FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2022
So it’s been almost 3 months now since I have started working at my new job as a Social Media Account Manager and since my start with them I found myself reflecting on a lot of things. About two weeks ago now I had a very personal conversation with my boss about my personal life and how I was worried about how it would affect my ability to perform at work.
Long story short, the nanny that my husband and I had hired to care for our daughter while working from home had to cut back on a few days of the week due to some personal issues she had been going through. There have been a few times now where I felt overwhelmed and super distracted from doing my work because I had to constantly stop and care for my daughter. I was worried that me being overwhelmed and constantly having to clock-in and clock-out would have a negative impact on my ability to do my job, but more importantly leave a bad taste in my employers mouth that I was not committed to the company and my team.
Immediately, I reached out to my boss and asked her if we could talk. Now keep in mind, this woman is in a high position with our employer. Everyday she is in a virtual business meeting and plate is always full. So, when she took the time, last minute, out of her day to call me on my personal cell, I felt truly grateful. While I won’t go into full detail about this discussion with her, I will highlight the main points of discussion and the end result of our conversation.
I basically explained my situation to her and that I would be alone with my daughter two days a week because her nanny had some personal things going on. I proceeded to tell her that because of this I was worried about how it would affect my ability to perform on the job, in addition how it would look from the outside looking in. To put it more into context for you, being a new mom and a new working mom I constantly feel overwhelmed with my life and my career. I often feel like I need to choose between the two and that sometimes I can’t have both or that I have to choose between which job I should give my 100% to.
Not only did she help me come with a strategy of how to make both my professional and personal life work for me, but she also gave me the best advice, from one mom to another…she told me to give myself some grace. Yes, I am a new mom. Yes, I am a new working mom. Yes, I am going to have some hiccups and be interrupted, but all of that is okay. I will not be penalized by my employer for trying to find balance. Opportunities to grow within the company will not be revoked for trying to find balance. She continued to encourage by asking me the million dollar question….”what is your end goal? what are you working towards?”
It took me a week to think about that answer. And when I say think, I don’t mean out loud such as sharing my thoughts with my husband or close family members. I mean I had to think quietly. So quiet that I moved in silenced as I listened to God’s voice in times of prayer and meditation. I kept asking myself, “what am I working towards? What’s my end goal?” If I had to think about one thing that gets me up in the morning what would that one thing be? And then it hit me…I realize that my daughter changed everything for me.
She changed the way I plan. She changed the way I execute those strategies within those plans. She changed the frequency and velocity of how and when I move. My daughter forced me to slow down and choose. Choose what was a priority to me and with that helped me determine where my true passion lies. There are three things I am passionate about: God, Family, and the military community.
I realize that prior to this moment my focus was on all of the wrong things from my podcast, to my home decor business, to my personal blog…though all of those things served a deep purpose at the time I was doing them, I spent too much time on them. I was doing too much at one time and now I finally understand what it means to slow down, wait on God, and do one thing at a time. A wise woman once told me, “you can have it all Vashti. You just can’t have it all right now.” And to be honest, I don’t want it all right now. That’s too much unnecessary stress and pressure.
So what’s my point or my message behind this letter? It’s simple.
I think sometimes as military spouses we can get so caught in the mix of redefining ourselves that we forget where our passion and love really falls. You don’t have to have a lot going on to feel successful or to be successful. If your end goal is to be a working spouse to help support your family, especially during times of deployments and PCSing, then honey shoot for the stars! As long as your end goal is helping you remain true to yourself and what is best for you and your family then you are on the right path to the reinvention of yourself!
I hope this letter inspires some of you and reminds that where you are right now is where you are supposed to be. And if you are not where you want to be right now, I hope it motivates you to figure out your future destination.
So now I ask you, what’s your end goal and what are you working towards?
Until next time, good day y’all!
Sunday, June 5, 2022
Hello milspouse friends 🙂 Welcome to “Letter’s from Vashti.”
