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Military families - a question...


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Do you think it is of the utmost importance that the nuclear family be together as much as possible at the exclusion of (healthy) extended family?

 

Situation: Dd is pg with baby number 2. They're due to leave HI around her due date. Her older sister (my oldest) is getting married in October.

 

Dd is coming home to spend the last months of her pg there, attend wedding functions and wedding, and have the baby there. She feels this will give her peace about her prenatal care at this point, and her delivery situation (no moves at the last minute or when the baby is only a week or two old). It also allows dgs to have some attachment with family members so he will be somewhat content when she has to stay in the hospital overnight after baby is born (he is very attached to her).

 

Of course, it means she and dh will be apart until early December when he will take a month leave for the birth/Christmas, etc. (a little over 3 months)

 

Now, when they move to their new location after this leave, he is guaranteed no deployment for at least 2 years, so they won't have any other impending separation. They'll be within driving distance of both sides of the family (we are all from the same town), and shouldn't have more than a couple weeks' separation here and there if she comes for visits (sometimes they both will, of course).

 

I just wonder what others do in these situations. I think I'd be more torn if there wasn't some stability for them afterwards, and if her birthing situation wouldn't be so uncertain if she stays. She needs some external support.

 

They are both a bit sad about being apart, but have come to the decision together, and feel it is right for them at this time, but I just wonder what others do.

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Do you want me to be totally honest with you?

 

Does he plan to stay military? If not, then it doesn't really make that much difference, IMO.

 

If he *does* plan on staying in? Then, I think wives who go home to stay every chance they get do a disservice to themselves because they are not acclimating to military life. How do you get support from people NOT in your family? I think you are better off navigating those waters sooner rather than later. I have never gone home for an entire deployment or the birth of a baby. I learned to take care of my *military family* and learned how to let them take care of me, even asking for help when I need it.

 

My dh is my "battle-buddy." I had to learn to *mainly* lean on him. Having a new baby? That is a big thing. I would not have given anything to have him there during the pregnancy and newborn stage. It is such a special time for a couple. And, they might not always get that time.

 

My dh and I are together as much as possible because we are apart a lot. We have never taken the "option" to be separated. He is the one I will grow old with. My kids will eventually start their own families. My primary relationship should be with him.

 

I am sure that is sort of disjointed, but as a career army wife, that is how I feel about it.

 

It hurts my parents too, at times. :grouphug:

Edited by Mrs Mungo
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Do you want me to be totally honest with you?

 

Does he plan to stay military? If not, then it doesn't really make that much difference, IMO.

 

If he *does* plan on staying in? Then, I think wives who go home to stay every chance they get do a disservice to themselves because they are acclimating to military life. How do you get support from people NOT in your family? I think you are better off navigating those waters sooner rather than later. I have never gone home for an entire deployment or the birth of a baby. I learned to take care of my *military family* and learned how to let them take care of me, even asking for help when I need it.

 

My dh is my "battle-buddy." I had to learn to *mainly* lean on him. Having a new baby? That is a big thing. I would not have given anything to have him there during the pregnancy and newborn stage. It is such a special time for a couple. And, they might not always get that time.

 

My dh and I are together as much as possible because we are apart a lot. We have never taken the "option" to be separated. He is the one I will grow old with. My kids will eventually start their own families. My primary relationship should be with him.

 

I am sure that is sort of disjointed, but as a career army wife, that is how I feel about it.

 

It hurts my parents too, at times. :grouphug:

 

What she said. I have been an army wife for many years, and been through several long deployments. So many wives (esp young ones) leave for these extended visits to their parents. It truly is not a leave and cleave and I cannot count the number of them who end up separating. Yes, it is tough and lonely, but binds you closer to your spouse.

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Do you want me to be totally honest with you?

 

Does he plan to stay military? If not, then it doesn't really make that much difference, IMO.

