Being a military family is not easy. This life is hard. You do not take it on without a lot of thought. My husband does not have a job we have a lifestyle. This is important to understand. He cannot just quit. If things get hard or he has a bad day, he has to suck it up. We have good days and bad days. We communicate a lot. We have arguments sometimes. But we’re a family. We can’t be any other way.
Since we have been together my husband deployed for a year when our son was 3 months old. I was given the opportunity to stay with my parents for the year so I wouldn’t have to be a first time mother alone. This helped a great deal. Especially when my son began not meeting milestones. It helped to have the support. When my husband got back stateside J was 15 months old. A very big change.
It is rare in the military to be near family. You move every 3 years or so to new places with new people. You learn to quickly make friends. Some who become like family and others who are just passing through. These relationships become something you depend on in the absence of your blood family. The family who cannot be with you all the time. So far on this journey we have lived in two places.
My husband was in 7 years before we met.
We met in Texas and had J and A. My husband was gone from end of October to middle of December for recruiting school. He missed A’s birth. She was 3 weeks old when he saw her for the first time. Without the support of some very dear friends, I would not have been able to do it. They watched J for the weekend while I was in the hospital. They made it easier. They are family. We do not chat all the time but I will always consider them family.
We currently reside in Massachusetts. We moved as a family of 4 from Texas to Massachusetts. J was 2 and A was 2 months. That was a serious shock and a serious road trip. We’ve been here almost 2.5 years. I have made some great friends who are military and some great friends who aren’t. I was also lucky to have a cousin close by. These relationships are essential for being able to cope with this lifestyle. Knowing that l will have to say goodbye. I’ve already said good by to a sister friend when she left last year and next year I will say goodbye to a few more. It is the nature of the military. You learn to deal.
I also consider each move an adventure. They have to be. Often times you do not get to pick where you go. You have to make the best of it. Especially with children. We’re lucky that we know where we’re going next. Georgia. Back to the south. I’ve missed the south. I am not a snow person. I am looking forward to discovering all the things about Georgia. I’ve never lived there before. When we move J will be almost 6, A almost 4 and E 1.5. That road trip will be fun. The kids will be older.
You have to stay positive. Look at the bright side of things. That’s how you deal with the ups and the downs. My husband is the realist and I’m the optimist. We balance each other out. It’s why we work. The things I wouldn’t trade are the friends I’ve made, the health insurance for my kids, especially the insurance, the places we’ve been able to visit, and the steady paycheck that allows me to juggle all the therapy and doctors appointments while staying at home. These are thinks I’m thankful to the military for. But with everything good comes the bad.
I don’t like the long hours he works. The deployments. Leaving friends. And family. Living out of boxes, because you never quite unpack everything. Uprooting the kids. They’re probably more resilient than I am.
Honestly though, I find more good moments than bad ones. I knew what I was getting into when I married him. It is not in my nature to hold it against him, things that are not in his control. I’ve learned to be really chill and roll with it. It’s worked really well. He supports us and I support him.