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Often times I find myself saying “I HATE the Army.” Honestly, I can’t think of a single spouse that hasn’t had at least one of those moments. You’re by yourself, the dishwasher breaks, you can’t go on that vacation because leave time doesn’t line up, you spent your anniversary alone, again. The list goes on and on. But there are some pretty badass things about milspouse life, too. Seriously, these are the absolute best parts of this crazy milspouse life.
Best Parts of Milspouse Life #1: Just Call Me Ms. Independent
Ok, do I love being alone? Obviously not. I mean, I married Mr. CrazyMilspouse because I like him and want to hang out forever with him. Which is hard to do when he’s deployed or on training exercises.
Flip side? I’m awesome at doing things by myself. I can change a tire, lay porcelain tile, move pallets of hardwood flooring. You name it, I’ve at least attempted it once. I’m pretty confident in myself. And I sure as heck wasn’t always that way. The Army made me that way. The last thing that I would want is to get a call from Afghanistan and have to explain that I paid for towing for a FLAT TIRE. We aren’t made of money and that just sounds so pathetic. I’ve also never wanted Steve to worry unnecessarily while he’s gone. He’s got bigger things to think about than how the guest bath needs regrouting.
Best Parts of Milspouse Life #2: My MilFam is Seriously Top Notch
It’s awesome to have friends. I love going home for a visit and hanging out with people my husband and I’ve known since childhood.
MilFam is on a different level. When you find people you click with immediately, you hold on for dear life. At our last duty station I met two women who’ll always be in my life. They started out as typical unit friends, their husbands were in my husband’s company. We were the leadership wives and often forced together. But it quickly became so much more. In a blink of an eye we began picking each other’s kids up from school and after care, cooking communal meals during deployment, and taking long walks with the strollers.
When the company deployed our friendship kicked into overdrive. I was pregnant and knew that I would deliver without Steve. My mom came into town but she needed to stay overnight with our oldest. But I wasn’t ever alone. Yup, you guessed it. They took turns watching their kids and being with me in the hospital. Flipped me rotisserie style when my epidural settled into one side of my body and even rubbed my feet. When the big moment arrived, she held the iPad so Steve could Skype in. Hell, she even cut my umbilical cord and did the dad follow the baby thing for me.
Ain’t no ladies like the ones I got. (Did you just sing that in your head? No? Ok, I’m old.)
Best Parts of Milspouse Life #3: 10 Years Later and My Husband is Still a Fox
I know, I know… I shouldn’t objectify the father of my children. Whatever. He was hot in his 20s and his 30s are shaping up to be just as good. Daily PT and a “lead from the front” mentality means that my Ranger looks badass in his panties (the smallest shorts of all time).
Are there people in the military that are overweight or just soft around the edges? Sure, but my husband isn’t one of them and for the most part, neither are any of my friend’s husbands. Y’all can keep your “dad bods”.
Best Parts of Milspouse Life #4: I’ve Got Friends EVERYWHERE
Moving sucks. We leave behind friends, homes, and activities that we love every few years (or months). But remember that badass milfam I mentioned in #2? There’s always some branch of the family tree at the next installation.
Even now, when we’re at an independent duty assignment, we have very good friends stationed within driving distance. The Army may be the biggest of the service branches… but man, is it small!
Best Parts of Milspouse Life #5: You Get to Do Things Your Way
The first Christmas after I became Mrs. CrazyMilspouse I faced one of the not so pleasant realities of milspouse life. My husband’s unit was on a 30 minute recall which meant that we pretty much couldn’t even drive to the next town over, let alone fly cross-country to be with our families for the holidays. At first, I was super bummed.
But there was a big, sparkly silver lining to this news. We got to experience a major holiday without any expectations. We created our own traditions. We did it our way. If we’d travelled home we’d have slept in our childhood bedrooms and ran all over town visiting. Instead, we got our first tree, I decorated our house, and I cooked my first major meal.
Since that experience, we often choose to not go home for the holidays. We haven’t been home for a single Thanksgiving since and only some of the Christmases. I highly recommend trying it at least once.
What’s your favorite part of milspouse life? If you’re not a milspouse, which of these things are you missing out on in civilian life? Or does it still seem not worth it? (PS I totally think it is)