 

If he *does* plan on staying in? Then, I think wives who go home to stay every chance they get do a disservice to themselves because they are acclimating to military life. How do you get support from people NOT in your family? I think you are better off navigating those waters sooner rather than later. I have never gone home for an entire deployment or the birth of a baby. I learned to take care of my *military family* and learned how to let them take care of me, even asking for help when I need it.

 

My dh is my "battle-buddy." I had to learn to *mainly* lean on him. Having a new baby? That is a big thing. I would not have given anything to have him there during the pregnancy and newborn stage. It is such a special time for a couple. And, they might not always get that time.

 

My dh and I are together as much as possible because we are apart a lot. We have never taken the "option" to be separated. He is the one I will grow old with. My kids will eventually start their own families. My primary relationship should be with him.

 

I am sure that is sort of disjointed, but as a career army wife, that is how I feel about it.

 

It hurts my parents too, at times. :grouphug:

:iagree:

 

...including the hug. :grouphug:

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My sister did pretty much the same thing when she was about to have her second child. Her husband was scheduled to attend A school (Coast Guard) and then they were being moved. She was due a week before A school let out. So even if she had stayed at their apartment, he wouldn't have been there the last month before the baby was due. I know there was some stress on their relationship though by being apart, I think mainly because my sister was living with her parents and 2 children while her husband was basically living the single life. They did say they still think it was the best choice for that situation, but that they wouldn't want to be apart for that length of time again.

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Out of the last 25 years I only went home on one deployment. It was his first and at the time we were only married for several months before they deployed. I would go home and spend a week here and there, but I tried to keep the home fires burning as much as possible. We've had many deployments and I enjoyed keeping the kids in their routine and keeping things going until he returned.

Also, Mrs. Mungo is very wise in her reply.

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The Army separates us enough. We are not apart when we have the choice to be together. Period.

 

I agree with Mrs. Mungo. Although I hate to be Debbie Downer here, the unhappiest military wives I have known were the ones who spent the most time at home. Symptom or cause? I don't know, but that is what I have observed in my 15 years as an Army wife. DH and our nuclear family has to come first. Because of the Army, we need to be the strongest unit possible. For us, that means sticking together through thick and thin. In the Army, our circumstances are rarely ideal but we are in it together and that is ideal.

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I am not military, but dh and I have been separated due to work reasons in the past. I would not willingly be apart from dh during the birth of any future kids. He is my rock and who I depend on, that has happened because we have lived a good distance from most of our family most of the time we have been married. We learned how to do things without family help. My dh wouldn't want to miss the birth of a child for anything. Yes I realize in the military sometimes that would happen anyway.

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The Army separates us enough. We are not apart when we have the choice to be together. Period.

 

I agree with Mrs. Mungo. Although I hate to be Debbie Downer here, the unhappiest military wives I have known were the ones who spent the most time at home. Symptom or cause? I don't know, but that is what I have observed in my 15 years as an Army wife. DH and our nuclear family has to come first. Because of the Army, we need to be the strongest unit possible. For us, that means sticking together through thick and thin. In the Army, our circumstances are rarely ideal but we are in it together and that is ideal.

 

I totally agree.

 

If you go home every chance you get, then you are not buying into the military lifestyle. How *can* you then be happy as a military wife?

 

People are always asking me if I liked X or Y duty station. I always tell them, "there are good and bad things about everywhere you can live. I only know two types of military wives-those who are happy pretty much everywhere and those who are unhappy pretty much everywhere."

 

My advice to new military wives? Learn as much as you can about the military. Take Army Family Team Building Classes (you can even do them online). What job does he do? What unit is he in? Who is your FRG Leader? Is the FRG active? What can you do to volunteer? Do they have key callers? Do they have a care team? Take FRG classes. Volunteer for the Red Cross or the USO. There tons of things you can do to help acclimate yourself to the military life.

