“Why don’t you just stay home with your kids?”
That’s a question military spouses often encounter — whether it’s one someone asks them or one they’re asking themselves.
I remember when I had to make the tough decision to leave active duty. My husband was in the Army, and I was in the Air Force. We had already spent four years stationed apart. But as we’d grown our family and had two small children at the top of our priority list, we didn’t want to put our family in a position to be apart more than we already would be with deployments.
At first, I was going to stay in and my husband was going to leave service. But it all came down to time in service — he had five more years under his belt than me, which meant we would be five years closer to retirement if he stayed.
I often wondered what life would look like for me, career-wise, after my time in the military. But time and time again, I heard that companies “love to hire veterans.” And that same message was shared with me when I began using the Transition Assistance Program (TAP).
But once I started speaking with representatives from various “big name” companies, I noticed a pattern. First, it was the initial curiosity about my longevity and ties to the area:
“Will you be staying in the area when you get out?”
My answer: “Yes. Until my husband gets PCS (moving) orders.”
Then, it was:
“Do you have young children?”
My answer: “Yes. A 1- and 3-year-old,” which seemed to bring up how often kids get sick.
Had my military spouse status erased my veteran status?
After spending 10 years serving a mission I loved, it was becoming more apparent that finding the same thing in the civilian world wouldn’t come easily. I didn’t fit the mold of the type of veteran that companies said they would love to hire.
So, as you can imagine, while standing there in uniform, I started to ask myself that same question someone asked me in the beginning:
Why wouldn’t I just stay home with my kids?
They’re only young once, right? Am I selfish for wanting more? Am I too driven? Am I a bad mom?
Let me be clear. Those questions had nothing to do with me being a woman or a mother. My fellow female veterans weren’t encountering them. So why was I? Because I’m a veteran AND a military spouse. Holding both titles wasn’t as desirable to some companies.
The reality is, military spouses are often the anchor of their families. We are the default parent, and we operate solo in many scenarios. Plus, we move often. The demands of our role tend to keep companies from wanting to invest in us.
When I found Instant Teams three years after transitioning out of the military, I finally found hope — hope for a career, a mission I could invest in, and a company that was positively impacting the unemployment rate for military spouses (fact: it’s 5x higher than the national average, largely due to the constant moves and — sometimes — the resulting employment gaps).
In 2020, I moved from Georgia to Texas to Tennessee, all while my spouse was deployed.
Do you know what the best part was?
I didn’t have to leave my job because of a move. That’s because Instant Teams is committed to providing fully remote opportunities for career continuation. And I’m fortunate to be one of its remote team members.
If I had to sum up the impact of Instant Teams, I would say this:
This company is changing the course of military spouse employment and the lives of military families.
If you’re a veteran or military spouse (or proudly hold both titles as I do), a caregiver or a survivor, Erica and Liza created Instant Teams for you. It’s where your career continues — even in the midst of a transition, military move, training; you name it.
Learn More About Instant Teams
The Instant Teams' remote team marketplace uses skills-based hiring to match companies with an untapped talent community composed primarily of military spouses, and our remote-ready boot camp prepares individuals with the skills they need to work remotely. Contact us to learn more about how we can help your company build a remote team fast.