The Real Military Wives of Blogland

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


I think it's about time for another blog post! I actually just found out about this link-up a few hours ago thanks to posts by Chelsea and Katie (awesome milso blog friends) and decided to go and check it out! This is all about doing away with negative stereotypes you find with bloggers, and military spouses, and especially those who happen to be both. Yep, that's me! Here we are to share about ourselves, how we became military spouses, and something about milso's that others may not know, or something you wish they knew.

Don't know what those negative stereotypes are? Take anything found in this article - we are lazy, snobs, uneducated, entitled, wear our husbands rank, freeloaders, married just for benefits, unfaithful, etc..... This list goes on and on. Forget about all that! Sure, there may be some military wives out there who may fit that bill, but don't let the poor choices of one affect how you view all military wives. There is just something about meeting another military wife, where you can just pick up a conversation out of thin air, like you've known each other your whole life - that bond that comes in living this lifestyle with other couples (no one said it's ever going to be easy) - is hard to find anywhere else. The San Diego Milspouse Blogging Group that I see each month is living proof of that!

So without further adieu, Here is more about the real military wives of blogland:
Mal Smiles
 
First I'm asked to write about myself.
Let me see... My name is Katherine, and I blog here (obviously). I'm 21 and about to graduate in only a number of weeks with my Bachelor's in Education from Liberty University! I currently work at a Montessori preschool and make a lot of crafts on the side, so... I'm planning on starting an Etsy shop in the summer with my paintings (I'll start taking orders next month hopefully!), and probably getting a second job at somewhere like a bookstore. Trying to stay busy over here! (Also if I were to go for certification in California, it would take longer than the amount of time we have left to even live here... So much red tape at the districts here for out-of-state - Not worth the hassle!)
 
 
Next, our military story. Well, to understand you have to go a little bit back in time. I met Marshall my first week as a freshman in college at Texas A&M - he was a senior. He was also in the Corps of Cadets, an ROTC program (yet so much more) and was set to commission into the Marine Corps upon his August graduation. So I knew that, and we went on dating.. Then he proposed spring break, and we were married 2 days after he graduated/commissioned. Because of all that, he had to go to The Basic School in Virginia to learn how to become a Marine. We didn't get orders until the next March, so we just stayed busy living in a college town (we both worked 2 jobs each, and I finished another semester of school). We moved for TBS and were there for the summer, then Marshall received Logistics as his MOS (job), so we moved to North Carolina next for the fall. After MOS school we finally were able to move out to California, where we are now, for his duty station. We have been here for over a year and are now looking at options for what is next after his contract commitment has been met (because time flies!). So here we are!
 
 
What do I wish people knew about military spouses? Hmm... Lots of things. As I touched on earlier, there are a lot of negative stereotypes out there. Just want the benefits (tax-free shopping and Tricare), lazy and fat (I guess we eat bon bons all day in front of the TV), uneducated (apparently we are all high school dropouts who were too lazy to find real civilian jobs), and the list goes on. Not true, y'all! Sure, there may be some spouses who keep those stereotypes living, but not the majority of us.
 
Oh, two BIG things I've noticed: Others are wary of making friends or hiring spouses of those in the military. An employer sees a long resume of jobs in different places kept for months or maybe a year or two at a time, and they think - she sure can't hold a job. I've have many interviewers ask me flat out if my husband was military, and when/if I said yes, they politely asked me how long we will be living there, and then generally asked a few more unrelated questions, told me to leave, and never called me back. I have been to countless interviews, and it's hard to hold a job as a military spouse. Some places even feel that living somewhere for up to 3 years (general length for a duty station) is too short-term to be hired - I've been told that! Know that I understand that to some degree, but when a spouse needs a job, and you need an employee, there should be a willing-ness to take that risk, dependent upon the situation... But I digress. You can see that until finding the preschool I'm currently working at, I've had a lot of trouble in this area. But thankfully, the owner at the preschool was very understanding and wanted to be sure it worked out for the both of us. I love working there!


