Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Is being a Mil-Spouse enough of a job?

We are getting ready to PCS.

This, of course, means that I have had to quit my job. Although I will be working right up until the PCS, I've already given notice. I have also started to look for jobs in our next location. Doing all of this has led me to think about several different things.

1) How do people cope when they know they will be working at a job for the "rest of their lives"? When I've had a bad day (or a bad week!) I often remind myself: this is only for here, for now! The next base will be different. New places, new chances. Maybe I'm crazy, but I like starting over every few years. It gives me a chance to try new things (being a Children's Librarian, instead of a Teen Librarian!) and meet new people, and I love it.

2) At the same time that I feel crazy for quitting a job in this economy, I know I don't have much of a choice. Einstein's new job is deployment intensive, but even if he is only home a few weeks a year, I want to be with him for those weeks. I am, however, pretty concerned that another professional position in my field will be a long time in coming.

3) Is being a mil-spouse enough of a job? Very few of my friends at this base work outside the home. They seem to enjoy their lives more. There have been weeks when Einstein and I have felt like two ships passing in the night, because our work schedules allowed us little time together. I would imagine that feeling can only be worse when he will be home so infrequently. So I find myself wondering: if I can't find a job (due to the economy or due to my own inclination not to take a non-library position), will it be enough just to be a mil-spouse? I look back at my old post about not enjoying the time I had as an "unemployed" person and think, yes! That's right! Remember how I said I would appreciate it more next time?? I should appreciate it!

Einstein and I were discussing the other evening regarding the fact that military spouses frequently pick up the slack. Whether it is his schedule or the social obligations (and I don't care what they say about the new enlightened Air Force, if a spouse volunteers for squadron stuff, it is noticed) there is plenty that needs to get done. It is hard enough right now to get things done with his schedule and mine...I can't imagine how impossible it will be when we have kids (not any time soon, with apologies to my mother and mother-in-law).

I do think it is enough of a job. In fact, I would argue that it is more than a full-time job, so anyone who does any work (at home or outside of it) besides just being a mil-spouse is doing double duty.

That said, I'm applying for everything I can find, because if he's only home a couple of weeks a year, I'm going to need something.


New Girl on Post said...

I had no intention of working when we PCS'd overseas. However, somehow I fell into a job about two months after we moved here. I'm a little worried it might cut into my traveling/working on my Masters time, but then I remember it's only 25 hours a week and surely there must be a balance. I think being a Mil-Spouse can be enough of a job, but I seriously start to get a twitch if I'm not working/volunteering or something.

Good luck finding something good!

The Mrs. said...

When we didn't have kids I worked but I really felt like I never saw flyboy. He would be gone for a couple weeks, then come home sunday night right when I was going back to work on monday. We both knew that when kids came I couldnt work. There is no one around to share the load with so much of the time, drs. apt, sick kids, school, sports, playdates, not to mention all the other household stuff. Its just easier having an "open" schedule. Whatever that is. And then when he's off, we're around. Its nicer that way. And quite frankly I find it harder to volunter for squadron stuff since having kids then working.

good luck with whatever you decide, ultimately it just has to be right for you two. : )

loquita said...

Have left your post unread in my feed reader for a while, just wanting to re-read it a couple times...

As you know I already quit and I'm already here at the new duty station.... And I'm struggling with this right now. And I'm struggling with what kind of job I want to have... Sigh.