I’m sure some of you will read that and, no doubt, think I’m weird. But spouses like me are not rare; in fact, there are a ton of us. We’re just hiding from the command parties that feature bubble wrap laid on the floor for your kids to trample on.
Ok, we’re not really hiding. But in my experience, some spouses with children often forget how to communicate with those of us who are not parents. We all came from the same bus stop, remember? Just not all of us took the ride into parenthood.
Speaking of my experiences, here are some of the craziest things that spouses with kids have said to me.
Consider this a roadmap of what not to say to the childless military spouse:
“Don’t you feel useless with all that free time and nothing to focus your energy on?”
“You don’t want to be the OLD mom – better not wait much longer!”
“Are you having infertility issues?”
“You could just adopt!”
“Aren’t you READY for kids?!”
“But you’re almost thirty.”
“Having kids gets us so much more money on our tax return!”
“Don’t you get lonely?”
As military spouses, we’re all trying to find common ground, share experiences, and support each other. And while none of the spouses who said these things to me meant any ill regard, they still made me feel excluded.
Those of us in the military community who don’t have kids by the “normal” age (read: young parents) still want to be included in your play dates, kids events, and yes, we’ll even help set up the bubble wrap on the floor at the next command Christmas party. Maybe we are struggling with experiencing pregnancy, or worse, maybe we’ve lost a pregnancy, but we just aren’t sharing. Or (gasp!) maybe we are childfree by choice.
Having children is a big decision for any one, and those of us who haven’t crossed that bridge, still have other things in common with you. We’re loving wives, focused employees, loyal friends, and can be a genuine support system for you on this military journey!