military spouse appreciation day

May 11, 2012
you won't meet a couple that is more fun than us
Happy Military Spouse Appreciation Day to all of the men and women who serve the silent ranks. Yes, I said men. Not all military spouses are women, and I have to think that it might be even harder to be a male military spouse. Cheers to you, military husband.

President Ronald Reagan declared the first Military Spouse Appreciation Day in 1984. Although it's been around for 28 years, I don't think many know about it. Typically, I find out about it a couple of days after by stumbling upon an article.

This year, I had some advance notice since I'm heading to the Military Blog Conference this weekend. Anyways, I read an article yesterday that talked about how military spouses cannot survive in the corporate world. It's true, in fact, I'm struggling with it right now. So, in honor of Military Spouse Appreciation Day, I'm going to vent  talk about one of the sacrifices I've struggled with while being a Marine Corps Wife. Enjoy some random photos, too.

I am a social media and email marketing strategist and consultant for a top, fast casual restaurant, headquartered in California. We PCS'd a couple of months ago and I have been fortunate enough to be able to work remotely. While it is a digital job and things are going smoothly, the company ideally needs all employees to physically be at the office. While my boss and I may disagree with that, our say doesn't really matter. So, they've been looking for my replacement and I'm interviewing a few people next week.

So why can't military spouses survive in the corporate world? For one, when I interviewed for my current position I told them we would be in California for 4-6 years, knowing that I was stretching the truth a bit. During my final interview I knew that they were going to offer me the position, and I was beyond excited- you would've stretched the truth, too. Honestly, I'm surprised they even hired me knowing that at some point in time I would be leaving.  That's struggle number one: fibbing about the time you're going to be at a duty station to get a job.

Struggle number two is keeping the job. Not going to happen. We got orders in June and had to be here by March 1. I started looking for jobs in October and that's when reality set it and the weight gain and anxiety began. Since October, I have applied to two jobs, both of which I was over-qualified for. There isn't a big job market in Virginia Beach, especially for the digital world. Sure, there are plenty of jobs in Virginia, but no where near where we live. Like I said, I'm temporarily working remotely, until they find a civilian to replace me.

It's on my mind 24/7- knowing that I'm being forced out of a job I love. Not only do I love my job, but I created the position, built the company's presence and have enhanced online media, with outstanding performance, metrics, analytics and campaigns to back me. I love my job, I'm passionate about what i do and most of all, I love the company and the people I work with. I don't get compensated nearly as much as I deserve or what the average person in my position makes, but I don't care- I love my job.

the best coworkers and friends anyone could ever ask for
Since I don't have anything lined up and I'm pretty much over being a freelance strategist and consultant, I'm not sure what to do. I don't want to find some random job, I need to keep doing what I'm doing, while building my skills and knowledge base. The problem? Everyone and their mother knows that people at this duty station stay for about 2 years, max. It takes about 1 year for a typical employee to get to know their job, do it well and start going above and beyond. Why hire someone that you know is going to leave in less than two years? I don't have an answer for you.
the first group of Marine Wives I got to know
"Don't work," you say. I like working, I enjoy working. I don't consider what I do to be work. I also enjoy money and would prefer to continue living the way we live, if not better. We could never be or want to be a one income, one vehicle family. We are too independent and we like to have fun.

I love my husband and could not be more proud or patriotic, so this is one of the sacrifices that I make. I'm happy to make the sacrifice, but it's really trying on me. The corporate world isn't for everyone, and I'm not sure I would love the typical uptight, dressy corporate world, but I love the laid-back corporate world that I live in now. Especially my corporate home office and yoga pants.

Brady was 6 months old. Travis deployed when he was 3 weeks old. Brady was begging for his return.
Many civilians go through a move or two, job promotions and relocations. It's not the same. Being a working military spouse is worse than being a pregnant job applicant. Nobody wants you, but everyone claims they support the troops and "especially their families."

some pretty amazing Marines.
Cheers to all of the military spouses who are now doing something they never planned on doing and probably didn't want to do. To all the stay at home military mommies, I commend you. I'm a working mom at heart and I'm determined to make it work. I'm just not quite sure how to do that yet.
my late grandma, a navy wife
I'm physically, emotionally and mentally drained. I knew what I was getting myself into when I married the Corps, but knowing it will happen in the future and actually going through it are two different things. I'm not happy, and it's partly why I don't like being here. I have so many great ideas and strategies for the company to move forward with and me to implement, but I'm being selfish and keeping them to myself. I don't want to start big projects and business changing strategies when I won't be around much longer. I have no problem training my replacement, but I'm not setting them up for success just so everyone can think the new person is fantastic and why didn't Chelsea think of that? She did... but she's not here to defend herself. Not going to happen.
With that said, I'm off to a conference call and some more job hunting. Why does life have to revolve around money? Have a great Military Spouse Appreciation Day, I appreciate you and all of the sacrifices you have given to support your spouse.

Semper Fi,


  1. That's quite the vent. I understand where you're coming from. Good luck finding a job in your new location.

  2. Hi! I'm stopping from the blog hop. This is my biggest sacrifice/struggle with being a military wife also. I quit the job I'd have for the last three years to move to GA where my husband was stationed. Within a month, while I was still interviewing for jobs, we got orders to Germany to be here within three months. I didn't want to waste anyone's time accepting a job when I was going to leave so soon, so I stopped looking.

    I resumed looking for work when I got to Germany where I can pretty much only work on post. It took four months of applying to pretty much everything to get a few interviews. In one, I was told it would work to my advantage that I recently got here because many are PCSing soon. Even on a post it seems they realize people are goin to be leaving and are looking for the longest investment for their time (and I still didn't get that job).

    Fortunately I was finally offered a job and am doing all the pre-employment stuff to hopefully start that soon, almost a year after I left my last job. The new job is in a completely different field than my education, the further education I'm planning on starting soon, or any of my past jobs. But I'm glad I have it and am looking forward to the adventure.

    The last several months would be a dream for some people. I have a friend who says she wishes she could trade places with me and stay home to write. While I have tried to make the most of it by writing, finding hobbies, catching up on reading, etc. it's been really hard for me because I *like* to work. I like to have my own income. I *don't* like depending on my husband to pay for everything but gifts (which I bought him out of what I'd saved before I quit), even though he's happy to do it. So I'm really glad to finally have the days where I'm not working or bringing in my own money coming to an end.

    All that to say, you're not the only one who has been in that situation or feels that way about it. I really hope you find a rewarding job soon. Cheers.

  3. I have been a stay at home mom for 13 yrs now. I gave up trying to work when I had my first daughter and my husband was gone more than he was home. I am a social worker in my past professional world. I have a masters degree however will need to go back and take more classes today do I can become licensed in the state of Florida only to move on to another state and go through the ordeal of being licensed again! Spouses are really the ones that sacrifice the most when it comes to the military. Good luck on your job search!