The great job hunt of 2008.
I have been “unemployed for almost 7 years now” (think echo chamber here).
That is a long time.
I never had intentions of being a SAHM. I longed too, and wanted to, but started working full time at the age of 15. Staying at home never seemed like an option for me. At 15, I was a nurse aide, and during college I started passing medications, I ended up quiting my University education, and decided to get my Licensed Practical Nursing degree….
I learned I could stay at home full time, when my Mother fell ill with cancer.
She was very sick, and I was getting life and death phone calls about once a week. I would have to leave my job, and travel 12 hours to care for her, and then I would return to my job.
This turned out to be not only frustrating for me, but to my employer at the time. They were good about it, for 6 months. But then they needed someone reliable. I could not make promises to them. so I bowed out of my position, and decided to temporarily relocate and care for my Mother.
It was a huge decision for my Husband and I, at that time. But in the end my husband said to me. “If you do not do it, will you be able to look in the mirror in 10 years and feel good about it?” I also made that decision, before children. I was pregnant at the time, but had no children here. I decided that since the Drs. had given my Mother 3 months to live, I could manage our finances for that time. My Mother was only 57 at the time, and was very fearful about going into a long term care situation, so much so….we all knew if we did that she would die in a week. I also knew, it would eat up ANY and all of my working parents money, they might loose the house etc…
I went home to care for my Mother.
My Mother’s cancer liked to travel, and it seemed, she would fight one area, and then it would disappear only to return to a different part of her body. She fought hard, for months. HARD. I think the fact that I was pregnant with her first Grandchild, was a motivating factor for her. She wanted to see this blessed little boy. Even if she hated the name we had picked out for the wee one.
During that time, I learned the skills I needed to be able to cut corners where money is concerned. I made simple adjustments, like cutting gas costs, and running errands at one time, cutting coupons, planning meals etc ahead of time.
My Mother passed when my little man was 3 months old, and I made the decision to stay at home.
I tried working for a bit, but being a military spouse, even in the entity known as National Guard means scheduling surprises pop up. It turned out to be more trouble than it was worth.
That was almost 7 years ago…
Filling out the job applications has been wild. It looks like I literally dropped off the face of the planet. I did note my volunteer work.
But 7 years looks like a long time on a job application.
I feel as though I should attach an essay about how I have managed through 2 deployments, a family illness etc, alone. Looking back it is impressive. Hind sight is 20/20 isn’t it.
Military spouses learn how to trudge forward, even if we have our noses to the grindstone, and forget the periphery. We learn to manage to manage the minute by minute.
I am not sure how to market myself at this point.
For 7 years I have been the invisible woman.
I am sure this is a common issue, and I was wondering how some of you have dealt with it, please feel free to share any ideas or experience.
It will be appreciated.