July is the month that celebrates the independence or our nation and it got me thinking about my independence in this military lifestyle I’m living. For the longest time we were called dependents. I no longer allow anyone to call me a dependent. I immediately respond with, “yes, I am a spouse.” They always look at me crazy and I look back at them and think “do you realize how independent I am?!”
Military spouses these days are a hybrid of what we used to be. We serve 24 hours, 7 days-a-week just like our spouses while wearing invisible uniforms and fighting quiet storms from day-to-day and year-to-year.
We are definitely not dependent, in fact there are so many things that make us independent as hybrid military spouses.
#1 We are entrepreneurs. More and more military spouses are starting small home-based businesses. They are focused on their talents and make them mobile to take wherever they move. I’m not only talking about businesses like Scentsy or Stella & Dot, although the money that can be made with these companies is amazing. I’m talking about how women have taken their craft or talent and created a business plan. Some of the women I have met have started tutoring, blogs, crafts, social media or fashion businesses and work them from the ground up while creating an income and building their portfolio.
#2 We are educated. With so many programs, scholarships and support for spouses to get their education like MYCAA and the use of the Post 911 GI Bill, we are more educated than ever before. There are so many opportunities for education. We are going to school, earning degrees or certificates and building our portfolios.
#3 We are single parenting in a dual-parent home. With the active-duty member constantly being deployed or TDY, it is left to us, the spouses, to handle all the child rearing. We wear so many different hats and still manage to hold it together and create a nurturing and supportive environment to raise our children.
#4 We are open-minded. Military spouses are the most open-minded group of woman you will ever meet. We are constantly meeting new people from different places with diverse backgrounds and cultures. We are always moving into new neighborhoods across the country and the world, learning to navigate and become a native of each community. Nothing surprises us and everything is amazing to us!
#5 We are genies. Dream of a MilSpouse? Just like I Dream of Genie, with a snap of a finger or a twitch of the nose we have to move and create a whole new household every 3 years or so. Packing, unpacking, hanging, organizing, creating that home for our family to come home to time after time. And each time, just like a genie, we disappear right back into our lamp until the next time.
We do this, all of this, while supporting our spouse and country. We are amazing women with unbelievable talent, knowledge and power that has manifested into today’s hybrid military spouse! We are independent. But that is just scraping the surface.
So, make sure to not only celebrate the United States’ independence, but also celebrate your independence this month. Take a moment to reflect on all the things you have accomplished and realize how so very exceptional YOU are.
About the Author:
Moni is a proud Puerto Rican Air Force Spouse and mother of 3 brilliant children, that has found time as a SAHM to finish her Bachelors in Public Relations. She has moved over 13 times as an Army brat and now an Air force MilSpouse. This has allowed her to see things from different views. During her husbands last deployment, she was inspired to write about her military lifestyle from a candid, sassy, bold and witty perspective. She hopes that by sharing her experiences that it will encourage other spouses to find their voice in this journey of constant change and uncertainty……all this has been accomplished with buckets of prayer, glasses of wine and a few colorful words.