Last week my husband and I attended an annual military family mandatory fun party. This party included a meal, live entertainment, and of course, a bouncy house for the kids.
Secretly, I was dreading it.
As a military spouse, I should be more enthusiastic about these “family fun nights,” but often times we get there, spend the entire time chasing after our two littles, and return home exhausted.
By the time we left the event, we accomplished 5 things:
- A back ache from bouncing a crying baby.
- Two bites of a meal, while standing up.
- Sweating from chasing around a toddler.
- Socializing with almost no one.
- Driving home exhausted.
I was telling a friend about this ridiculous fiasco of attempting to enjoy a mandatory fun party, and that’s when I told her the one thing I’d been holding back…
I’m terrible at being a military spouse.
I don’t volunteer as much as I should with the Family Readiness Group. I don’t bake cookies, organize social luncheons, or run the summer beach bash among the spouses.
I confess there are many times when I roll my eyes at a mandatory fun event on the schedule. I don’t organize mommy workouts or spouses’ coffees.
I can’t memorize military acronyms to save my life. I even forget the ranks of service members I meet.
When my service member tells me a “work story” I struggle to follow along. I’m not always understanding and patient when the military makes big decisions for our family (like moving overseas).
I struggle with resentment during deployment, and I struggle with adjusting when he returns home. I struggle with preparing the perfect homecoming and all of it overwhelms me and I end up doing nothing at all.
I am the spouse who misses her service member’s phone call from time to time because her phone was on silent. I am the spouse who forgets the print off the PCS checklist until a week before the move.
I am the spouse who can’t find the power of attorney in the moment it’s needed most.
I am the spouse who struggles to make military spouse friends with each duty station move. I am the spouse who doesn’t have her career figured out.
I am the spouse who never knows what to wear to a military ball.
I am the spouse oblivious to the military discounts and special programs available. I am the spouse who is terrible at being a military spouse.
I’m not an expert.
I am not seasoned or advanced.
I am simply a regular spouse, who enjoys Netflix, yoga pants and wine. I like hanging out with my friends—military spouse and civilian spouses alike.
I like to travel and try new things. I love seeing people smile each day. And I have a tendency to drink way too much coffee in the morning.
I appreciate a good cry from time to time. I even keep my mom on speed dial and I’m not ashamed to say it.
Most of my outfits are just some combination of jeans and a t-shirt. And I see going to the gym as an excellent excuse to wear my comfy gym clothes all day long.
I am independent, strong-willed and laid-back all in the same breath. I love and adore my service member more than anyone will ever know.
I am a regular, everyday spouse who just happened to become a military spouse.
I am not an expert.
I am not season or advanced.
I am simply a military spouse finding her way.
Want more on military life?
- The Real Reason Being a Military Wife is So Hard
- 3 Telltale Signs You’re Friends With an Awesome Military Spouse
- I Married “Old” in Military Life and I’m So Glad I Waited
- 10 Things Military Spouses Won’t Tell You About Deployment