No two friendships are created equal
I think early on in this MilSpouse journey, I believed that all of my MilSpouse friendships were the same, or at the very least held the same importance.
I know better now. It simply isn't the case.
Not every friendship is cut from the same cloth. Not every friendship serves the same purpose. It's our job, our duty to ourselves, to determine the purpose and value of each of our friendships. There are many types of friends, but as a MilSpouse there's a couple that are just crucial to our existence.
Sometimes you have the Mentoring friendship. You know the one friend who might be older and wiser. They always provide you with little nuggets of wisdom that you keep with you forever. They walk you through those first years when you didn't know the alphabet soup of letters your military spouse would talk about. I can still remember the first time my Mentor friend helped me read an LES. Yes, these friends are important.
Just as important as your guiding friendships are your everyday friends. These are the ones you can be silly with, hang out with, go to dinner with, have a few beers with, take a girls trip to Scotland with, vacation in Mallorca with, and in no uncertain terms be yourself with. From the gym to the lunch table, they make those difficult days bearable. You don't always need advice, but you can always use a shopping buddy. You need that goofy friend to laugh at your corny jokes, and to take those ridiculous selfies with you. Your Jokey Smurf friend is your lifeline for comedic relief. Make sure they are never too far away.
Last but never least is that Lucky Penny friend. They are the friend that you can call in any kind of pinch. They are the friend (if your truly lucky- friends) that steps in the breach and becomes your surrogate family. They are the ones that you put on your child's emergency numbers at school because all other family members are just too far away. They are the friend that keeps you company on the lonely nights when your spouse has been deployed for what seems like a small eternity. You plan movie night with this friend. They help you shovel snow out of your driveway or drive you to the airport that is 90 miles away. They are your responsible friend that will keep your children so you can getaway with your spouse for a long weekend. They are the friend you call to watch the kids when you must take emergency leave to attend a funeral. They make the ebb and flow of friendship seem effortless, and you couldn't have made it without them.
As a MilSpouse you have to incorporate these friends into your life. You need them, and they need you- especially since you will fit the bill of each of these the longer you and your spouse stay in the military. But make sure you remember, and understand, that while these friends are crucial to your survival, they don't have to be MilSpouses themselves. So long as you have the friends that help you navigate your way through the ups and downs of being a military wife, you will get through the difficult times and be a stronger wife, friend, mother, and person.