If you follow me on Instagram you will know that it has been a really tough week, one bad day turned into another which turned into a bad chunk of days but I am out the other side of the storm, for now.
The countdown to RnR is definitely ON, it is so close I can almost smell it which is getting me though, I’m SO excited! I didn’t want to cry my way through writing this week so it’s a less emotional post this week about a subject which we ALL have an opinon on!
The military wife/partner/spouse community….
Through recent months I have been connected with lots of people who are just embarking on their journey into the military life and with social media I have seen from afar many of the stereotypes, peoples perceptions, in some cases the people who shout the loudest only get heard and it can be a somewhat intimidating nut to crack. I wanted to write a post of my experiences of meeting, living, socialising with military partners to hopefully put some minds at rest and potentially share some hints and tips of how to get the very best out of this community.
Firstly I was in the military when I started my military journey 18 years ago, I worked closely with lots of peoples husbands (and wives) and I went on tour, exercise, courses with them so I was the enemy from the start. I appreciate as a partner who has never served in the military there will always be a segment of military life you will never know about, that can bring uncertainty, I understand. It was hard though going to various events and being glared at, stared at, talked about especially when I really hadn’t done anything but be 17 years old, a new soldier and wearing uniform.
I now ALWAYS make an effort if I see someone that was in my shoes to be friendly and let them know there is no hostility
We got married and lived in our first quarter in Germany, some fond memories of meeting people here and I have blogged previously about the impact some of these women had on my early military life HERE there was a real sense of community and I was lucky I was embraced but I was still a serving soldier at this point so I wasn’t reliant on partners I had my serving friends.
We have lived on lots of military estates, in lots of places and I have never been one to launch myself head first into every group as soon as we move somewhere to make friends, I have never been in the clique that seems to exist in every military community but I have never desired to be. I have absolutely had bad experiences with some people of varying degrees for various reasons but that would happen in any community.
I have found a gem in EVERY place we have lived
- You aren’t always going to get on with everyone and that’s OK
- Join something you are interested in – exercise class, book club, wine club! you will meet like minded military partners
- Knock on your neighbours door or chat over the fence, the best of friendships I’ve made this way
- Have some friends outside your military community that are you staple, schools friends for example that are the same wherever you move
Just last week I invited a few local girls from my estate round to my house, I knew all of them for different reasons but none of them knew each other so we got together we drank wine and chatted and I smiled so much because to me THAT is what the military community is about, opening your door with love and warmth, it really isn’t about horrid social media groups and a strange partner hierarchy.
I only ever need a couple of military friends in my immediate daily life but it is important to have them for that cuppa you so need with someone who completely understands your life, it has taken me varying lengths at each postings to find them but I do always find those gems and they are very treasured. I stay in touch as much as I can as we move on too because those people mean something to me.
Outside of your immediate military community my eyes have been opened over the last couple of years to other military partner communities that are full of amazing people doing amazing things and I have draw on these and made friends, OK so we don’t live next door but we still support each other.
Military partners who inspire me;
Heledd started Recruit for Spouses at about the same time as I founded Little Troopers and this lady gives me so much strength, she’s doing amazing things in the military community and I have laughed and cried down the phone to her.
Over on Instagram is a huge amount of military partners who inspire me daily, all going through various challenges brought by military life and all supporting each other, I definitely suggest getting over there and following some of them to draw daily positivety.
There is a lovely group on Facebook for unaccompanied military families and the chat on there gives me so much warmth, lots of people comforting each other who are all in a similar situation, if this is you head to the group.
The amount of military spouses running small businesses blows my mind, amazing people creating amazing things and each time they move it can go with them. Forces Enterprise Network have a fab Facebook group you must join if this is you and a few ladies who have filled my heart with warmth recently are Stanley and Maud, Huggable Heroes, LolaRose Handmade Bows, Ginger Rainbow there’s loads more but it inspires me.
I feel lucky, I have lived in lots of different places, I have met so many people and I have a million memories. If our paths have crossed thank you, good or bad you will have taught me something and for that I will be grateful because it makes us the rich tapestry we are as we grow through our military journeys.