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I've only voluntarily done a long separation twice in our 15 years of marriage, both were having to do with an impending deployment. Our situation was dh was going to a ship that would be deploying within 3 months time and would not return to that port after deployment. The first time this happened we chose to live near family, dh came home as much as he could on leave after reporting which wasn't much because of pre-deployment work ups. We ended up getting pregnant (planned) during this leave time and our youngest was born 2 weeks before dh returned from deployment (dh was delayed by 3 weeks) then when our son was a week old we moved to the duty station where the ship had returned. It was nice to have my family around me but that was because dh wasn't in a position to be, had he just moved to a duty station and not been deploying we would have gone with him.

 

This last time we are in VA, his new ship was based in WA but after leaving for deployment was returning here to VA. It simply didn't make sense to uproot the family to move to WA for the 3 months before deployment and then be living alone out there when he returned here for the next 2 years. The navy would not have moved us back here had we chosen to go, they would only cover moving one way in this situation.

 

It is a tough decision, but since your SIL is not deploying I would opt with the staying with my husband even though being around family can be helpful. I found moving with a baby to really not be as hard as one might expect. They sleep quite a bit of the time anyway.

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People are always asking me if I liked X or Y duty station. I always tell them, "there are good and bad things about everywhere you can live. I only know two types of military wives-those who are happy pretty much everywhere and those who are unhappy pretty much everywhere."

 

 

 

I'm not in a military family, but this is very thought provoking advice. I have always been a "happy pretty much everywhere" person, but I can see now that I've been slipping into a different mindset. Thank you for the words to chew on...

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I found moving with a baby to really not be as hard as one might expect. They sleep quite a bit of the time anyway.

 

We moved when my oldest dd was just over 1. She LOVED to sleep (still does, it is the bane of our homeschool day). She slept through our *entire* pack out (that was in the days when we didn't have so much stuff, lol), until they got to her room. I walked in, they were packing her room, she was laying very still in her crib with her eyes open. The look on her face was priceless.

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I am an Air Force wife and totally agree here with the Army wives. My dh and I were married before he joined the military and so we have both been living the AF life for over 25 years. IF he is considering a military career, it is really best if she starts living a true military life. My experience watching other couples mirror the ones already expressed here. But more than that, I saw one couple who had made it for the long term with the wife having ties to back home. They were still married but, and this is the big thing, she was unhappy the entire time I knew her- three years. We were in Belgium, home of great chocolate and lots of other good things, but it wasn't 'home'. Neither were the other places they had been stationed or the place they were due to be stationed next. The strange thing was her husband was very cheerful but she had been so unhappy for so long that she had permanent frown marks on her face. And the really sad thing was that even if they retired near where she considered home, it wouldn't be the same anymore anyway since they had been in the service over twenty years.

 

On the other hand, I have always found nice things about whatever place we were stationed. Like others here, I tried to spend as much time as possible with dh and together as a family.

 

One thing I think hasn't been mentioned here is that not only is the husband going to miss the birth and his wife but baby number one is going to miss important time with his/her father. That is one of the big reasons we homeschool= to make sure the kids had the most time with their father, regardless of public school schedules. Considering your daughter's husband does get deployed, that is especially important to have that time with his children and the whole family together.

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One thing I think hasn't been mentioned here is that not only is the husband going to miss the birth and his wife but baby number one is going to miss important time with his/her father.

 

I think Stacey said he would be there for the birth, taking a month of leave around that time to join her. I do agree about baby #1 missing important time with Daddy though. Here, Daddy became a superstar to DS9 when DD arrived (and then to DS9 and DD when DS6 arrived). That started for us during the last trimester when I was typically so exhausted that he helped with many duties (both baby and household). DC#1 needs stability during the time surrounding the new baby's arrival. Traveling, being away from his home, being away from Daddy and what's familiar to him, then reintegration of the family right before birth of a younger sibling, followed by a move... That's a lot of stress for a young one and is not ideal.

 

That is one of the big reasons we homeschool= to make sure the kids had the most time with their father, regardless of public school schedules. Considering your daughter's husband does get deployed, that is especially important to have that time with his children and the whole family together.

