guard- or Reserve-specific channel for this information. Here are a few examples of what you’ll find: How to Deduct Mileage and Travel Expenses for National Guard and Reserves Travel, Understanding Guard and Reserve Points – How to Earn Points, and How they Affect Your Retirement, and Can You Join the Guard or Reserves if You Have a VA Service-Connected Disability Rating?
The Military Guide is a wealth of knowledge for military families, including those who are Reserve and NG. The site is broken into a number of financial topics, and while you won’t find Reserve/National Guard as a heading, there are subcategories for those families like Guard & Reserve Retirement, where you can find the Reserve Retirement Calculator, a popular post for the site.
Articles and Books for Reserve and National Guard Spouses
While there aren’t a ton of Reserve and Guard spouse bloggers out there, there’s more when you look beyond just blogs. I’ve compiled some single articles and books that are out there so you don’t feel so alone. Because believe me, you aren’t.
- On the Military Wife and Mom: 7 Things No One Tells you About Being a National Guard Spouse –New National Guard spouses will be sure to appreciate the tips, tricks, and perspectives in this post.
- National Guard 101: A Handbook for Spouses- Based on her own experience, Corbett gives you authentic insight into how to walk the tightrope between military and civilian life that so many National Guard spouses find themselves on.
- On NextGen MilSpouse: What Being a Reserve Family is Really Like – “And then there are the little things we miss out on as a Reserve family…”
- On Military.com: Does the National Guard Make You an Outcast? – A National Guard significant other asks, “After a while, I found myself wondering: ‘Am I really a part of this community? Do I belong?'”
- On Military.com: 9 Myths About Reservist Life – If you’re a Reserve spouse, you’ve probably encountered these many times.
- On Military.com: What NOT to Say to National Guard Families – But like, can’t he just get out of the Guard or whatever?
- On MilitarySpouse.com: 10 Perks of the National Guard Spouse – Perks are always good!
- On MilitarySpouse.com: Top 5 Tips for Surviving a Deployment Away from a Base – Most Guard and Reserve spouses either know what this is like, or are getting ready to find out. Here’s help from someone who experienced it first-hand.
- On MilitaryOneClick: You Know You’re a National Guard Spouse When… – A humorous (and true) take one what it’s like to be an NG spouse
- On MilitaryOneClick: 15 Photos of What It’s Like to Be in the National Guard – Guardsmen take full focus in this photo essay about the daily realities of their work and lives