what do you wish your spouse's organization did for you? — The Bump
Military Families

what do you wish your spouse's organization did for you?

Hi everyone,
 
We recently PCS'd and suddenly I'm the wife of the senior military member in a small geographically separated organization.  Yikes.
 
So, I'm sure there are some things that I should be taking care of as far as the other spouses go, since everyone else is in Alabama and we're in Massachusetts, but I'm pretty new at this whole military spouse thing and I really don't know what that would be!  We didn't really have a close-knit organization at our last base, so we were on our own and it was hard, especially with a new baby and no family.  I don't want to be in everyone's business, but I don't want to wait until there's some kind of crisis to get to know everyone and offer any support they might need. 
 
Any ideas?  What do you wish your spouse's supervisor's spouse (say that ten times fast) did for you?  What would be fun, what would be super annoying, what would be a good idea in general?
 
Thanks!

Re: what do you wish your spouse's organization did for you?

  • I wouldn't mind having a spouses dinner/lunch.  it would be nice to get to know the other spouses of the group.  I know DH has people from his shop call but it would be nice if it was a spouse who knew what it was like "being on this side."   We are not a close knit group but it would be nice to have a few friends. 
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  • When DH's new boss PCS'd here, his wife held a lunch/pool party at her house for all the wives/kids so she could meet everyone. We frequently have get togethers on the weekends at peoples houses for the wives, and I know that lots of the moms always do playdates.
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  • Every month, even when our guys are home, we have some type of activity for the wives.  Sometimes we play bunko.  Sometimes we have a pot luck lunch or dinner.  We have book swaps.  We go bowling.  There is a group of ladies that started a Bible study and prayer group. 

    Hope that gives you an idea or two.

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  • ummm. nothing? She invited me to join the officer's wives club, but mostly every thing they do is during the day, and I work, so I can't go.

    I guess if we were at a smaller base, or I wasn't working I might need more support, but as it is, I have found plenty of support on my own through friends on base, husband's friend's wives, etc. 

    I guess some people might just need an offer of support... that way those who want it can take advantage, those who dont wont need to. 

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  • Thanks everyone, I'll give some of these a shot if the other spouses are interested.  Throw a few things at the wall and see what sticks, right?  :D  I think it may end up being over a lunch or after work one evening, since actually about half of the folks in my husband's organization are active duty women, and I would want them to be able to participate if they feel so inclined. 
     
    Thanks again!
  • Previous units have had a spouses night (kids welcome if necessary). They also started a book club. It was a monthly thing. Also, I would collect all the family info you can (phone numbers, kids ages, b-days, etc.) so you can connect with the spouses if their family member deploys.

    I am about to have two of my NCO's deploy and I am new to my unit as well, so I am making a point to have everyone (my subordinates and families) over to get to know them. I want the spouses to know they can contact me with anything they might need.

  • I'm the Key Spouse for our squadron, and I made a packet about deployment that was more for the new wives/first timers, but everyone got a copy just to be safe. It covered FAQs, OPSEC, helpful resources, contact numbers, ect.

    We just did a BBQ for the squadron spouses two weekends ago, and next month we're having a night out at the drive in. We're also doing a big dinner at a local restaurant during Give Parents A Break.

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  • I just PCSed to a new place and my husband's commander's wife called me two days after I got here to make sure I was okay and we had everything we needed until we get our stuff. She then emailed me info on the surrounding area/base. And now I'm on a mailing list.

    They have a lunch/brunch once a month that they play bunko (I have no idea what this is). They also have spouse meetings once a month with a free lunch. They also have meetings for spouses who's partner is currently deployed. All meetings have free childcare provided. 

     

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  • The spouse support system for Robins AFB has been phenomenal. First there is a Robins AFB Spouses group set up on facebook so first thing when we found out where we were going I was able to look them up and ask real wives ?'s about the area, good housing, base housing, ect.

    Second, once DH was in the squadron he was required by his commander (the lead spouses DH) to give him my email and mailing address so the lead spouse could invite me to the socials, introduce herself and keep me informed during DH's deployments (the info during deployments and having someone to call when I didnt know what was going on who could find out was priceless). 

    I was and still am constantly invited to different gatherings from pot lucks (usually Thursday night dinners) to wine tastings, to dinner/ lunch out, scrap booking parties, bunko (I still dont play though), drinks out, mani pedis, make your own pottery, ect ect. Basically if someone says they want to do it, it gets put on the roster. We even did an 80'd Night Ladies Night out at a local bar one night, which was a BLAST! 

    Other than actually getting together we always throw a baby shower for the PG women in the squadron, bring food over for moms who just had babies, family losses, or hard times.

    The Lead spouse goes above and beyond to check on spouses whose DH's are deployed, even if she's never met them before. She also goes above and beyond to let the spouses know when the guys/gals are coming home.

    The active duty females are included in all of that as well.

    I've really learned the concept of "if you build it, they will come" when it comes to spouses groups.Im so glad you want to be a part of that and help bring those women closer together. That support system is priceless. 

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