 

Yes, the Army is on the (very long) list of why homeschooling is best for us. We can take off around TDY, deployments, moves, etc. and it is just no big deal.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
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I also believe that she should stay with her dh. Want it or not, when he signed up for the military, so did she. While it sounds good to be with family to give birth instead of the chaos of a pending move, and it sounds good for her other child to bond with extended family, she could be creating a bigger mess.

 

One issue I have is that the older child will miss bonding with his father for those months. While I feel that grandparents and such are important, I believe that daddy time trumps grandma time. He needs that time with his daddy because days are coming when daddy may be gone for a very long time.

 

If your daughter is really feeling weary, or overwhelmed, maybe you can offer to go to her when the baby is born. You can promise to pack the few items she won't want the military to pack, you can love on the children while daddy does all his transfer stuff, and give mom time to rest up some. But don't encourage her to leave him for several months.

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I guess I will be the lonely voice of dissent.

 

I've been a military wife for over 11 years. When we are around military, I *am* a military wife. I am a volunteer with our family readiness program so am involved in my husband's unit, a volunteer with an spouses support program so am involved in supporting and helping military families base-wide.

 

That said, the kids and I usually go home (to MY home) to visit family for a month every summer. This year is the first year we did not do it. The kids have been asking all summer when we get to go.

 

I go home every time my DH deploys, because IMO, if my DH is not here, there is no reason for me to be here. It is the PERFECT time for my kids to get to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Why deprive them of that (both the kids and extended family)? My DH actually PREFERS that we go home...then he KNOWS we are taken care of in his absence. He has less to worry about because several people who love us just as much as he does are nearby.

 

If your DD and her DH have agreed on the best plan of action, then that is what they should do. It WILL be more stressful having an impending move right around the time of the birth. Can she do it, if she chooses...sure she can. Does she HAVE to do it to make her a "good military wife?" HELL NO! It makes me quite angry to see such a sentiment on here, actually.

Edited by fraidycat
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There are things that I loved and miss about every single one of our duty stations. I don't care so much about home, as I do *family*. If I could move them all with me, I so totally would! I wish they could have the "adventure" of living in all the different places that we get as a military family.

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I guess I will be the lonely voice of dissent.

 

I've been a military wife for over 11 years. When we are around military, I *am* a military wife. I am a volunteer with our family readiness program so am involved in my husband's unit, a volunteer with an spouses support program so am involved in supporting and helping military families base-wide.

 

That said, the kids and I usually go home (to MY home) to visit family for a month every summer. This year is the first year we did not do it. The kids have been asking all summer when we get to go.

 

I go home every time my DH deploys, because IMO, if my DH is not here, there is no reason for me to be here. It is the PERFECT time for my kids to get to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Why deprive them of that (both the kids and extended family)? My DH actually PREFERS that we go home...then he KNOWS we are taken care of in his absence. He has less to worry about because several people who love us just as much as he does are nearby.

 

If your DD and her DH have agreed on the best plan of action, then that is what they should do. It WILL be more stressful having an impending move right around the time of the birth. Can she do it, if she chooses...sure she can. Does she HAVE to do it to make her a "good military wife?" HELL NO! It makes me quite angry to see such a sentiment on here, actually.

 

If that works for you, I think it's perfectly fine. What I have seen is a lot of wives going home for very frequent visits and for the entire length of deployments and any TDY and yearning for home whenever they are not there. If you can visit for a month each summer and for the full length of a deployment and then happily part ways with your extended family to go back to your DH, that's obviously not a problem. But when you start to resent doing it...resenting the Army, your DH, your life, it's asking for misery to do it again, and again, and again...

 

That obviously doesn't apply to you but it does apply to many friends and acquaintances I've had over the years.

Edited by Alte Veste Academy
quoted the wrong person
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Ok, I can see that side of the coin. I'm guessing that that type of personality would find something to resent, no matter what, though.

 

Mrs. Mungo said it perfectly about the ones happy everywhere and the unhappy everywhere. The unhappy ones will always find something to be unhappy about.

