By Selena Conmackie
Guest Blogger

When you date a military servicemember, it’s inevitable that something more long-term may happen. As a military spouse, you leave behind your civilian life to follow where their next assignments take them. 

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

I wasn’t a young one going to college who met her guy at the bar on a Friday night. I was a single mom in her late 30’s who’d been divorced about a year and had 20 years into her career in the restaurant industry. 

I recall that when I decided to date again, my rules were…

  • No Military (I’ve built my career and happy where I am)
  • No Military (I’m not moving)

The why-nots continued in my mental list. 

But the funny thing about love is you can try to tell it what and how you want it, but it knows better sometimes. So in waltzed the very person that was a huge NO on my “NOT DATING” list. 

So let’s go to the part that you know I’ve done. I fell in love and, with a lot of thought, I knew being with my now-husband was what I wanted. 

When I announced that I was engaged, there was a certain question that came from some circles of my friends, family and colleagues: “Are you sure you want to do this?”

It wasn’t that they didn’t like my husband, but they knew what marrying him meant. 

I’d leaving home and leaving a career I had built and was really proud of. 

I had worked because I needed to. Sure, I would have loved to be a stay-at-home mom, but it wasn’t in my cards. And I was taught to work 100% in everything I do.

“Yes, I’m sure. It feels right.”

I recall the conversation I had with my husband. When we PCS, what should I do for work? He had been in for a while and knew if I didn’t work right away, we would be fine financially.  

He said, “Take time off. Enjoy it.”  

I remember being SOOO excited about that. And then…

We PCS. I got us all acclimated to our new living situation. But six months in I felt something was missing that I didn’t expect.

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

I would talk to my husband about his day and, coming from an upper management background, I would balk at this or that, suggesting hows and whys. 

I had met great people and did coffee dates with them, and play dates with our kids.  I wasn’t lonely.

I was cooking, baking, cleaning more than I’d ever done.  I wasn’t bored.

The “old” me nudged me and whispered, “We miss ‘being in action’.”  I was trying to understand what that meant… I was totally in action. Right?  

I’ve noticed there seems to be a stereotype that a military spouse doesn’t want to work, but the reality of the servicemember’s mission causes a barrier to MilSpouse employment. Childcare, special certifications required in the new duty station your family will be assigned to, and not being hired because you are a military spouse and they want someone more long term. 

I realized that I was missing that thing that was just for ME and I enjoyed solving things, creating something that worked and made an event/situation/problem workable. I was good at it. Working filled a bucket I didn’t know I really enjoyed holding. 

There was nothing comparable to what I did back home in our new duty station.. That frustrated me. But I also LOVED being able to participate in family life the way I had since PCS’ing and being part of a full-fledged life on a military post. 

I had kept in touch with colleagues back home and one conversation led to doing something remotely for them. 

“Are you sure you want to do this?”

It’s not exactly what I had been doing professionally, BUT it was in the industry I knew well AND I could still be immersed with my family how I had been. I dove in, and dove in deep.

Suddenly I had become an accidental entrepreneur as I was working for myself. The bucket that I needed to fill soon overflowed and tipped the scales. The “old me” was merging into the “new us’” 

I( “we”) felt really fulfilled. More so than when I’d had my original career, before marrying into the military. I somehow found a way to merge two things I truly loved — family AND career. 

So my answer today to that question about whether or not I was sure about this… is “YES. I’m so happy I did this.”

About Selena Conmackie

Some call Selena their Social Media Gal, Website Designer Extraordinaire Guru, Genius (their words, not hers). But she’s also a Military Spouse following her husband with her kid and dog in tow to wherever the Army sends them. So, just add Rockstar Mom and Ah-mazing Wife to her list.​ H A U O L I is the name of her small boutique business. It means Happy in Hawaiian and has a special meaning that became the inspiration for her new journey. Her goal is to help your business to succeed — and social media plays a part in that. She enjoys the game of hashtags and algorithms and helping her clients optimize their online presence.

Solutions for Your Military Family:

Life Insurance, Wealth Management, Home Mortgages, Survivor Services, and more. Learn more about AAFMAA.

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