MSEJ August 2018 - Page 14| HOT JOBS 14

"You do not need anyone’s blessing, but your own...The friendships are yours to sustain, the bank account is yours to balance, and the kids are yours to rear.

The Military Spouse’s Dilemma is yours to ruminate over..."

But I can say: I see you. And I know that in the moment, it can be hard to manage priorities, to identify what we value and what its impact is on everything else.

While I can’t fully know the impact of our choices (my husband’s and mine—your adventure is your own), I feel somewhat confident in the conclusions I’ve drawn so far.

1. Always choose sleep. The US Army identifies sleep as an integral part of the fitness triad. I know—some of you amazing unicorns can get by with five hours of sleep, but whatever the amount of sleep you need, always choose sleep. Being able to achieve any of the other selections requires it.

2. Choose work (not just their work) if you want a career or, more realistically, if you need a career because two incomes are a necessity. It’s okay (and completely reasonable) to try to balance the value of your work and your spouse’s. Here’s a well-

known fact about my spouse and me—we made decisions about duty stations (when we could) based not only on what was best for his career, but also based on what was best for my goals.

Every spouse situation is unique; some spouses’ options are limited, and your choices may become more restricted as your spouse is promoted. This is ultimately something for you to decide as a couple and as a family. But know that it’s reasonable to make decisions that are good for your career too. Doing so requires some frank conversations and the ability to laugh in the fact of the status quo—good thing the military prepared us for that a long time ago. Doing so also has the added bonus of making your family less dependent on those military (and Veteran) benefits, which may allow for a little more flexibility in your decision-making in the here and now and in the future.