welcome to the FS - spouse view

My real life friend, Kelly, just wrote this awesomeness about the FS and spouses.  I was brought up in the FS, watching my mother entertain, and resign constantly when there were no tandem assignments to be had.  When I complain, she can take me down more than a few notches with 'When you were a little girl in Ibadan…." life now is easy peasy in comparison to how she had it.  On my Dad's EER even though they were technically a tandem, the whole works.

There seem to be two camps of wives, those who easily get clearances and skip off to their new jobs at the Embassy, leaving children at home to be raised by nannies of varying descriptions.  I have strong thoughts on that, but will keep them to myself.  But I do wonder if I should tell the mother of two very tiny people here that her dream nanny actually appears to be addicted to Candy Crush and leaves her baby wailing in the stroller pretty often?  Well, so often that I have walked by the scene quite a few times and I don't get out all that much during playground hours...
And then there are those that stay home and complain bitterly about work and/or life options.  I wish they should shut up.  I feel like asking if the realized what the FS even was before their other half signed up?  Some cannot get clearances in a timely manner.  I know one wife here who applied for jobs the minute she stepped off the plane and ended up leaving after two years without ever getting her clearance done.  I don't know the details, but I do know she and her husband were bitter.  Very Bitter.

My advice to the latter camp is 1. stop complaining! and 2. get a hobby.  For real.  I feel extremely sad I cannot work in either of the fields I was trained for, but I feel extremely happy I can delve into my many many hobbies.  Before you leave for that first tour, download a mass of books you have been meaning to read on your iPad.  That way you have something to fill the hours while you are home alone and don't know anyone.  If you get invited to any event, go.  Even if it's not your thing.  There is a wife here now who is bitterly sad and lonely.  I have reached out and invited her to all sorts of things - she has so far not accepted my offers.  I might bend my three strikes rule for her…

Book, go to stuff and realize your life is going to be different.  You may not, probably will not, be able to live life exactly as you did before you went overseas.  Embrace it.  Or try really really hard to.

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