Support Guide for the Military Wife | Questions & Answers

Be a surrogate
Everything you need to know about finding support as a military spouse

Support Guide for the Military Wife

Only those who experience it firsthand truly understand the unique demands of military wife life. And these challenges are faced not only by the service members on assignment but the family members who support them.

Building your family with flexibility and care is key as you consider life in the service.

At ConceiveAbilities, we support a number of military families as they pursue surrogacy, which is why we have put together this dedicated support guide tailored to help families navigate military life.

Understanding Military Life with Family

There are a handful of challenges you may face as a military wife, and even more if you have kids to parent. Fortunately, there are many other wives and moms who understand and have been through, or are currently going through, similar obstacles. Some of these challenges include:

  • Parenting alone during spouse’s deployment
  • Relocating to a new base across the country
  • Finding community and support where you live
  • Knowing how to utilize healthcare services for pregnancy, childbirth, maternity, and pediatric care
  • Choosing a suitable career that is flexible with the military lifestyle

Below, we’ll address common questions related to these challenges and offer some tips from other military wives and moms who have learned through their experiences how to adapt and thrive in the midst of the demands of military wife life.

Your guide to life as a military spouse

Common Military Questions & Answers About Being a Military Wife

Deployment and Parenting

How do I parent alone during my spouse's military deployment?

Parenting solo isn’t easy, but by following some helpful, tried-and-true tips from other military wives, you can do it! A Mother Far From Home recommends:

  • Embracing community for yourself and your kids
  • Hiring a babysitter so you can run errands, spend time with friends, and relax
  • Asking family to come for a visit to offer a helping hand
  • Celebrating the little things, like making it to the next month as a kind of countdown until your spouse returns
  • Establishing a routine for your kids. Their lives may change a lot, but their day-to-day routines can remain somewhat consistent
  • Communicating with your spouse whenever possible; and when you aren’t on a call, talk about them with your kids
  • Prioritizing your mental health by keeping your mind in the present and seeking help when you need it
Ways to help your children during deployment

What are some ways I can help my child cope with a parent's deployment?

First, know there are military and family life counseling programs available to you and your children. Don’t be afraid to utilize these resources and support during this time.

A few other things that could help include:

  • Letting them voice what they’re feeling to you; listen with an open mind so they know they’re heard
  • Allowing them to get involved in clubs, sports, or other community activities as a healthy distraction throughout the week
  • Keeping a consistent routine to their day
  • Maintaining long-distance contact with parent whenever possible
  • Planning activities like making homecoming signs, special countdowns, or crafting memory scrapbooks

How can we maintain a strong family bond when my spouse is deployed?

Maintaining a strong long-distance relationship as a couple and a family can be difficult, but the biggest help is openly communicating one another’s expectations and making a plan ahead of time. Some expectations to discuss include:

  • How do you plan to keep in touch (phone, texts, social media, Facetime, zoom, email, letters)?
  • What methods of communication would be most helpful for each person to feel emotionally connected to the other (care packages, singing songs together, sending videos or pictures, starting a journal to record and share special memories and moments)?

Consider asking other military spouses you know what worked best for their family for more ideas.
Relocations and Transitions

How can I help my child adjust to new schools and make friends quickly after military relocation?

One of the best ways to help your child adjust to their new school is by getting involved. The first person you can contact is the school liaison officer who focuses on helping students with school transitions.

Next, consider joining the PTA or getting involved in the school Facebook group to look for ways you can volunteer at the school. This is a great way to get to know other parents and help your kids get connected with new friends.

What resources are available to help us understand each new location better for an easier transition?

Similar to most new moves, one of the best things you can do to get to know a new city is to get out and explore. Try out coffee shops and local restaurants to find places you might want to frequent while you’re there.

You can also get on social media and get connected with local groups to discover events happening near you or find common interest groups you might want to join.

If your kids start joining sports clubs or teams, that’s another great way to fill your time and get to know local residents who can give you recommendations for things to do and see.

How do I maintain my own career with frequent moves due to my spouse's military transitions?

If you’re already established in a job you enjoy, consider asking your boss if you can stay on and work remotely. While that may seem like a big ask, and your ability to do so will depend on the job, you don’t have much to lose. Not to mention, with the rise in remote work, it’s entirely possible they will be willing to work with you. At the very least, it shows your level of care for the organization or company and desire to stay on with them, which could open up future opportunities to come back and work for them when your spouse’s assignment is done or if you happen to relocate back to the area.

When remote work is not an option, consider searching for a future job in your profession that has your needed flexibility.

Community and Support

Where can I connect with other military spouses who understand what I’m going through?