About making friends with others - it's all about perspective. You are definitely going to make friends with other military spouses who know the lifestyle and understand it - who are living life with you - than someone you know from work, or even your neighbors if you live in town. There's just something about that community and the network of military spouses - like instant-friends, where-ever you go! But one day the question is going to come up (question from a non-milso to a milso) - what do y'all do for a living, where do you live, why don't you have any family living nearby? I've dealt with this my whole life, moving every few years with my dad in the Army, and believe me, this whole making friends thing is just as relevant for spouses as it is with children. Everywhere we lived growing up I had at least one friend at school whose parent was also military - she is who always stuck by me. Same goes for now - It just so happens that all of my friends now are military spouses. Even with working at the public school or preschool, or even just meeting all the dog owners in our neighborhood at the park every summer night, I only hang out with and are true friends with other military spouses. It sure can happen, but it is a little more difficult to make friends with those who live the regular old civilian life (Not saying anything bad about that, but just saying it's a factor). The difference in lifestyles - moving, a big part of it - does play a factor in making friends and keeping friends. Like I said, the bond is that much greater with other military wives, because with friends who don't know the lifestyle, there is only so much you can actually talk about and relate to. (But don't lose hope, I do have a few "normal" friends back home who have been by my side for years! They understand this and didn't just back out because I grew up in this life and chose to marry my husband who also happened to commission into this life. It is possible! Just isn't that common from what I've seen/heard).
 
So for others who happen to have a chance to make friends with military spouses (or same goes for military kids) - don't hesitate! Because of this whole moving thing, we learn quick how to make friends, open up, and really much of the time would just appreciate someone to talk to! So in all, what do I wish people knew about being a military spouse? We sure can hold a job and a friendship, if you just give us a chance! Don't just brush us off because we live a different life than you. Probably the best at that friendship part - as a milso you learn to make friends where ever you go because you may not get that opportunity if you waited. Before you know it, your time at the duty station will be up and it would be a lot more fun in the process with friends to share it with! 
 
 

8 comments:

  1. During my job interviews (I had 4 and got 3 of the 4, which makes me think maybe this works) when asked about my moving or whatnot I just say I moved for a family member's job and it looks like we're going to be staying here (it's not their business how long, just like it's not their business how old you are or your marital status).
    I can SO relate to the part about non-milso friend-making! I thought I was paranoid at first. This is our first independent duty (not by a base) and when I meet non-milsos and they find out I'm a milso and we are/were only going to be here for 3 years, it's like they think, Oh- well I better not waste time getting to know her! This just recently dawned on me because even when we were only here one year, people kept asking if we were moving yet. Or every time certain non-milsos would see us they ALWAYS ask us when we're moving. Or they see us at a party and say, You're STILL here?
    Recently nosy neighbors I've never seen AND our LANDLORD have been coming by and emailing me about when we are moving. It's NOT their business! So, I unfriended a bunch of them on fb when we got orders so they wouldn't find out when we are leaving because they never really took the time to get to know us, yet they are always SO interested in WHEN and WHERE we are pcsing. I've decided that our next move, I'm just telling people we might be there til retirement (which could be true). So glad to see I'm not the only who realized this.

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  2. I love having other Military spouse friends. It makes this life a little easier knowing we can depend on others who have been through what we have been through.

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  3. It's so true what you said about getting jobs as a military spouse unfortunately. I love that you will be opening an Etsy shop soon---definitely will be a customer one of these days!

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  4. First off...I had no idea you were only 21!!!!!!!!!! You seem SO much more mature than most 21 year olds I know, and WAY more mature than I ever was at 21! Also, I have had an easier time making friends with other military spouses just because we had common ground that most spouses wouldn't understand. When we PCS'ed here to Massachusetts from Camp Pendleton where there is barely ANY military presence, it was really difficult for me to make friends! I really miss those connections I had when we lived in California!

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  5. Everything you said is SO true! At our last duty station I worked off base and somehow manged to become closest friends with a woman whose husband recently retired from the military, a current military wife, and a daughter of a retired military man. They were the ones I naturally bonded with, ti was crazy!

    I decided not to work at this duty station (for too many reasons to list) and I'm nervous about finding a job when we eventually get to our next place. I got lucky last time and found a temporary position that turned into a "why don't you just stay until you PCS" position.

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  6. Uh, that is my biggest fear when I turn in a resume! They look at how many different jobs I've held (usually for 3 years) and ask why I've moved so much. Grrrrr. I just say, "my husbands job", never mentioning the military. And when asked how long I'll be here, I just say, "for a while!" lol I hope you'll be at the blogger brunch on Saturday, I'd love to meet you! xo, Sarah @movingeastonwest

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  7. Thanks for sharing! It's so interesting to learn about military wives.

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  8. Love this post. My husband is working in logistics now (not his MOS) in Okinawa, Japan. We love it here! Also, I'm happy to see that, even though you love Texas, you're exploring your new home! I found you on the MILSO Blogger Directory and I'm glad that I did! Cheers!! :)

    Kassie
    www.markandkassie.com
    www.facebook.com/Mr.andMrs.O

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