A couple of days ago, I asked, "IF you think there's a starting point, re: changing the world's perspective of the male milspouse, what would the first thing be?" The remarks (especially the email traffic) fell into what I'd consider four camps from the two genders. (F-#1) "what's your problem? Get on w/life." (F-#2) "we've always welcomed men into every gathering and at every opportunity -- they just aren't interested." (M-#1) "I really want a professional life as rewarding as my female milspouse but can't seem to get it jump-started." And lastly, (M-#2) "Toad, what's broken?"
Although I could spend great amounts of debating brain cells on F-#1 & #2, it's the latter two I'd like to check-out a bit more. Interested in coming along?
M-#1 : "... want to work, finding it difficult, need a jump start..." The issues facing every milspouse WRT professional development, I believe transcends gender. Especially in this day and age. In fact, what many male milspouses are now experiencing, the ladies have been dealing with having been forced to "break the code" on spousal employment since Molly Pitcher. (The original one, not the SpouseBUZZ author, (c:] ...) Fortunately, there is more information available, more avenues to pursue, and more "reasonably minded employers" then ever before. Dang, hit the link on the SpouseBUZZ page to friendly employers, <http://www.military.com/spouse/0,,employer_list,00.html> and you'll see more than you can easily take in. Okay you say, but this life isn't what you were expecting when you said "I do" to a US Warrior? Take a number for this one -- as there are literally thousands of "wives" who have preceded us and through grit and determination ... and a very healthy dose of ingenuity and worn shoe leather, they've developed themselves professionally like never before -- usually w/ a couple of kids hanging on the laptop screen as they worked through the issues. My advice (which is truly only fine-tuned WRT Scotch and golf clubs), is the same advice that you'll hear from many head hunters -- work your audience, scout-out the "need." Push your resume to everyone with a vacancy or who is hiring within the discipline that you're interested. Then follow up. Always, be clear that you're married to the military, and although you believe your living conditions/locale will be stable for a couple of years, anything might transpire, re: transfers. BUT -- you can guarantee them, that the time you're their employee, you'll easily out-work, out-maneuver, and out-gun someone who *yawn* is simply looking for a job. Again, start now -- hit the above link, or this official DOD site, < http://www.military.com/spouse >. Bottom line guys, you want a job while supporting your US Warrior, then get out a copy of Microsoft Project and make yourself a plan, and then execute. Some of the BEST places to work are for employers who are now or were milspouses (and OBTW, are mostly women.)
M-#2 : "Toad, what's broken? What's there to fix?" "Flounder" -- !*BINGO*! You win! -- sadly, your gift bag is empty as my two girls thought that giving you a rawhide chew just wasn't appropriate -- so they're gnawing on it now. (They send you their thanks.) I wasn't sure I'd find a similar voice in the woods, to the one I sing almost daily. My life IS the envy of most of the guys that are working. Yep, wife is TDY this week and I haven't seen my Trac II in days. And w/ 26 years under the belt (mil-to-mil marriage) I'm not seeking to "fix" anything nor am I seeking any type of lifestyle change. I'm couldn't be happier than a toad eatin' skeeters next to a Texas stock-tank.
So, to wrap up this posting (my two girls are finished for the moment w/ "Flounder's" rawhide chews and need to go "out."), my thoughts? Well gentlement, F-#1 & #2 are probably both correct, "get over it, get involved, get on with life: you have the power" and M-#1 is very valid and many folks need to realize it's a complete roll reversal for most men -- "we ain't like you" in either concept or evolution. This we can talk about -- send me your thoughts. Lastly, M-#2: "Flounder," where's the nearest playground 'tween you and me? I'll bring tomorrow morning's beer. O&O, MaintToad