More than once, I’ve mentioned on this blog that I like to keep things light when I post about my travels and food adventures. I have a pretty good sense of humor about a lot of things and I have another blog where I tend to vent my spleen when I get upset about something. Most people who read this blog are looking for restaurant and travel tips or simply want to look at pictures. That’s what I try to provide here.
Today I feel the need to address an issue that’s come up repeatedly since I started sharing this blog with people in the military community. I know a lot of people don’t like that I call myself the “traveling overeducated housewife”. Some people seem downright offended by the name of this blog. And there have been many times in the few years since I created this blog that I’ve sincerely wished I had come up with a different name for it.
Yesterday, I shared my post about date night restaurants and it was mostly well-received in the community. I got a lot of likes, mostly from women, whom I hope will have a chance to try some of the places Bill and I have enjoyed since we moved back to Germany in 2014. I was feeling pretty good about the positive feedback until I got this comment from someone.
“Traveling Over-educated House Wife.” Ugh…I hope she at least has children.
You know, I have gotten my share of crappy comments from people about the name of my blog, but this one really struck me as a low blow. So now I’m going to set the record straight, for those who are interested.
First off, this travel blog is a spin-off of my main blog, The Overeducated Housewife. I started that first blog in March 2010 on a whim. We were living in Fayetteville, Georgia, having moved there in September 2009 from the Stuttgart area. My husband was working at Fort McPherson, which was due to close the following year. We knew we’d be moving again in early 2011. Since that would be the middle of Bill’s assignment at FORSCOM, we knew that our time at Fort Bragg in North Carolina would also be short. The chances of my being able to find the kind of work I went to school to do were slim to none.
It struck me that I’d gone to college for seven years and, thanks to all the moving we were doing, would probably not have the chance to use my education the way I thought I would. I have always liked to write and never thought I’d end up being a housewife with three college degrees. That’s why I decided to call my first blog The Overeducated Housewife. At the time, I saw it as sort of a facetious comment on my situation. I never dreamed people would pay attention to it or that, one day, I’d move back to the Stuttgart area and have many readers in the military community.
When I started writing my first blog, I didn’t share it with anyone. I kept it a secret because, at the time, I wanted to stay somewhat anonymous. I wasn’t even the first Overeducated Housewife blogger. I’ve seen several other blogs with that name, though those bloggers apparently lost interest, had children that took up all their time, or found jobs.
As for the reason I don’t have children, not that it’s anyone’s business, but I did want and plan to have them. Just as I had expected to have a career in public health and social work when I went to graduate school, I also fully expected that one day I’d have kids. Unfortunately, having children was not in the cards for me. I got married when I was thirty years old. I am Bill’s second wife. He had a stepson and two daughters with his ex wife. They had some serious financial problems and she claimed pregnancy was very hard on her. She talked Bill into getting a vasectomy when he was 29 years old. At the time, it seemed like the most responsible thing to do, so Bill agreed. A few years later, they divorced. She remarried and had two more children with her third husband. Meanwhile, Bill was left unable to father children without medical intervention, which after his divorce, he could not afford. Sadly, Bill’s daughters are estranged and haven’t seen or spoken to him since 2004.
During that same year, Bill managed to have his vasectomy reversed, courtesy of the Army. I remember how excited I was because it looked like we might get to have kids after all. Although the reversal happened eleven years after the vasectomy, it looked like it was successful. For a couple of years, we tried to start our family. However, during those years, we were pretty poor because Bill was paying child support and still recovering from the financial difficulties he’d had in his first marriage. I was trying and failing to find steady work, although I did make money as a freelance writer. At that time, we couldn’t afford to seek more help conceiving.
Then Bill got deployed, which further put our ability to try to conceive on hold… and we started the series of moves that has led us to where we are now. Since 2007, we have moved six times. It’s hard to build a career in the field I studied when you have to move all the time. And, to be honest, we are now in a financial situation where I don’t really have to work. We have plenty and, frankly, there are many people out there who need steady work more than I do. Moreover, since I haven’t worked in my field since 2002, I doubt anyone would want to give me a job anyway. Certainly not in Germany.
I don’t necessarily enjoy housework, but I like writing and I’m good at it. I also like making music and I do that, too. I don’t have the conventional career I thought I was going to have. But, you know what? Life is good. And no, I don’t have kids, but I do have dogs. I don’t have a steady paycheck, but I do have the time and ability to see places I never expected to see. I have my health and a good relationship with my husband. I don’t have to spend all day in a cubicle. Certainly, if I had known this was what my life was going to be like, I would not have gone to graduate school. Who wants to pay off student loans for degrees they can’t use? I don’t need graduate school for what I do every day. So I see myself as “overeducated” in that sense. But if I’m basically worthless because I’m “just a blogger”, why would anyone want me to breed anyway?
I don’t begrudge military, government, or contractor spouses who have home based businesses because I see them as being productive. Blogging is one thing I do to be productive. I share the blog to share information, but I try not to be a pest about it. Not everyone enjoys my writing, but at least it’s something to do. It beats going out and slashing people’s tires, right? Or hanging out in bars looking to hook up?
I have mostly gotten over the fact that I won’t ever be a mother. I can even laugh when someone makes a thoughtless comment wondering why I don’t have children– as if having children would make my life more worthwhile or justify my existence. I have somewhat come to terms with the fact that I won’t have the career I thought I was going to have. It’s taken me a long time to get to this point. I won’t lie, either. Dozens of likes on my blog post about date night restaurants kind of pale in comparison to one person’s thoughtless and rude remark about my lifestyle.
Anyway… that’s why I call myself The Overeducated Housewife. When I came up with the name, I never expected that would be such an issue for some people, but I guess it is. Had I known the name of my blogs would cause angst for others, I would have come up with a different name. On the other hand, I have a feeling that people would complain regardless, even if I had just named my blog “Blog X”.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to pass the wine and bon bons while I shop for Coach bags and watch reality TV…