Aside from getting to know other families your spouse works with, locally stationed at the same base, there are groups you can join, from military spouse groups listed on MeetUp and Facebook to programs like the Military Spouse Advocacy Network. Any of these groups would be helpful to connect with so you can combat common feelings of loneliness as a military spouse.

How do I stay connected with friends and family who are far away?

There are many tools at our disposal today to help us stay connected with friends and family when you live far away. Some of these include tools like Facetime, Zoom, texting, mailing letters and care packages, WhatsApp, Marco Polo, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and GroupMe. Just be mindful of safe social posting practices when your spouse is active in the military for your safety and theirs.

Where can I find information about local community events and activities for military families to get involved in quickly?

One of the best ways to find this information is through local Facebook groups, newspaper or news station event announcements, or searching on Google for a list of activities near you.

Accessing Healthcare Services

How does our family access healthcare services after relocating?

There are a few options for families when looking for a provider that accepts a TRICARE plan. The first is visiting the military treatment facility (MTF) on base. This will be the easiest method of seeking care, but it’s not the only one. The other option is to search for a military hospital or clinic, network provider, or non-network provider using the TRICARE website.

What are TRICARE’s coverage options for maternity care and pediatric visits?

TRICARE has an extensive list of medical services that are covered in relation to conception and delivery, including prenatal care, post-partum care (generally 6 weeks after delivery), and treatment of any complications. Discover a more comprehensive list of services on the TRICARE website as well as your plan options.

For pediatric visits, TRICARE says it covers office visits, immunizations, and vision screenings from birth to age 6 at no cost, regardless of plan selection. Learn more about their pediatric healthcare services on their website.

What mental health services are available through TRICARE? Is this available for spouses and children?

There are a number of mental health therapeutic services available for military personnel, as well as their spouse and children. For a full list of services, visit the TRICARE website here.

Flexible Career Options

What are the best career fields for military spouses?

The best career opportunities for military spouses are going to be jobs that allow for remote and flexible work. This is ideal when needing to relocate and for managing more at home during your spouse’s deployment.

How can I continue my education or professional training online?

If you’re in school finishing your degree, or taking classes to further your career, speak with the professor or school about continuing your education online or transferring your current course credits to an online educational institution.

Are there specific employment programs to help military wives find jobs?

There are services available like Hire Heroes USA that helps you prepare for and find a flexible job as a military spouse, or even for veterans when your spouse finishes their duty.

Stories of Resilience and Success

Learn more about becoming a surrogate as a military spouse
Growing up as a military brat and eight years as a military spouse, ConceiveAbilities surrogate and employee, Tayler Lewis has a deep passion for both the military community and surrogacy. In a heartfelt conversation on our podcast, “All Things Conceivable: A Surrogacy Podcast with Nazca Fontes,” Tayler shares, "As a military spouse, we tend to resonate with words like “calling” and “purpose.” We may not serve in the same capacity as our active duty partners, but we strive to make a difference. That can look like volunteering, engaging in our community, and supporting others as they navigate the challenges of military life. We are also on a mission. We truly believe that we are fulfilling an important purpose. Military spouses are known for their resourcefulness, for creating strategies, and for executing plans. Surrogacy provides us with a similar sense of calling." Listen to Tayler's full podcast A Calling to Serve: An Interview with Military Spouse Tayler Lewis on Becoming a Surrogate.

Read more stories from military spouseswho found their calling through surrogacy.

How Surrogacy Fits into the Military Family Lifestyle

Surrogacy is a process in which a woman carries a child who is not genetically related to her for someone else. The motive behind surrogacy—helping someone in the community who can’t have a child of their own—aligns well with the military family lifestyle in desiring to serve others. It offers significant financial compensation while providing the flexibility military families need to be present with their own family and do something that can be accomplished in the midst of frequent relocations.
“I wanted to become a surrogate for as long as I can remember. After having two easy pregnancies, I felt it was time to share my super amazing ability as a woman to help a deserving family. At the time, my husband was stationed in Illinois on Recruiting Duty for the Marine Corps, so I took the opportunity to pursue my dream; he was supportive from the very beginning! Knowing that I could help create or grow a family was the most amazing feeling in the world.
After a successful delivery of a baby girl, my heart was full and I knew my life had changed forever. I decided that surrogacy was something I was extremely passionate about, so I decided to pursue it in my career as well. Now, I work here at ConceiveAbilities as a Surrogate Engagement Coordinator, helping potential surrogates get started on their own surrogacy journeys. I can’t imagine a job more fulfilling and I am still able to help grow families every day.”

Ashley Wilson, Experienced Surrogate, Mom of 2, Marine Wife

Learn More About Surrogacy as a Military Wife

Be a surrogate