Military Family Employment Advocate Melissa King says that the biggest mistake spouses make when it comes to employment is letting their skills lapse completely. “I was a stay home mom, too. And there is always something you can do,” says Melissa. Cleaning floors endlessly doesn’t not have to be that something.
I know what she means. Some of the best advice I ever got as a stay-home mom was to be selective in the way I spent my volunteer hours. An older spouse told me, “Save your volunteering for something you want to do when you grow up.” She thought people who wanted to be professional organizers should organize stuff. People who want to be employed at a school should volunteer at a school. People who want to be brain surgeons should spend a lot of time reading up on brain surgery.
I didn’t want to do any of those things. So I volunteered on Classmate magazine in Monterey. I wrote newsletters for the ship in Sasebo. I wrote some volunteer news stories for the base paper. I avoided brain surgery and my kitchen floor and eventually found my way back to the world of work. I am doing what I like to do. That’s the kind of thing I am hoping every spouse who reads this will find for herself. Eventually is closer than you think.
Navy wife Jacey Eckhart is Editor of SpouseBuzz and author of I Married a Spartan?? The Care and Feeding of Your Military Marriage available on iTunes, Amazon, and on www.jaceyeckhart.com.