 

As an optimist, I always look for the silver lining and try to make the most out of every situation. Deployments = extended family bonding time for my kids. :D

 

I was just flabbergasted to read that I couldn't possibly be happy or know anything about living "the real military life" for doing so, though. Blindsided, I guess. Oh well. I'm over it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. My *experience* just doesn't jive with most of the ones expressed here.

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As a retired AF wife, I have to agree with the other military wives. I went home one time. I had just had our first baby, I lived 3 hours away from anyone in our family, and DH was leaving on a 1yr remote to Korea. He had never left before, and I was scared to death to be by myself as a first time mom, so I moved to my parents for the year. It was good for that situation, but like others have said...in my 20 years of being a military wife, the wives who went home at the drop of a hat were the ones who did not acclimate to military life well.

 

Being a military wife is not just a job for the husband, it is a way of life, and the wives who do not make it *their* way will have a very hard rode to hoe. We have gone through a lot as a military couple, and there have been many, times where it would have been the easier road for me to take the kids home to family, but part of our "life story" are those moments where we got through it together--even if "together" actually meant making him stay on the phone (middle of the night where he was at the time) while I cleaned water up from a flooded bathroom (and two hallways)--after "his" 2 year old flushed a pom pom down the toilet :/

 

I had two rules as an AF wife.

1. If my husband was home (meaning not on a TDY, or Deployment) then I was too-the military separated us enough, we were not going to do it voluntarily.

2. If my husband was on a deployment, the kids and I were not separated--I did not want our family scattered in different parts of the state, country, or world, if something bad happened to anyone.

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I've been a military wife for over 11 years. When we are around military, I *am* a military wife. I am a volunteer with our family readiness program so am involved in my husband's unit, a volunteer with an spouses support program so am involved in supporting and helping military families base-wide.

 

That said, the kids and I usually go home (to MY home) to visit family for a month every summer. This year is the first year we did not do it. The kids have been asking all summer when we get to go.

 

I go home every time my DH deploys, because IMO, if my DH is not here, there is no reason for me to be here. It is the PERFECT time for my kids to get to spend time with their grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Why deprive them of that (both the kids and extended family)? My DH actually PREFERS that we go home...then he KNOWS we are taken care of in his absence. He has less to worry about because several people who love us just as much as he does are nearby.

 

And I understand the feelings behind your last paragraph. I really do. I have a close family, so I get it.

 

But, I also know that when the soldiers deploy is when the crap starts to hit the fan for a lot of families. They need people who are there for them, to help coach them through it. That's what I see as my job, as a wife who has been around the block. If I went home, then I would feel that I was abandoning my families. Those are *my own* feelings and has no bearing and is no reflection and what you choose to do.

 

Does she HAVE to do it to make her a "good military wife?" HELL NO! It makes me quite angry to see such a sentiment on here, actually.

 

I was just flabbergasted to read that I couldn't possibly be happy or know anything about living "the real military life" for doing so, though.

 

Nobody said anything like that. What we're saying is more what Alte Veste said in her last post. It makes it harder to acclimate, not impossible.

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Unless he is in a school, there is no guarantee he will not deploy for 2 years.

 

The ship he will be on has to stay in port for at least 2 years for some reason. It wasn't explained in detail to me, but his assignment to that ship guarantees (at least barring some terrible thing) that he will stay put until that time is up.

 

He WILL be at the birth, and with them for a full month before he goes straight to the new assignment. I will drive dd and the kids to the new assignment as soon as she gets the ok to travel.

 

I totally get what yall are saying about the military life and all that goes with it. They have already made a decision for this situation, but I was curious about what others have done. I just don't think either of them have developed strong bonds here in HI (and fwiw, he was already in the military when they married), because they have had a lot of changes and uncertainty here. There really is NO ONE for them to count on here. They would not have anyone they'd leave dgs with - period. In fact, if they had to leave him, they'd both be so stressed I don't think it would be good for them. It's not like someone can just get here for them if needed, either. I think their next assignment is going to be very different, and I know she won't be coming home for extended periods from there.

