First, don't you just love the word conundrum? It's so fun to say.
There are so many wonderful things about being an Army wife - exploring new parts of the country and world, making new friends, health insurance, etc., so if you think I am here to complain you are wrong. But there is one aspect that I find rather frustrating. It is very difficult to have a career as an Army wife.
I have a background in communications and marketing, which is all about who you know and working your way to the top. That's hard to do when you move fairly often to follow the hubby.
Right now, we are here in Arizona for an even shorter than normal time period, only 6 months, so I am a full time house wife. Here's my confession: I don't mind staying at home. I enjoy watching my morning shows, having the free time to work out when I want to and for how long I want to, being able to meet girlfriends for lunch and to lay by the pool, and most of all the time to cook yummy meals for the hubs and I. Here's what I don't like: feeling like I am not bringing anything to the table, having to really watch the bank account, and just an overall feeling of little self worth. I often feel like I am a stay at home mother without the child. (Does Maggie count??)
For as long as I can remember I have always worked. I babysat in middle school and started with part-time jobs as soon as I was in high school and continued through college. Then I walked out of PLU with a degree and a full time job lined up. Plus I come from a family where my mom has always worked full time, as does Ian. So me not working is a whole new mindset I have to get used to.
I know the majority of my Army-wife friends do not work, and I know I never think low of it and know everyone does what is best for them, but for me I feel convinced that somehow all of my non-Army friends and family must view me as lazy and pampered and all my education was for not. I know this is (hopefully) not the case, but it's hard to think otherwise when it's often how I see myself. Thankfully, Ian is extraordinarily supportive of me and always assures me that just because I don't bring a paycheck in doesn't mean I am not contributing to our marriage. I know he will encourage me to go after any of my dreams, even if that includes staying at home. For me it's a battle with my own mind and not coming from an external source.
So here is my conundrum... how do I balance enjoying my free time with knowing I am a valuable part of our marriage, challenge my brain more, and bring some mula in?? I always think a part-time job would be ideal, but I really don't want to work retail again! Am I crazy?! Am I wanting my cake and to eat it too?
When we move to Fort Campbell, I am really hoping to further pursue my interest in dental assisting, but to be honest, I am nervous that I'll pay even more money to further my education just to realize it's not what I want! Argh! I am pretty positive that I would love it, but then again I at one point thought the same about communications.
Any advice would be much appreciated, and thanks for letting me vent! :-)