Each time you come to this thread, you can expect to see something new from me about my personal experience as a military spouse or new developing ideas surrounding this blog. Think of it as…well…an open diary of my thoughts!
Today’s letter comes from a place of self-reflection and encouragement.
It’s been over a year since my husband and I have PCS’d to NAS JRB Fort Worth and let me be honest, the transition was not easy at all. I mean maybe for him it might have been simple and manageable. However, for me it was probably one of the hardest transitions of my life. I think I speak for all military spouses when I say the most difficult part about a PCS is finding new friends, finding new volunteer opportunities, in addition to finding employment. That was the case for me in all three aspects. On top of that…I had just found out I was pregnant with our daughter.
While I did manage to find freelance work, for an entire year I struggled with finding a new full-time job. Especially one that would fit perfectly into my lifestyle as a military spouse while also being flexible with me expecting very soon and becoming a new mom. For an entire year, I struggled with anxiety and depression because I felt unsuccessful. I was not used to being solely dependent on my husband for anything and it drove me nuts! Eventually I started to accept that this was where I needed to be temporarily until after my daughter would be born. Working while pregnant was just not in the picture and I had to embrace that.
I am now three months postpartum and I have finally found a job that fits perfectly into my new mom life as well as my military spouse life! Interesting enough, I found this opportunity through another military spouse that helps other military spouses find employment in between PCSing as they transition to their new duty stations. What I enjoy the most about this job already is that its team consists of mostly other military spouse employees. So naturally I already feel connected to everyone there who can relate to what I am going through on a daily basis. Most of all…it’s remote! So I have the opportunity to work from home all while still spending time with my baby girl and my adorable little Pomeranian, Chance, in between breaks.
Now although I have hired a nanny to watch my daughter while I work, it still sits well with me to know I can see her and hear her at all times. That was one of my biggest concerns while searching for work as a new mom…childcare. Finding an employer that would understand my concerns of leaving my baby at a daycare center always worried me. Because let’s be real here for a second, being a new mother, I am not ready to leave my child in the care of someone else where I can’t see what they are doing with my baby and how they are interacting with her.
As I sit here and reflect on my PCS journey and job hunting experience I would like to acknowledge the value in building professional connections with military spouse employers and recruiters. Whether you build those connections in a professional workplace or at an event as a volunteer, embrace those connections and nurture them. I was truly ready to give up on finding work because every interview I had I would get rejected. Had I not reconnected with this military spouse recruiter I would have never found this opportunity. I am truly grateful for the professional connections I have in the military community.
SIDE NOTE…this connection I have is on LinkedIn. I highly encourage that if you are reading this right now put a pin in this entry and spruce up your LinkedIn profile. If you don’t know how to work LinkedIn, how to build a proper resume and connections, Military OneSource has online training and classes you can take. Oh…and by the way if you go through Military OneSource to get your LinkedIn training done you can also get access to LinkedIn Premium for free for a year! Don’t say I never gave you anything! You’re welcome!
I want to close this letter out with a very important quote from a close friend of mine. “Accept the self-acceptance.”
I know this life is hard and can be overwhelming with constant and even last minute changes. What has helped me navigate this lifestyle is to accept that this is my life for the next 15 to 20 years as a wife, as a mom, and as a working woman. To accept yourself for who you are, what you are, and where you are is not such a bad thing. In fact, I have found that in accepting the self-acceptance things have fallen right into place at the most perfect time. Accepting that during my pregnancy it was probably best to not work at that time has lead me right here. Not only that, it also encouraged me to enjoy my pregnancy and my baby girl growing inside of me. I still get warm and bubbly inside when I think about that first kick.
So there you have it milspouses! I hope this letter encourages you to reflect on any current and/or past experiences of your crazy military spouse life. If it has or if it does, drop a comment below about that experience. I would love to hear from you and I am sure other spouses would too!
Until next time…good day y’all!