Dispatches from a go-gettin journalist. Because not all Army wives live behind the lines...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stay at Home.... Wife?

Of all the acronyms -- and there are ALOT -- that are used in the military (and perhaps in civilian life!) SAHM -- stay at home mom -- is one of the acceptable ones.

Many women who hear SAHM think a busy mother with a household full of children, a supportive mother who is putting her all into raising her children... you know, all that good stuff.

But what about those of us that don't have children? When our husbands' jobs are constantly evolving, taking us from one location to another, or their schedules are just too erratic, or perhaps we're active duty and are PCSed numerous times that we can't even maintain a career, let alone hold a steady job.

So what if we turned that 'M' upside down. What about Stay at Home Wives? Are SAHW just as readily acceptable as SAHM?

Before becoming an Army wife, I viewed SAHW as a crutch. A SAHW was just as embarrassing -- if not more so -- as when the military calls you a "dependent." Certainly they're not talking about me!

But I've thought about this concept many times over the past few months -- since Superman is currently in between assignments and we're not quite sure where his next job may take us. And let me tell you, the thought of being a SAHW still scares the bajeebees out of me. This article didn't quite help make the case.

I've interned every semester of my undergraduate career, and worked three jobs during grad school. I've been lucky enough to be over employed. Even now, I have a few side hustles besides the full-time dream job I now have. When I have a weekend or a few days off, I don't know what to do with myself.

Don't get me wrong. There are so many days that I idealize kicking back and just relaxing. But I snap out of it really quick. Who am I kidding. I am a "work"-a-holic. What would I do with myself? This, I now think, is my biggest fear.

I often wonder how some wives who, premilitary, were attorneys, teachers, stockbrokers, producers, nurses, etc. cope with the fallout?

Is the only "acceptable" way to be a SAHW is to be a SAHM?

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