I am writing my story…
Joyce Myers once said in her daily devotion, that the unfair things that happened to us throughout our life, will make us the person God wants us to be.
After the twins read my first blog, they asked: “Mommy what is a nontraditional military family?” It dawned on me that we do not use the term often. I only use the term when individuals are curious to know the “why and how” about me. Let’s discuss the “why and how.”
Then, we will chat about my term of a nontraditional military family.
- Why do you work?
- Why don’t you stay home to…
- How do you manage to…
- How are you feeling?
Researchers have noted military spouses have a difficult time seeking employment or completing college due to their spouses’ military career. The stress may be induced by PCS, family demands, single parenting during deployment, and certainly not limited to childcare issues. Personally, I would also agree that being a military spouse is exceptionally challenging for more reasons than the above. But being a “nontraditional military spouse” is even more challenging.
I know it is stereotypical, but I consider my military family “nontraditional”, much because of my upbringing. I can relate to military spouses/families, but relate more to my family and friends. In most cases, traditional military families surround themselves with like-minded and relatable other military families. In my case, because of my upbringing, the “relatable” piece of that scenario does not apply to my family and I. As a child, my upbringing focused on perseverance through adversity, hard work, tenacity and becoming capable to support myself (maybe, more on that topic in the future). Those values have stuck with me ever since. At 17, I became a teen mom; a single mom. Therefore, I know firsthand what it feels like trying to survive. When my husband deploys or forced to PCS without our girls and myself, life still goes on for the girls and I. I tough it out and SURVIVE!
I don’t quit my full-time job, school, volunteering, etc…. At times, I play both roles and still manage to work towards my dreams. Is it challenging? Absolutely, but it is a personal choice and a sacrifice I am willing to make for me. I take great pride in not losing myself in my dreams because of my husband’s career, as research has shown.
We all are resilient, just in different ways. How do you define your resiliency?
Harrell, M. C., Lim, N., Castaneda, L. W. & Golinelli, D. (2004). Challenges to military spouse employment and education. Working around the military. Retrieved from https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2004/RAND_MG196.pdf
Redmond, S. A., Wilcox, S. L., Campbell, S., Kim, A., Finney, K., Barr, K., & Hassan, A. M. (2015). A brief introduction to the military workplace culture. Work, 50(1), 9-20. doi: 10.3233/WOR-141987