The Why and How

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 lives 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 us 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.

A picture and flowers on a white desk. and a chair.
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 do not 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?
Stay Encouraged!
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
Don’t forget to connect with me on my other social media platforms (to the left).
~Tren 
 

9 Comments

  1. Maya

    September 20, 2018 at 4:18 AM

    This is spot on! I have always worked a full time , at times very demanding, job even after we started a family. Everyone thought I would stay home as well once I had my twins but I went back to work after 11 weeks.
    I think continuing to work is an outlet for me, a way to maintain my own identity . It is challenging and tiresome but it works for us.
    Great post! I look forward to reading more.

    1. Trenye B.

      September 21, 2018 at 2:26 PM

      Absolutely! Military life, parenting, career, etc…its all challenging! We have to figure out what works for us. Everyone has a story and every story will be different. Thanks for sharing your story. Stay encouraged!

  2. MrBlack

    September 20, 2018 at 9:24 PM

    Very true and poignant! Nothing about military service is easy, on both sides!

    1. Trenye B.

      September 21, 2018 at 2:49 PM

      Here you go…using big words 😝. I definitely agree. Servicemembers have their own set of challenges, just like us spouses. But as a couple we work together and make it all work!

  3. Bo

    September 22, 2018 at 12:07 PM

    I wondered what nontraditional meant as well and meant to Google it but didn’t get around to it. I love how the girls obviously are thinkers and seek knowledge. Your blog flows well by the way. Thanks!

    1. Trenye B.

      September 28, 2018 at 10:13 PM

      Ha! it’s probably a word we (my family and I) made up.

  4. amandawarfield

    October 11, 2018 at 12:19 PM

    Love this so much. I can totally relate to feeling like a nontraditional military family….we also don’t seem to connect with other military families. I teach and also am working on starting up a business, we have no kids, and we don’t plan to be a military family for much longer….We just don’t feel like we connect. So we’ve created community elsewhere in our lives. Which feels more stable than any military friendship I’ve made, but also I’m much more sad to be leaving them!

    1. Trenye B.

      October 21, 2018 at 8:44 PM

      Bitter sweet. In a few years, my hubby will retire. I am sure, I will feel sentimental about leaving the active military life.

  5. Separation​ and Reunification: Military Life – The Life of A Therapist

    December 4, 2018 at 10:16 PM

    […] As I have stated in Resilience in Military Spouses, military life is a constant change and forces resiliency, especially in uncomfortable instances. It’s a constant fluctuation of emotions, situations and relationships.  I also mentioned in that blog how Chief is stationed in another state. He does most of the traveling back and forth to visit us.  Although, we are thankful for those times.  But just him being gone for several months forced me to adjust to my new normal.  I have learned skills to keep normalcy for the girls’.  Even if that means sacrificing my dreams (for now).  So sometimes, reunification can be difficult for me.  Because I am adjusting to him being home for a few weeks and taking over all of my daily responsibilities. Don’t get me wrong, his presence is extremely helpful, and we try to optimize his time here. Many would enjoy that, but I am a person who has learned to overcome the many obstacles, and “my” normalcy is extremely important for sanity. Read more about my resiliency and adversity here, The Why and How… […]

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