by Shelby Fox Trudeau, Guest Contributor
A lot of articles today talk about how you can work from home. Whether it’s telecommute jobs or starting your own business, these articles provide in-depth information about what you need to get started in a job working from home. And believe me, I think these articles are great, especially for military spouses.
Having the freedom and flexibility to work from home is a wonderful thing. As a new military spouse, I love being able to schedule my work around when my husband is off. I’ve been working from home for 2 years now, and for the most part, I love it.
But something that most work from home articles don’t tell you is that it can get lonely. You’re in your house all day, probably tied to a computer, and there’s not a lot of human interaction.
For some, that might be one of the benefits. But for a lot of us, we need to socialize with others. And if you’ve recently relocated or are about to and you work from home, having a social life can be a difficult thing.
However, there is a wide variety of ways that you can meet new people even if you work from home.
How to Have a Social Life When You Are a Military Spouse Who Works From Home
Community Groups and Events
Most communities offer a wide array of activities. From weekly cooking classes to softball leagues, your community parks and recreation department gives you opportunities to meet people with the same interests as you. These activities are usually reasonably priced to cover the materials of the class, so it won’t break the bank if you decide to take a cooking class or be part of the next musical in your town.
If you’re religious, another great place to meet new people is at a church. Most churches have a lot of functions throughout the week and special holiday events as well.
Most bases have a few informal social groups, and if you know who to ask or how to search Facebook you can usually find them. The MWR might also be a good place to look if you need some suggestions, as they usually offer activities where you could meet other people.
If your service member has friends who are married, chances are, their spouses have felt the same way as you at some point. Let your spouse know how you feel and ask if you can have a double date with someone from work.
My husband and I have dinner once a month with my husband’s coworker and his wife. It gives us time to get out of the house and talk to people like us.
If you’re currently enrolled in college, the lecture hall can be a great place to meet people.
Or, if you have kids, meeting other parents at their school is a great way to be social. Get involved at your kid’s school. Getting to know other parents helps you in multiple ways. Your kids have someone to hang out with and you can talk to someone who understands having kids that age.
You always have the option of meeting someone online nowadays. I will caution that you should always be careful if you choose this route, but there are safe ways to meet people online.
There are many websites, including Meetup, where groups are formed according to interest or age, and the members meet to socialize and have fun. If you’re new in town, this can be a great way to break in to a new social group.
I love running. Anything from 5Ks to half marathons. But running by yourself is difficult. You get lonely and want someone to talk to. Join a running group or fitness class. A lot of bases have running groups of women, especially moms whose kids are in strollers.
If running isn’t your thing, take a group fitness class like Zumba or aerobics. You meet new people and you stay in shape.
The takeaway from all this is that although it may seem like you’re destined to stay at home and never see the light of day again, there are a lot of ways that you can get active and meet people. Yes, it’s scary the first few times. But if you don’t put yourself out there, you’ll never grow and you’ll always be in the same predicament.
Use the suggestions above to brainstorm a few interests you have that you think would be fun to try. Make a list of places you’d like to go or activities you want to do. Whether it’s joining a softball team, a pool league, a dance class or a running group, you can find something that there are other like-minded people at.
You don’t have to give up a social life just because you work from home. In fact, you have more options because you’re not limited by coworkers. So put yourself out there and have fun.
Shelby Fox Trudeau is a Navy wife who works from home as a freelance writer and ESL teacher. When not working, she enjoys traveling and camping, and is always running.