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The Molding of a Milspouse

A new and young milspouse was contemplating her options aloud, and I couldn’t help but feel excited for her. As wild of a journey as this life is, there are also many opportunities available to us. With those opportunities, however, come obstacles: small, big, and even monumental-sized ones.

If a spouse, especially one with children, is going to pursue anything, there are several questions they have to ask themselves.

For instance, should I look for work? And if so, should I go full- or part-time?

Should it be a work-from-home gig or one that gets me out of the house for a bit?

What will my schedule look like?

What about child care?

Is there only one vehicle in our home?

Who can I trust with my children?

Will we have to buy additional car seats for the second vehicle, or will I be the only one handling drop offs and pick ups?

Will my new work schedule allow me to consistently do both?

Some families rely solely on the bus and may not have a car much less car seats to put into one. Others don’t have a reliable vehicle and cannot afford the repairs, so they’re caught in a catch-22. They need the additional income to afford the repairs, but because they cannot afford repairs, they cannot accept a job offer.

Depressed yet?

Don’t be.

I know that it may sound unbelievable to some of you, but these are the absolute best years.

There’s a reason I now maintain and build on our savings account, am a Premier AAA member, and stay away from all and any version of debt. It’s taken years to chip away at, but storm after storm, I’m now beginning to see the rainbow.

The Molding Years

When your child forgets their homework and begs you to bring it to them, don’t.

When a teen suddenly realizes that they have a project due the next day and they beg to go to the store right there and then to buy everything and have a parent help with an all nighter, don’t.

When they leave the house in long sleeves on a hot day or vice versa, let them. T

he only way they’re going to really learn is if they experience and live through the suck of it. Any expert or veteran parent of college students will tell you to let them fail on the small stuff so that they’ll succeed on the big stuff.

Maybe your parents were micromanagers, absent, or wishy-washy in how they raised you, but not to worry—every skill you didn’t get to refine, develop, and grow prior to the military, is about to be refined because of the military.

When I took a full-time job at Wells Fargo, I was forced to figure out a way to make everything work. And you know what? I did. Not only that, but I came out better for it. Amid the juggling of time, family, homework, their schools, and even his career—I grew better at it. Yes, there were nights when I cried from the stress and days when I wanted to pull out my hair, but that’s okay! It’s temporary; it passes. You learn how to better manage your time, learn where to invest your energy, and figure out a routine that works.

Molding Myself

When I enrolled in a few classes at a local junior college, even I thought I was insane. I mean, there was zero pay, and it meant I’d have to dish out more for gas, but I figured that one out, too. And I absolutely loved school! One of my professors used her English course as a platform to teach us about real health, nutrition, and farming. Her class changed the way my family eats even today. I’m so grateful for that semester. Yes, some nights were incredibly hard, but I got through it and am forever changed because of it.

When I decided to open up my own in-home child care, it opened up a whole new world to me. I implemented what I was taught in my own home, especially in the areas of safety. While I loved having to brush up on my CPR and first aid, it was a challenge finding child care for my own children during the lengthy training process. But, I got through it and learned about some of the best-kept child care resources on my installation. At the very least, that course got me out of the house and gave me a much-needed break while also providing a safe and nurturing environment for my babies.

When my husband was away at training and I wanted to travel home to see my family for the summer, I had to face my fears and make the three-day trip without his help, strong arms, and second set of eyes. It would have been more in my comfort zone to stay home, but I didn’t want my fear of the what ifs to take away what turned out to be a phenomenal experience and summer. It’s about so much more than getting in a car and going. I was responsible for having our vehicle inspected for any potential safety hazards, budgeting, and time management. Since I didn’t have a second driver, I didn’t have the option to catch up on sleep as a passenger. That meant packing and planning ahead of time and then sticking to the plan while accounting for possible setbacks. I turned into my own vacation planner.

And then when I decided to take a 4-week makeup certification course, I honestly thought that it was in the bag. I mean, what could possibly go wrong in a few weeks, right?!


My youngest became quite ill and developed pneumonia. It felt like she was frail and sick forever. I stopped going to my classes so I could nurse her back to health, but I kept in close communication with my instructor from Day 1. You can imagine my surprise, then, when the administrative office said that I could not return to continue and finish my program. But not to fear. By this time, I learned how to effectively and properly advocate for myself and after going through the chain of command, I was ultimately allowed to finish my course and even participate in the graduation ceremony.

If it hadn’t been for all of those obstacles, overflowing washers, closed doors, flat tires, tough times, stretched dollars, creative years, Poor Man Tacos, and a lot of hearing the word “no” in my earlier years as a milspouse, I would not be the independent, self-sufficient, and well-spoken woman I am today. Because when it really comes down to it, the only person you can truly depend on…is you.

So, you’re a milspouse. What are you going to do?



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EYB: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

EYB: Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Located in Montgomery County, Maryland, Naval Support Activity Bethesda—home of Walter Reed National Military Medical Center—is centered in the National Capitol Region. It is the home of support for the hospital as well as all of its tenant commands in their pursuit of excellence in patient care, medical research, and education. Naval Support Activity Bethesda (NSAB) is responsible for providing installation support to 12,000 military and civilian employees and their families, as well as 40 tenant units. Bethesda is one of the most renowned communities in the Greater Washington D.C. area.

Mission: Milspouse is a
501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

EIN Number: 88-1604492


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El Paso, TX 79904


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