Tuesday, January 12, 2010

More than An Army Wife

I am more than an army wife, I am a daughter, sister, wife, fried, therapist and many more. One thing I discovered after moving down to NC is all the stereotypes associate with army wives. There even is a quiz on facebook that categorizes you into one of the following, the cheating wife, the shopaholic wife who doesn't work and spends her hubby's paycheck, the partying wife(the girl who goes to the clubs and bars as soon as her hubby leaves), the lazy unemployed wife and the barefoot and pregnant wife. Some of these were actual answers on the quiz but others are those I heard from people when talking about army wives.

One of the great things about living in a military town is meeting different people from different area's of the world. None of my army wife friends fit any of these stereotypes. Some of them work, some go to school, some are stay at home mom's but in a world where Dad deploys often, mom would only be working basically to pay for daycare if the kiddo's aren't school age. None of the women that I met are lazy, uneducated, unemployed and so forth. Now are there wives like that out there, of course but it's frustrating to me to be constantly stereotyped.

Take for example this situation..
When I found out that part of my job requirement was to enroll in classes for my applied behavior anaylsis certification, my hubby and I started saving up money so I could enroll. The program at FIT where I attend, didn't offer financial aid or put you on a payment plan so I needed the money up front. After going on a honeymoon and moving extra cash was low. So I heard about the CAA program which is a Financial assistant program for military spouses who plan on attending school. I applied for the program since that would help up out a ton. I went to the meeting, filled out my paperwork and then was called to meet with an adviser. The adviser barely looked at me when I entered his office for our meeting. When he asked if I had attended school else where, I replied that I had, that I had my bachelor's degree. He paused for a second but continued going with the interview. When he asked if I worked, I replied full time. He stopped and looked up. I believe his response was "You do". I was insulted. I should have said something but I held my tongue. I ended up getting approved for the program which has been amazing in helping me obtain my certification without adding to my already enormous amount of student loans

My second example is when I went to my Dr's. appt. Since I live off post, I had to see an off post dr. I went to my apt and sat in the room waiting for the dr to arrive. She barely glanced at me or asked me anything. When it came to making a follow up apt I told her what days I had available between work. When I said I could do tuesday's after I get off wok, she literally looked up and said "You work". What is it with this town. Everywhere I go people try to categorize me into a particular stereotype.

I realize that I used to stereotype people, not even on purpose but after living in this town I realized that there is more to people than what you see. Stay at home mom, teacher, wife, student, etc. These are all labels used to describe people but there are many more things that make up a person other than their labels

And I proudly say that none of the military wives I know fill up any of the negative stereotypes. We are more than what labels people use to describe us

I am more than an army wife. I'm me!


  1. I hate stereotypes - I've always been labeled: blonde, preacher's daughter, Southerner, Baptist - I don't I fit into any of the stereotypes but it's frustrating when people assume things about your life based on your background. I'm sure you are a kick booty army wife and represent the girls well!!!

  2. Wow! That's crazy that they have a quiz on facebook that really says that. That angers me ugh! I'm a Army wife and I work full-time I plan on going back to school when we get stationed somewhere but as of right night I work 40 hours a week just like everyone else. Alot of my friends are Military wives and they go to school,work or thier stay at home moms I mean when I have kids I want to beable to stay at home with them. I don't think people should be labeling other people they don't know. Well I hope everything gets better in the town that your in. Goodluck with everything!


  3. Dang! LOL, I've felt that way before here...especially when I'm going to the doctor, because I look so young. But I'm proud whenever I get to say that I work full time. I've come to hate the label "Army Wife" because of all that it implies. I support my husband, but there is more to life than just the Army!

  4. I'm sorry you've had to deal with that! Actually when I lived on base I never had negative comments like that, although i'm sure some people may have thought them. Back home where i'm at for now, people make all sorts of assumptions. They are very cluless to the military in general and it's really frustrating. I hate not living on base. Oh, and I think it's wierd that you have to go to a doctor off base just because you dont live on base... Hmm..

  5. WOW. I can't wait to get out of Fayetteville and away from all that negative juju! Unfortunately there are a lot of bad apples in that town, so when people come across women who are independent, have jobs, and have their act together, they can hardly believe it. Isn't that sad? I can almost assure you that it isn't THAT bad everywhere. Good for you, though, for proving those idiots wrong! :)

  6. Nobody wants to be stereotyped. Its just not right at all and usually they are very wrong about their stereotyping. Oh well let those people think what they want and the people who truly love you will know the truth and love you for who you are.

  7. AMEN SISTER! Mil wives get a bad rap! I, unfortunately, have come across a few that fit into the stereotypes and it makes me FURIOUS because it is because of those few that the stereotypes are used against us all. I don't know if your hubby is enlisted or officer, but I've noticed that being an enlisted Marine's wife I get a lot MORE of the "you must be uneducated" thoughts. When people realize I actually do have my Bachelor's, and COULD work in my field if I wanted to (and weren't preggo/dealing with moving and deployment) they do that pause thing. But like you said, because I am one of the ones who doesn't work right now, for several reasons, it's like people assume that I am that lazy mil wife sitting at home milking my husband's (not so great) pay check. URGH! Didn't mean to write an entire post of ranting on your page but it is def a topic that really grinds my gears!

  8. AMEN!! That makes me so angry that they stereotype!

  9. it sucks that everyone gets pigeon-holed into one sterotype or another. It's not fair- but neither is life. I know I do what I can day-to-day and I'm secure in myself. So people can judge me if they way; say I'm just another unemployed army wife whatever else they want. But at the end of the day I know that I wasn't put on the planet for anyone else to judge or to make anyone else happy so I do what I do... at the end of the day I wish peopel would just mind their own business and not be so concerned with what I do or don't do for that matter.
    People who have the time to sit in judgement of other should just count their blessings. They must have to much going on in their lives if they have the time to sit and worry about what the masses of Army Wives do (or don't do) with their time.

  10. Whoa... I guess I've been pretty sheltered by P as far as the stereotypes go. I mean, I've heard about the cheating wife stereotype, but other than that, I really haven't heard all that much.

    I really don't like that idea all that well, although I realize that stereotypes happen everywhere. I can't believe how you've been treated so far! Every Army wife (or just about every wife) I've met has been awesome and doesn't fit any of those at all!

  11. I'm so glad to see this post!! I have been at this base with my husband for a little over 6 months and I CAN NOT get a job! I don't know why either. As soon as I tell them my husband is in the Airforce it's like they write me off and I never hear from them again. It's so frustrating. I guess they just assume that the wives don't need jobs too or something since the husband is in the military.