When I met and married my husband nearly 13 years ago, I knew that my life would begin to revolve around his military service – and I was OK with that.
Most of the time.
When you’re an elementary school teacher as I was, moving every couple of years can make it difficult to keep momentum, gain tenure, and get to know a school district’s intricacies. There’s also the ‘New Teacher Orientation’ that each district always adds to your schedule when you enter it, no matter how seasoned you might be.
Add in the fact that my pay can be completely consumed by childcare, and very quickly, my life began a detour, professionally. Especially after the twins arrived.
I realized that if I wanted to pursue a professional goal, it had to be something that worked with raising my children while also being a military spouse. Having my child in daycare 8+ hours a day while my husband was out to sea, was less than ideal.
I was faced with several challenges but, that didn’t change my drive to continue to grow and have pursuits professionally. Challenging myself, learning new things and discovering what I’m capable of has always been a part of who I am at the core.
When I started blogging, I was also pitching print publications for work pretty consistently. It became a lovely outlet, a way to share the journey we had been through as parents and as I got to know the blogging and social media community, opportunities for work began to happen. It was a very long time before I made a lucrative income, but the process was intellectually challenging and I loved that I had the opportunity to reach other families, friends and military spouses. I was able to feature friends, interview a celebrity (I’m pretty sure he was having lunch while on the phone with me), and write what I knew to be true as a parent by working with hyper-local publications. I went on to work with new found friends within the blogging and the social media community. It was loads of fun setting new goals. It was something I tried to do regularly, which I think was the key to my growth in a completely new field.
What I’ve learned through my own journey, and that of other women like myself within the military community, is to take small steps, set small goals and once tackled, set more. Be willing to bench those goals briefly as you navigate a deployment or an unaccompanied move with three kids. This is how I roll. I embrace the crazy and unpredictable as much as I can, it has saved my sanity. When my schedule became too much during a 9 month deployment period, I scaled back until life settled again. That’s what has worked for me.
Know that your priorities will vary depending on what your service member is up to as he/she serves their country. If you can acknowledge the fact that your goals will sometimes be met at a snails pace, knowing that they will still happen, you will find success while also serving along your spouse. Don’t give up. Keeping chipping away. It’s not necessary to have it all figured out, to know where your path leads, just start.
How have you managed achieving your personal goals and successes as a military spouse? If you’re not a MilSpouse, it doesn’t mean you don’t have your own challenges , what are your tips for making your goals happen in the midst of raising a family?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Chevrolet via MSB New Media. The opinions and text are all mine.