2nd class, unchosen career

‘This study examines the employment decisions of heterosexual women married to military service members, and how their decisions to work or not work evolve over time within this context of uncertainty and high demands.’For some the pull that was exerted on the spouses was constant while for others the pull was amplified as the service… Continue reading 2nd class, unchosen career

Gendered, unpaid roles

‘The family and the military are both “greedy institutions” (Segal, 1986) and their competing demands can lead to conflict between work and family life for personnel.’The demands of the military can also extend to military families via experiences of relocation, separations and reunions, and deployment, resulting in poorer mental health and well-being among military spouses.’An… Continue reading Gendered, unpaid roles

Career or Job? Self-Worth?

‘Spouses in professional careers (also typically the spouses of officers) described how they were intent on working during accompanied postings because of the meaning it provided them with in (re-)establishing an identity separate to that of military wife or mother.’Yet, they experienced difficulties planning or progressing their careers because of the frequency and duration of… Continue reading Career or Job? Self-Worth?

Internal conflict

‘All participants in this study had children. Many working spouses reported difficulties in balancing their family responsibilities with employment due to the cost and availability of formal childcare and – because of geographic distance from family members during accompanied postings – a lack of informal support.’For some spouses, this could lead to internalised conflict about… Continue reading Internal conflict

Dependent? Really?

‘Many spouses described how their relationship with their husband led them to be ascribed the identity of a ‘military wife’ or dependent within the community.’By establishing connections and relationships with civilians, spouses were able to reassert their independence and resist the identities imposed on them through their relationship with their husband within their working environment:”…… Continue reading Dependent? Really?

Getting out of the home

‘For other spouses, employment was less about providing an identity or status and instead related to a sense of purpose and structure to their lives. Such participants were largely content to take any form of employment that allowed them to feel they were productive outside the family home:”… I’ve been working six months since moving… Continue reading Getting out of the home

Balancing identities

‘Three types of social role were identified within this theme: employee, military wife and mother. Employment – and the identity of ‘employee’ obtained through work – was described by a number of participants as a positive influence on their well-being, enabling spouses to reclaim a sense of independence and self beyond the military community and… Continue reading Balancing identities

Employment matters

‘Participants [of the study] explained how employment contributed to an independent identity, enabling social connectedness, providing a sense of self-confidence and value.’   ‘It’s nice to just be you’: The influence of the employment experiences of UK military spouses during accompanied postings on well-being. Rachael Gribble, Laura Goodwin, Sian Oram, Nicola T Fear April 1, 2019  

Reality changes

“A military model based on a notion of a working father and a stay-at-home mother looking after her husband and her children, willing to go anywhere the Armed Forces require, whenever they require it, is no longer realistic.” Living in our ShoesReport of a review commissioned by the Ministry of Defence | June 2020

Categorized as Identity