20 Reasons Why You Should Connect with Fellow MilSpouses at a New Duty Station
I’ve learned it the hard way. I thought that I could rely on my virtual network...
While they are amazing, supportive, and encouraging, there is nothing like having “in the flesh” real friends.
Here are 20 Reasons why you should connect with fellow milspouses not just virtually, but in person:
Military spouses need each other because we share common ground. We know the right things to say, the correct resources to reference, and the correct contact person.
We are welcoming and friendly. We know that being the “new kid” constantly is nerve wracking, because we’ve been there a time or two. (or three or four or five…)
New duty stations bring uncertainties and unwritten adventures, and a lot of time away from your spouse. MilSpouse friends are great for exploring new territory and trying new things.
What if there’s an emergency, you’re 800 miles from the nearest family member, and your spouse is deployed? What if you need to go to the hospital? Having a connection with a military spouse whom you are in contact with regularly is smart for frequent “check ins” if you’re not able to see each other in person regularly.
At some point, you will need help. Whether it’s sending your kids over to your friend’s house to give you a few hours to watch a movie by yourself, helping you change a tire, or having someone you trust to feed your dog while you go out of town for the weekend, trust me, you will need help.
Gilmore Girls binge sessions are more fun with real life in person friends.
I’m not sure about you, but I’m really good at getting lost on base. Having someone show you the ropes is helpful.
You can’t cry on the shoulder of a virtual network. Hugging a computer is kind of uncomfortable.
Deployment goes by much faster when you have friends to stay busy with, to pass the time.
Military spouses make great companions. Whether it’s a fitness buddy, a “Should I post this on social media” review, or “What would you do” talk, we give solid advice and provide a “safe space” to share.
We are extremely smart, motivated, and creative. There are several military spouse teams who have created successful businesses. You never know, you could meet your future business partner at your next duty station!
You need someone who can help celebrate victories of all sizes. (“The toddler used the potty!” “I got the job!” or “I was in an accident which totaled my car, made my way home with the toddler and dog, bought a new car, and did the annoying paperwork all while my husband was deployed!”)
You can learn something. I have found that everyone has something valuable to share with others. I have learned something from every person I have met. Whether it is something about myself, or a new outlook on life, everyone has something to offer.
Connections: your new friend may know someone who lives in your next duty station and can introduce you. This = common ground + easy friend matchmaking! Not to mention that connections come in handy for jobs!
Resources: If you’re like me, I find that navigating Tricare is confusing. It’s possible that a friend has gone through a similar situation and can help guide you.
Local tips: I bet there’s a military spouse who knows the “local” secrets, and can take you to places you should explore before PCS-ing to the next location.
Volunteer opportunities: Military spouses are expert volunteers and can help connect you with organizations who are looking for extra help. There are several available within the military community, and sometimes these opportunities can lead to full time jobs in the future.
Precious memories. Nobody else will understand your silly “awesomesaurus” jokes, driving home after Bikram yoga after a long day, or why you dressed up for Oktoberfest.
Lifetime friends. Military families go through so much. Throughout these experiences, good and bad, you make connections with folks you’ll know for a lifetime.
Sometimes virtual networks just can’t cut it. You can’t go running with a virtual network (well, you can, but you know what I mean). You can’t go to a museum, a musical, or a comedy show with a virtual network. You can’t get pedicures, do beach yoga, or enjoy an amazing sunset hike either.
Making new friends may seem scary, or perhaps it’s too hard to get out of the house with the kids, or you don’t have enough time. But trust me, you need to make the time. This is for you, and for your family.
Military Spouses are a special kind of folks, and we are experts in taking care of others. Especially other military spouses.