Tuesday, 12 April 2011

How I transitioned into blogging....

As a Trailing-Spouse*-With-A-Career, there are periods when you are voluntarily unemployed. Primarily because you have had to end your current job, in order to follow your spouse on the next assignment.

Trailing spouses without conventional desk jobs are very fortunate because they are able to continue their careers regardless of their location (that’s my goal). Some really proactive spouses are also able to arrange inter-company transfers within their companies to coincide with their spouses transfer so that there are no gaps in employment or earnings. (Hats off to you! I personally do not know many who have, except those who work in the same organisation as their spouses – the dual career couples)

For the Trailing-Spouse-With-A-Career, now turned Stay-At-Home mum, this transition can be quite a shock, if you’re unprepared. You begin to feel under-fulfilled and possibly even begin to resent your spouse for the lull in your career.

What exactly are you expected to do with all that spare time????

Being creative and having a positive attitude is always helpful. I always try to remind myself of all the reasons that made the new posting offer so attractive.

This move has definitely been an eye-opener. (This is my first relocation where I do not have an infant in tow, so I have just a little bit more free time. My children are still young enough to need my attention (daily!), the only difference is that we now talk about their needs, instead of them crying and demanding to be carried! )

Before we moved, I thought I had it all planned out. I was going to take a career break for a while. I was to learn a new language, play tennis, finally get to my ‘ideal body weight’ (hah!), meet people, network more.

Some of these I have achieved, and some I haven’t (I still don’t play tennis). But I did discover new strengths in other places. I know that whilst I can cook up a storm in the kitchen, I am definitely not ‘domesticated’! I know where my strengths lie!

I also discovered that my life thrives on having some form of structure. I need to do something each day. Not the random gym visits, language classes, networking – something structured.

This is why I chose to start blogging, to help me cope with the transition
  • Blogging allows me express myself freely
  • I challenge myself to post everyday, so it gives me a sense of purpose
  • I love reading the feedback (it provides recognition and acknowledgement of the work done – everyone needs that!)
  • It’s pretty darn awesome when total strangers find your blog on Google and actually stay long enough to read a post or two!

2 questions for you.
How do you cope with transition?
How did you discover blogging?

*Trailing Spouse :- a person who follows his or her life partner to another city because of a work assignment. Courtesy wikipedia.com


  1. I, too, was a trailing spouse when we first got married almost 8 years ago but the difference was I was out of work at the time so I didn't have to give up a job.
    Like you, I need to do something, otherwise I feel like I'm losing myself or like my life is going on somewhere else and I'm not a part of it.
    I started writing a novel and journal daily.

    I started blogging because I wanted the discipline of writing regularly and felt that it would provide that. I was doing a creative writing course at the time and I also met a couple of people who blogged so they served as inspiration to start doing the same. Ditto your reasons for starting to blog too.

  2. It is that sense of 'being lost' and 'not being relevant' that scares me!
    In my Ending the week with a poem post, you can see that fear seeping through when I say 'I'm not JUST a mother and a wife....'.
    Thank goodness for blogging for making me a fulfilled mum and for readers like you that make it fun!

  3. As a trailing spouse with three children in school I threw myself into the local culture and joined a "home country" group. We traveled the country, went to other countries, learned about our new home country and had lunch! Almost all before the kids got home from school. Met lots of people that way and still keep up with them on email. The American group meets once a year in various locations for a mini-reunion. The transition isn't easy but leaning about another part of the world is worth it.

  4. I miss you, Audrey! Hanging out with you (and your daughter, my BFF!) really brightens up my day!
    I am constantly on the lookout networking outlets, as I find being with people of a similar mindset really does take the monotony away!

  5. As a trailing spouse l have felt very lost and lonely at times, and often angry at my career being lost, but then l remind myself how fortunate l am to have time to give to my children, to explore new cultures, and exercise free will without the guilt of taking up precious family time. Being organised is important otherwise you can waste your day. Of course re decorating the house is a good occupation, heavy on the wallet, but fulfilling in the end. Of course not having to worry about leave and having time to spend with relatives and visiting friends is another plus. I am not a blogger as yet, but enjoy reading and seeing that many of us share the same worries and talking about it helps! I miss my family and friends but l value the new friends and experiences l have gained.

  6. Thank you, TraceyLee for reminding me of the things that matter, the things I need to be grateful for. I'll keep working on being organised.....


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