The Story of an Army Wife: Deciding to Work or Staying Home

As a college graduate, the decision to work versus stay at home seemed like a discussion I would never have with anyone. But i realize as an army wife, it was a discussion i would have with my husband and with myself.

While my father made a more than decent enough living to sustain a household of four, my mother didn't believe in being a housewife.  By the time I got to middle school, my mother quit her job so my sister and I could participate in extracurricular activities.  However, I soon remember my mom doing work from home after going back to her former employer for part time work.

That was almost 13 years ago.  Today, my mother is technically considered a "housewife" though she does some work with the National Guard Youth ChalleNGe Program, an organization that helps at risk youth by putting them in a boot camp like environment and helps them with educational programs.  My mother's position with the program comes by the fact that my father is a general in the Air National Guard, as well as a few of the other women on the board.

At the end of the day, my mother talks about returning to work on a regular basis.  Before I got married, she told me that she would stop talking to me if I ever became a housewife.  I reassured her that I would always seek employment.  However, it is going on 2 months since my move to Fort Knox and I'm starting to question my commitment to that promise.

Tomorrow, I start my first day of work.  While it is by no means my dream job, it is a paycheck and some since of independence.  However, the short road to this recent employment has brought forth a lot of drama and serious discussions between my husband and myself.

I went to college to study journalism.  Unfortunately, my need to pay off debts took me to jobs that were nowhere near my career aspirations.  However, I find amusement in the fact that I married a man in the army whose first duty station is in a small town.  Why is that amusing?  Because I always told myself I would never marry a man in the military for fear of getting stationed in a small town with no career opportunities for myself. 
After a few dead ends with several local jobs, Akeem and I had a talk about me working.  He told me that he was fine with me not working but that I needed to make up my mind about what I wanted to do.  I couldn't even believe I was considering not going to work, but something about focusing on building my blog and hopes of it branching into something more into the field of my degree seemed appealing.  We decided that in a year we want to try for kids and Akeem admitted for the first time that he would want me to stay home with our kid(s).

With my husband encouraging me to go back to school, my own personal debts still in the background, and the lack of potential for a career in this town.................the debate to work or stay home is constant in my head.

When I came to visit Akeem in July before we got married, I remembered being bothered by how many army wives didn't work.  However, after a few job interviews and continuous discussions with my husband I have come to realize that going to work is a complicated thing.  Between having to consider my husband's career (especially if the job I'm interviewing for already does; i.e. how long are you stationed here?) and what is available career wise in a small town; what is an army wife to do?

Guess we will see what will happen in a year:-)