Perhaps you’ve seen their name on my blog recently and even raised an eyebrow because of the controversy behind the name, but #TheDependas is more than a name friends, and spending the time to sit and chat with the two military spouses behind the comical videos has helped me check my own assumptions. Initially I was thrown off by their name, given its negative history among military spouses. I wasn’t interested to be honest, but then I saw their efforts to bring women together, to equip women with the resources that could help them be successful and physically and mentally healthy…and THAT spoke to me.
When I first met with Lauren Lomsdale, I was just curious, wanting to know more about what her and Michelle Haleck were starting and how they were supporting military spouses. When I started Rocky Roads and Rainbows, that was my initial desire—to support other spouses by getting them connected once they arrived in this small Kansas town. As I’ve lived this year’s experience and learned more about #TheDependas, their approach has been refreshing–different to the dozens of how-to blogs for military family survival. As a military spouse myself, I found myself scrolling for their videos, to end my evening with a good belly laugh, or an extra local resource.
Both Lauren and Michelle met on base after learning they were neighbors. Lauren, a marine-spouse from northern Virginia, and Michelle, an air force-spouse from Whichita Falls, TX. Being on base helped them connect and depend on their quick-budding friendship to get through this one-year experience. As I’ve learned more about these two women, I’ve realized they have a genuine desire to empower other women and help all spouses feel connected. They are passionate about giving spouses a voice, while also being strong role-models for their daughters—they have five girls between the two! I thought my schedule was busy, and then I hear about Michelle’s background as a dietitian the past eight years, and now a labor and delivery nurse.
Y’all, I wish she’d been my labor and delivery nurse, especially the time my husband was deployed—I could have used a little laughter in my life that day! During our chat, it’s evident she is one passionate nurse who loves taking care of others. I love when people love what they do for a living! Then there’s Lauren, another powerful momma who owns her own branding company, is a photographer, and writes for Daily Mom and Military Spouse. She is also spear-heading the first Daily Mom metro-site, Daily Mom Military. I am so excited for this launch 😊
If you’re a military spouse, maybe you’ve witnessed other spouses step forward to help and advocate for other spouses. Perhaps over the years and now being a seasoned spouse, you’ve learned to be the voice and advocate for our military community. In my own observations of other military spouses, who, by the way I’m incredibly inspired by, there is a common thread of commitment, advocacy, strength, thrive, and community. Lauren and Michelle are no exception. After meeting again with both of them and hearing more about their story, I can’t help but want to share them with all spouses regardless of branch. Whether they are chatting about PCS moves, military acronyms, or spotlighting other military spouses that are serving military families, these two ladies have a common goal of helping us feel connected. It’s easy to feel alone at times, especially during deployments, or other military related transitions, and having a forum in which you can relate to other spouses, and laugh about the issues that can feel so burdensome at times, is genius in my opinion. Having a platform for our military family/spouse audience really helps them cater to the unique circumstances our families face and helps remind us that we too can ride the waves with a little laughter and support from each other.
After my interview with both Lauren and Michelle, one thing was crystal clear, they are not in the business to make fun of people. Their hope is actually to encourage other military spouses and help them overcome whatever challenges they are facing because of the military lifestyle. As I ended our interview, Michelle explained how she would “hope that people would laugh when they see us” and before she could breath another word Lauren added “not at us, but with us!” Friends, if you haven’t stopped by and visited them yet, check them out: #TheDependas Facebook Page
Hope you experience what I did, and feel a little more connected and supported in your experience as a military spouse—we’re in this together 😊
Cheers to the military spouses out there who are finding innovative ways to serve our tribe!