Army Wives- How to Avoid Becoming a Cliche

Army Wives- How to Avoid Becoming a Cliche

Moving every three years to another duty station is something we all have plenty of experience dealing with, packing up, and moving away from our friends, jobs, daily routines, etc.  But we can do a few things to ensure that we represent ourselves well and get the most out of every new assignment while developing lifelong friendships—military Spouses are always on the Move.

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Army Wives- How to Avoid Becoming a Cliche
No More Drama

Mary said it first– no more drama. Never expect that the first person you meet will be your best friend, your only friend, or won’t talk about you to her other friends. She may be your BFF for the tour, or she may just be the person who introduces you to your BFF for life.

Don’t get sucked into the middle of other spouses’ disputes, drama, or take sides. You don’t want to alienate anyone before you even get your HHGs.

Be skeptical of all the social media sites, especially the ones called the “Housewives of.” It’s been my experience that if there is drama online, that’s where you find it. If you don’t want people to know, don’t tell anyone except your mama. Think OPSEC for your personal life.

Do not gossip. Not only is it not lovely, but it’s also the fastest way to become the object of lousy juju or a nasty rumor. Think about it: if someone is willing to talk about their friends to you, they’re going to talk about you, too.

Military Spouses Have Fun

There are many activities for military spouses on base and in their communities. Do look for things you love, i.e., book clubs, FRG, PWOC, PTA, or running/ hiking clubs if you have a real interest. Otherwise don’t join because you probably won’t commit, and no one needs or wants that.

Take the time to attend the spouse’s orientations, hails, and farewells, language classes, free tours, and town halls. They usually disseminate valuable and useful information.

Posting questions on social media may or may not get you the correct information. Due to the “safety of anonymity,” sometimes the responses are less than polite or helpful.

Do accept help when it’s offered and extend a helping hand when you can. If someone is making an effort at friendship, don’t turn them down unless you want to shut them down forever.

If you are looking for a job, register at www.usajobs.org and schedule an appointment with ACS. Participating in all the above also helps you network, which is the key to finding the job you want.

Get Out There

The best way for military spouses to NOT get homesick is to stay busy—volunteer at the thrift store, Red Cross, or your child’s school. Take an MWR tour or class. Don’t sit on Facebook and whine (note I did not say wine) about how bored you are or how much you hate (insert name here). When my kids moaned about how tired they were, I responded with no; you’re just dull.

Get involved in the local celebrations, learn the customs, and a few words. It can go a long way in assimilating into your new community.

Get your driver’s license, a metro pass, or a bicycle, and go OFF POST. Do not spend the whole tour bouncing from one military base to another. Sure its more comfortable to shop online, but its more fun to buy in real-time.

Don’t Be Afraid to Go Beyond What You Know.

Make sure you keep an open mind. Try new foods and activities– leave your comfort zone at your last assignment. There’s a popular saying among the military family, “Your last assignment is always your favorite.”

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