As a military spouse of almost two years now, I have come to learn a lot about the MilSpouse life. There are some things that I know too well... and other military spouses definitely know just as well.
1. Tripping over your SO's boots.
Ah yes, the glorious military boots. You will trip over these AT LEAST once. And it sucks.
2. "Do you want the good news first or the bad news first."
Something you'll hear at least once. Sometimes the bad news actually sucks, but sometimes it's not as bad as you thought it would be. Regardless, it gets your nerves and anxiety up.
3. The stresses of a PCS.
Moving with the military is stressful as is, just try doing it during a pandemic. It sucks.
4. CDC and housing waitlists.
If you have a kid, you probably know that the waitlist for childcare is usually long. Like months to a year long in some places at certain times (currently hoping my son gets a spot before my school year starts). Same goes for housing, it seems like a lot of people have to live out of a hotel for a while or resort to off-base housing if the waitlist is super long.
5. Tricare is not actually that great.
OK so some people have good experiences with Tricare, but there's a reason I have a different insurance as my primary. If you're a milspouse, you already know the jokes around military doctors. Also when it's time to change from prime to select and vice versa, just expect to call Tricare at least 5 times or be on hold for at least an hour. Oh one more thing, get ready for fight for a referral for anything.
6. Military spouse groups and the drama.
It's beneficial to be in military spouse groups, BUT drama breaks out sometimes. Whether you get chewed out for a genuine question others think is stupid (been there) or someone else gets chewed out or called out. Just be aware it will happen, to you or to someone else. The ladies love drama...
7. Military housing is hit or miss.
I haven't personally experienced military housing (almost did), but it really sounds like it can be hit or miss. At my husband's current duty station, the housing situation is awful. At other bases around, I only hear good things. I think it really depends on the management company and the branch.
8. The term "dependa."
You will quickly learn what a dependa is. Some people will say it and call you it as a joke, but you'll know a real dependa when you see one. You may hear them complain that the gate guard didn't salute them, or get mad over the fact someone didn't address them by their SO's rank. Here's a link to a YouTube video to help you understand...if you need it.
9. Having to change plans because of your SO's schedule.
Have a date night planned? Nope, he has to stay late. Have an appointment to get to and need him home to watch the kids? Nope, sorry, reschedule.
10. Military Branch nicknames.
Each branch has a specific nickname given to them. For example, Air Force is the "Chair Force," the Coast Guard is the "Puddle Pirates," etc.
11. Your SO having 24-hour shifts.
24-hour shifts, like CQ or staff duty, can either be a nice little break from your SO or the longest 24-hours of your life. Especially if you have a kid. It really sucks when your SO happens to be assigned to them, ahead of time or last minute, multiple times in a week or in a month. They also come home grumpy usually...
12. Washing their uniform.
One of the scariest things is washing your SO's uniform. I constantly check multiple times to make sure I got all the papers and pens out of the pockets. Also, it sucks cleaning them after they've sweat in it all week or right after going to the field. One word: Smelly.
13. Saying goodbye to a friend that is PCSing.
It's always sad to say goodbye to friends when they're moving away to a new duty station and vice versa.
14. Don't even think about speeding on base.
Rule No. 1: Do not speed on base. MPs and SF will pull you over for 1 mph over. Just don't do it, you don't want that ticket.
15. FRG meetings.
There's two types of MilSpouses: ones that like FRG meetings, ones that hate FRG meetings. Personally, I'm on the hate side. I just feel like it's info I can find out via email or a Facebook page post. I mean, we've gone through the pandemic with no FRG meetings, which has proven they aren't needed. If anything, they shouldn't be mandatory.
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