You may have a friend that is married to a person in the military, so here’s some things you should never say to a military spouse. I know these all by heart, because people say them to me all the time. Especially #1.
1. You must be great at packing! – Is this an actual compliment? Do you think I take pride in my packing abilities? Do you think I enjoy packing? I have had this said to me in some variation at least 200 times. I will never understand why people say this. I’ve even had people suggest I become a professional packer or moving consultant. Yes, I went to school and got a degree to become a packer. You complimenting my packing skills does not make me feel better about having to move again.
2. It must be so exciting to see the world! – Yes, that does sound exciting, but my husband has never been stationed outside of the United States. I have however moved all over the country. Mostly to desert like areas, where the air force owns the air spaces and nobody lives. That way no one can complain that the planes are to loud. Instead you should ask me, “Is it fun to live in the middle of nowhere? and “Is it true you get excited if you get to live in a town with a mall?”
3. If mom is happy everyone is happy. – This has been said to me several times by someone close to me. Talk about pressure on one person. Moving is stressful. Getting lost every time you leave the house is frustrating. Your kids reaction to stress is depressing. It is hard to just be happy at moments. Military spouses research their new locations and hit the ground running. I always made it a priority to get me kids some friends as fast as possible. If this meant sitting through mom groups where no one ever spoke to me, then that’s what I did.
4. I don’t know if I want my kids to make friends with your kids, because you are going to move away. – This is probably one of the statements that cut deepest. I’ve only had it said to me twice, but it always made me wonder are other people thinking the same thing. Ironically one of those people moved away before we did and they were not military.
5. Your life right now with your husband being deployed is no different then my wife taking care of things while I’m at work. – Where to even begin on this one. Your at work, my husband is deployed to a hazard zone. I went four days last week not hearing from him once. I went a month straight without one break from all three of my kids at the same time. Last year my husband was gone for 7.5 months. This year we consider ourselves lucky because he will only be gone for 4 months.
6. You choose to live far from your family, we could never do that. – What?! Your right when my husband was 17 years old and got accepted to the Air Force Academy we understood exactly what we were getting into. There are tons of bases in Texas and I really thought we would get stationed at one at some point near our family. Guess what? That never happened and it never gets easier living no where near family.