There's many reasons why I keep working...
#1 It's nice to be able to use my degree.
#2 My degree has been paid off for years now and I've required no extra certifications, so my salary is just my salary. I'm not working to pay off loans.
#3 It helps me stay sharp (this sounds dumb, but it's true)
#4 It doesn't make me depend on Scott's schedule. If he's gone for days at a time (or, you know, months), I have other things to focus on.
#5 I didn't have a job, I guarantee you I would stay home most days and studies have shown it's good for people to leave the house (right?).
The downsides are that my schedule doesn't always fit with Scott's and I can't really travel when he's not here. A lot of military wives go home, to wherever home is, during deployments. I've never done that.
That doesn't mean I haven't entertained the idea of taking on the role of army wife full-time. I actually miss a lot of gatherings and get-togethers because of my job. Most of those things are during the day. And when I'm forwarding FRG emails at 6am, sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just not have to do that.
Drinking hot chocolate out of my mug from Germany. Sent by Scott during his travels last year.
Here's an example...an acquaintance posted on Facebook about how she got everything in order for her husband's change of command. I'm not knocking the SAHM gig (eh, maybe I'm indifferent toward her though), but I, too, prepared for my husband's change of command ceremony.
In case you're wondering why Scott didn't do this stuff himself, the change-of-command ceremony refreshments, etc is usually the responsibility of the family and Scott was busy with the actual taking command part. He was working 15-18 hour days.
My day(s) went like this:
I took a day off work so I wrote sub plans.
Then I went to Costco by myself after work and bought hundreds of dollars worth of food and drink
(this was the week before Christmas...that should set the scene for Costco).
Then I got up super early the next morning (ceremony was at 10am), drove super far in morning traffic to the Dunkin' Donuts and spent hundreds of dollars more on donuts and coffee.
Then I set it up mostly all by myself, spent all day hanging around his office, talking to people, etc.
That night, I had to go to an army Christmas party.
The next morning, I got up and went to school, cleaning up both a mess from the students and getting a terrible report from the substitute. Exhausting, mentally and physically.
I believe it was also Christmas party day at school, so there was so much to do that I think I've honestly blocked a lot of that week out.
Another example of being a working army wife:
I dropped Scott off for deployment #2 at 1am on a Thursday night, back in December 2011. By 8am, I was in my classroom, putting math problems on the board and trying to stop crying before the students got there.
Obviously I don't know how long we'll be in Colorado or where we'll go to next. When we talk about it, the possibilities seem endless. I could tell you the front-running locations/jobs, but it changes daily. It's extremely unsettling to not know, but it's also exciting. I came to a peace a long time ago, not knowing what's next. I'm okay with it. When I mentioned that I was already bored with Colorado (granted, I do tend to bring boredom upon myself...as the great Betty Draper would say), Scott asked why and I explained. I ended with We (I) haven't even been here for two years. You've conditioned me to constant upheaval. This just doesn't feel right.
Regardless, being a working military wife has its plusses and minuses. Plus: the time goes by A LOT more quickly. Minus: when Scott sends me a message asking what I'm doing at 8am, I'll send him a picture that looks like this:
Good, bad, or indifferent, it is what it is. I'm obviously not the only working army wife, but being in the minority is an interesting feeling.
*After 3 bases, this is the trend that I've noticed. I realize many military wives work. I just haven't come across very many.