It has been almost 7 months since we moved to our potentially last duty station. In that time frame I have spent 2.5 months in single parent mode driving halfway across the country with 2 kids and 2 dogs, getting the entire rental house moved in, the kids enrolled in a new school, and generally just getting things settled. I have spent 3 months working a temporary job at my kid’s school that I decided to apply for and accept despite the pay so i could get to know the new school and community we have moved to. I have spent 6 months applying for all kinds of jobs I thought I would want to finally start my career path or that seemed like decent gigs.
I interviewed for a few of those potential “careers” only to find out that I was either overqualified, under-qualified, the job was exactly what I wanted but I had to start on night shifts, or it was good stepping stone to a potential career but I had to work 3-7 pm M-F. (I have also been referred to 7 GS jobs–two I was not hired for and no interview took place and the others…well there is a hiring freeze)
What I have discovered is if I want to do what I always thought I would do I have to sacrifice time with my family (again keep in mind the husband deploys often so he is already gone and my kids are currently 8 and 7 so they are wanting to do after school sports or activities and I have no family close to watch them or take them). Not just time with my family but whatever money I make goes straight to daycare since the jobs start as night shifts or the exact times they aren’t in school and that gets ridiculously expensive.
I ended up doing A LOT of soul-searching and what I discovered was simple–I am a military spouse and mom of two with a Masters degrees who will not sacrifice her kids lives for her selfish career desires. I would feel selfish and personally could not live with that. I technically chose to have the little buggers, and I chose to marry the boy in uniform so with all that comes some sacrifices I suppose I just didn’t expect and now have to come to terms with. The best “career” path for me is the GS system as a M-F gig 8-5 with almost 10 years already invested if I buy back my military time. That would be about my only possibility of a retirement.
So I suppose I will not be some awesome forensic psychologist, or ninja Indiana Jones type super hero. I can live with that. Although it has taken me a good 8 years of fighting it to come to terms with it. In that 8 years though I have traveled Europe and the states, learned to bake and cook, become pretty damn crafty if the mood hits, gotten a Bachelors and a Masters (even if they will never be utilized) and so far raised some pretty okay kids! Unfortunately I have also struggled with anxiety and depression and gone through a few pretty dark years. Balance, right?