It seems that every Family Readiness Group event and most spouse events center around Families with kids. It can get frustrating to find help resources for those Families without kids.
Where and how do I find support for my childless Family?
Speaking as a childless person, it very often feels like FRG events exclude those who don’t have children in their lives.
It feels like my husband and I don’t count as a “Family” and it can be frustrating and downright impossible when he’s deployed to find events that aren’t solely centered around the kids.
I often feel that FRGs aren’t interested in Families without kids, and that’s pretty upsetting to those of us who enjoy being connected to our communities.
According to MilitaryOneSource.mil’s 2015 Demographics Report, 14 percent of Soldiers married to civilians do not have children, compared to 39 percent of Soldiers married to civilians with kids.
Of those Soldiers in the Army that are married, 26 percent don’t have kids, which is a pretty large demographic to ignore.
A great place to start finding support is actually Facebook. There are specific childless/child free Facebook groups for those Families who are thinking about waiting or who may just not want to have kids at all. Child Free at Bragg is where I started.
The Facebook group has occasional meet-ups, and I only had to go to one before I found one of the closest friends I’ve made in the last five years.
Get involved in your surrounding community. Volunteering can help you build a support group.
I started volunteering at two different locations a couple of years ago, and both led to jobs and groups of people who have helped me out quite a bit while my husband has been away.
Put yourself out there in avenues other than spouse groups and you may be surprised what kind of friendships you can make.
Make friends with people who have kids. The important thing here is to find a group of people to support you, and you in turn would support them. I’m not advocating that only child less people should hang out together; two of my best friends have kids and we all support one another in our life decisions.
Because that’s just it: People shouldn’t be alienated for their life choices in a supportive group. We should be lifiting each other up as military spouses, because who else knows the joys and the tears that come along with this lifestyle?
By creating your own support group, you won’t have to rely on groups that could only be geared towards kids.
Or maybe, you can start a revolution in your own FRG and advocate for more adult friendly activities.
Not every get together needs to be centered around kids or adults, but having relevant activities for those who want to be involved can help grow the support of the FRG.
It’s time that our military Family activities start catching up to the military demographics.
A third of military spouses don’t want/can’t have/haven’t decided about kids, and are feeling punished because of that.
My husband and I are still a Family, even with just the two of us.