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
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
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9 thoughts on “The Why and How”

  1. 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. 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!

    1. 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

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