Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Dependopotamus (A Military Spouse's Perspective.)

The Dependopotamus - A Dependapotamus, or Dependapotami (Plural), is the spouse of a military Service Member, whose symbiotic relationship is parasitic. These creatures seek to take advantage of the trusting nature of the more inexperienced Service Member by birthing live children to him, to establish a link that would be more work to be rid of than to simply keep. Often times, by bearing multiple children, the desire to flee from the parasitic clutches of the Harpy-like Dependapotamus is reduced to such a low that the Service Member simply settles for his misfortune, and does not leave. Typical behavior for Dependapotami is to sit at home, as they do not work (hence the dependency), smoke cigarettes bought with the SM (Service Member)'s pay, talk on a cellular phone (purchased by the SM), to other Dependapotami, whilst ignoring the children to whom she/it serves as "Caregiver." Often, the Dependapotamus will sell the idea of not working or pursuing an education (High School being the highest level most achieve, though some are incapable of that, even) by claiming to "stay home with the kids." These creatures of a negative symbiosis, or parasitism, are a blight to the military community, serving as horrible ambassadors to the rest of the United States, and in worst cases, the world. They are dramatic, loud, immature, obnoxious, freeloading, belligerent, unfaithful (where applicable, most are too unattractive to cheat), gossiping, wasteful, hateful, bigamous, and click-y.
(source: Urban Dictionary. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=dependapotamus )

 We have all heard the term. We all have different reactions to it. While I do see where the term came from (I have run into a few women that might fit the definition of it) I'm kind of sick of hearing that word. It's a insult in every way and somehow a good chunk of the military world has decided that it covers pretty much any spouse.

The reality is if you haven't been in the house, if you aren't married to the so called "dependopotamus," you have no right to be making any judgment of her. Even if she does seem to do nothing but mooch off her husband. You don't know her. You aren't living her life. You have no idea what illnesses, physical and mental, she might be dealing with. You don't know what lifestyle choices her and her husband have made together. Maybe he wants her staying at home doing what she is doing. Just because you aren't ok with it doesn't mean he isn't. Your opinion doesn't matter here because you aren't the one married to her. So just get a life and go find something better to do with your time.

And since when has being a "stay at home mom" turned into a bad thing? If the extra money isn't needed and the woman would like to stay home with the children what is so wrong with that? It has been the cycle of things for as long as we can go back in history. Why is it wrong to want our kids to call us "Mommy" and not have them confused and calling the nanny that? Why is it bad to want to spend our days teaching and learning and experiencing the world with the small humans we created? It isn't. So why do military men and women alike feel the need to cut down women who choose "Mother" as their career? I don't think there is a more honorable job out there than to raise our future generation. These woman are courageous and beautiful. They are far from being a "dependopotamus."

But those both are their own topics that I could go on and on about. What I am really trying to get at is that these stereotypes are infuriating and unfair. And they alienate spouses from the soldiers in a way that could be damaging. There are plenty of good women who marry soldiers. Many, and I would say it leans more towards the higher percentage, of us marry these men because we truly love them and want to share our lives with them. Why is that such a hard concept to believe? Why have a few jaded men created the idea that this is an impossibility? And most of all, why have we allowed that? It's time for us women to stand up and tell it how it is. We are proud to be military spouses! We love and support our husbands no matter what we choose to do, whether we have our own job or we choose to stay home with the babies.

And a lot of us DO have our own careers! I know many a spouse who has a job. Some work from their homes even so that they still can spend time with their kids. Some go out and find a part time job just to keep busy. Some go find a job despite wanting to just because they want to help with the struggle of finances. These are amazing women who juggle a marriage and a job and possibly being a mother as well. They are not "dependapotami."

Instead of judging us and calling us names why not get to know us a little better. This goes for the female soldiers as well. There is a strange feud that is going on between the wives and the military woman that could take up a whole other post. It plays into this topic. So why don't we all, soldiers and spouses alike, open up a little bit more. Be willing to be friendly. Get to know each other. Stop tearing each other down. Who knows what kind of wonderful friendships we are missing out on because of silly stereotypes. Maybe you should go find out. Start now.

Keep L i/o ving!