Do you remember the good old days when finding a friend was easy? It was as simple as:
- You like dolls? So do I!
- We have the same math teacher? Perfect!
- You want to take shots and dance? Here, borrow my tube top!
Somewhere along the road, something changed. You became a milspouse and a mom (in no particular order), and with it, the stork and Uncle Sam delivered a whole new bag of friendship hurdles. Whether you want to admit it or not, finding milspouse mom friends isn’t always child’s play.
What Milspouse Moms Face
Here are seven challenges that milspouse moms of young children face when seeking friends:
- You’re always moving. Just when you find your match it seems that orders to a new duty station are soon to follow. Sigh…time to start over and bloom where you’re planted. Again.
- You live on base and she doesn’t. It’s almost embarrassing to admit, but with small children, proximity is key. Being able to meet at the neighborhood playground in the blink of an eye is a plus. If you are within walking distance that is a bonus — no one wants to deal with car seats if they don’t have to.
- Nap schedules conflict. Everything is a dream minus her kids nap twice a day and yours nap only once. Or hers sleep in the morning and yours sleep in the afternoon. Playdates seem an impossibility to schedule, which is too bad — you thought you really had something here.
- You stick to a schedule and she doesn’t. Sure, once upon a time a wild, flexible and spontaneous friend was a plus, but now with little ones, your schedule is golden. Perhaps you can look her up when you’re ready for a girls’ night out. She’d be perfect in that capacity, wouldn’t she? Maybe once your baby stops refusing a bottle…
- She wasn’t ready for kids and still hasn’t adjusted. Not every baby was planned, not every spouse is supportive and some moms are just miserable. If you’ve tried to be supportive and helpful, but she is always a Negative Nancy, perhaps it is time to move on because you don’t need the energy drain.
- The moms click, the kids don’t. This is a tough one. You’re putting yourself out there, going to ACS playgroups, hitting the playground and desperately trying to make friends. You find a great potential, but your kids just don’t work. You feel like soul sisters but your littles always clash and you spend your time constantly intervening. You’d like to tell yourself that perhaps some day, some way, but by then, one of you will have PCS’d.
- She’s great in every way but…This one is the hardest to swallow and the most difficult to articulate. Underneath she’s a cool chick, but you don’t see eye-to-eye on a single parenting issue. Not a one. Before children, you could have been the best of friends, but now things are different. It shouldn’t matter, but it does. You wish her good luck on her friendship quest and know that for both of you, the right one is out there.
Words of Hope
I typically write pieces with a positive spin and a helpful angle but acknowledge that sometimes it feels the odds are stacked against us. Just because it is tough to frequently move, put yourself out there (especially if you’re an introvert) and meet new people, doesn’t mean the task is insurmountable.
Before you know it, if you give it enough time and effort, and a dose of hope mixed with positivity, you will find your friends. I’m talking milspouses who won’t care if your hair is a mess, that you haven’t slept, that you’re in yesterday’s makeup or that your house looks like a disaster area. She is out there, is like you, and may be reading this right now, hoping she’ll meet you soon too.
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