As I sit here writing this, it is well into the afternoon and I am still in my sweat pants and t-shirt. I find that this attire best suits me when I’m in the house and doing “house-ly” things. Never in a million years did I think to myself that I would be a stay at home wife (SAHW). I didn’t choose this “career” and it certainly isn’t something that I want to do permanently. When my husband got orders to Twentynine Palms I was very naïve. I was just finishing up my Master’s and about to be married to the man of my dreams. To me, Twentynine Palms was going to be another fabulous adventure. We would move, get housing immediately, get a job in a nano-second and life would be perfect.
Unfortunately, the realization hit me like a ton of bricks. There I was in Twentynine Palms with experience and education and completely jobless. I kept being told I was overqualified (never knew that was a bad thing) or was forgotten in the immense pile of resumes and applications along with other military spouses.
People keep telling me that they wish they could stay home like me or that I’m lucky that I don’t have to work. Sadly, they are not missing much. I wish I could find a job so that I could contribute to this family. Being a SAHW, for me, is a huge blow to my self-esteem. Day after day I wake up and do my wifely duties. I clean, do laundry and cook. Aside from that, that’s it, that’s my life. On alternate weeks I go food shopping and every once in a while I venture out to the PX. I get myself a delicious chai latte at Starbucks and people watch or read just to get out of the house.
We are approaching a new stage in our lives when we will be leaving Twentynine Palms in the fall. This move is a positive one, at least I’m telling myself that. I will keep my fingers, and toes, crossed that I don’t go to this new place with the same naïve mentality that I had when we arrived at Twentynine Palms. As I’m sitting here complaining about being a SAHW, I have to look at the positive side of it. My husband and I are at a point in our lives that it is possible for me to be a SAHW; a lot of people cannot afford that.
If you find yourself in this situation, take note that you are not alone. Being a military spouse has its ups and downs, and unfortunately our careers will always have be at the short end of the stick. Keeping positive while being unemployed is not ideal, but being able to be a SAHW or SAHM is something that most people can’t do. So while I whine and complain about this situation I need to stop, think and say to myself that I am lucky.