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!