A couple of weeks back, Andi from SpouseBuzz posted a reader e-mail about military support for childfree couples. Having been childfree for 5 years of marriage, three of which as a MilSpouse, I can empathize.
That got me thinking. Anecdotally (no, I haven’t done a study), MilSpouses seem more reluctant than civilian parents to leave the kids at home. Why?
Now that I’m a mom, I’ve come up with a couple of theories.
1. Money: As they say, we ain’t in it for the money. Duty and honor may be priceless, but they don’t pay so well, either.
2. Family: Mine’s in New York. The friends here I trust mostly have small kids, too. Those who do not…well…if I were to have them sit, who am I hanging out with, anyway?
3. Deployment: Sure, girls night out sounds fun, but Daddy’s a bit far away to watch the babe.
4. Priorities: Hopefully many families (military and civilian) put family time as priority number one, but the difference is that many military families have little time for priorities number 2 and beyond. In today’s military, many soldiers are either just coming back or about to leave for deployment, which means there is precious little time to bond.
5. Stability: When Daddy or Mommy has deployed at least once in the last few years, and the family has made who only knows how many changes of duty station, many MilSpouses may be loathe to deprive the younger children of the one stable thing in their lives–even for an evening.
Not all of these apply to everyone, and some may find multiple reasons apply.
All that said, that doesn’t mean you footless and fancy-free gals can’t be my friend. True, I might beg off on the smoke-filled nightclub. However, not all activities with kids have to be childish. Let’s go to an outdoor concert or shopping or go to a museum or go apple picking or you can come over here for a nice dinner with a glass of wine.
I still read and follow the news and have other interests and I promise not to tell you about Lilah’s last bowel movement.