The Unemployed Wife

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.


2 thoughts on “The Unemployed Wife”

  1. I get it. I really do. The other day my husband said he appreciated that the laundry was done and kitchen clean, but didn’t really know what I “did” all day. And the only reason his words hurt was because I was already feeling that exact thing.

    I hope you find something fulfilling so you can get out of the house!

  2. It took a long, LONG time for me to be ok with being a stay at home wife. I would always be asked, “so what is it you do?” And I would look up at my husband and then point and say, “I’m his wife.” It was a huge blow to my confidence and self-esteem.

    Now I feel differently about it. No, I don’t have a job and I don’t contribute to our income. But I help in so many other ways. I support, take care and love a United States Marine. Which means the world to him. And that isn’t it. I volunteer my time to organizations and build lasting friendships while networking with many people. I am learning how to be the best wife I can be so I can prepare to be an even better mom. And more importantly I have learned to understand that THIS is MY life. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone else. We are making bills and saving money. An extra income isn’t vital. But I do work as a stay at home wife, and my husband (as well as the well being of my home) appreciate it. I accept that in this lifestyle at this time, this is my role. And as long as I am ok with it, there is nothing wrong with that.

    So yes, we are not alone. There are plenty of wives that give up careers to follow their loved ones to unimaginable places (God bless you for surviving 29.) But hopefully in your next adventure a job, you find rewarding, will find you. 🙂

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