 

I also don't know if they will be career or not. He has not made a final decision, he has 3-4 more years for sure, but I think his staying in will depend on whether he gets accepted into certain things he applies for.

 

I DO know that they have not come by the decision lightly. They've taken a lot into consideration. They miss one another terribly when apart, and talk and FaceTime daily. Dd really does enjoy being with him. This situation just really had them stressed. I think the stress/worry for them could've been worse than the separation at this point.

 

It's great feedback though. I actually encouraged her leaving a bit later, but the flying with dgs (who is a tad difficult, to say the least), along with being pg and wanting to get settled somewhere just pushed them to decide on now.

Edited by StaceyinLA
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::delurking::

 

I have to say that in theory I agree with the majority. You have to BE there to be a military wife....however, I just went back and read.

 

They are due to leave around her due date from HI?

 

Oh, I would SO have done the same thing! She wouldn't be allowed to travel close to her due date NOR would she have been able to travel off island for 6 weeks after the baby was born. Unless I had a WRITTEN guarantee from my dh's command that they would adjust his orders for 8 weeks AFTER my due date, I would have done the same thing your daughter did.

 

She would HAVE to leave early. It is HARD to get into an OB late in your pregnancy....I know, I ended up with an (expletive) OB who tried to kill my son and myself. I have an Army friend who transferred at 32 weeks and ended up with NO pre-natal care at her new place (non-military community) and delivered at a hospital as a "walk-in". NOT FUN!!!!

 

Give your daughter and SIL a hug and tell them to stay together for the next baby. You go to her for that one!!

 

Kris

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The ship he will be on has to stay in port for at least 2 years for some reason. It wasn't explained in detail to me, but his assignment to that ship guarantees (at least barring some terrible thing) that he will stay put until that time is up.

 

He WILL be at the birth, and with them for a full month before he goes straight to the new assignment. I will drive dd and the kids to the new assignment as soon as she gets the ok to travel.

 

I totally get what yall are saying about the military life and all that goes with it. They have already made a decision for this situation, but I was curious about what others have done. I just don't think either of them have developed strong bonds here in HI (and fwiw, he was already in the military when they married), because they have had a lot of changes and uncertainty here. There really is NO ONE for them to count on here. They would not have anyone they'd leave dgs with - period. In fact, if they had to leave him, they'd both be so stressed I don't think it would be good for them. It's not like someone can just get here for them if needed, either. I think their next assignment is going to be very different, and I know she won't be coming home for extended periods from there.

 

I also don't know if they will be career or not. He has not made a final decision, he has 3-4 more years for sure, but I think his staying in will depend on whether he gets accepted into certain things he applies for.

 

I DO know that they have not come by the decision lightly. They've taken a lot into consideration. They miss one another terribly when apart, and talk and FaceTime daily. Dd really does enjoy being with him. This situation just really had them stressed. I think the stress/worry for them could've been worse than the separation at this point.

 

It's great feedback though. I actually encouraged her leaving a bit later, but the flying with dgs (who is a tad difficult, to say the least), along with being pg and wanting to get settled somewhere just pushed them to decide on now.

 

I think they made the right choice considering the circumstances. I know where you're coming from with your SIL's ship not going anywhere. I'm guessing it's time for it's maintenance/overhaul time where they do major repairs etc. My dh's ship is going into a similar cycle so I can guarantee barring all heck breaking loose and him being transferred to another command that he won't be going anywhere for the next two years (when he'll be scheduled to rotate). I know that most say "stay with your spouse no matter what" but sometimes the circumstances actually make it better for the family to separate a bit early thus making the transition to the new duty station easier and life more stable in the interim.

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I do agree with your DD in this situation that being around you, as her family, is probably the easiest and least stressful for all involved. If she doesn't know of one person she trusts to watch her DS, that would be tough. And if her DH is able to get leave for the birth/Christmas, then I can't really see a big downside to the situation at all.

 

When I had DS, I had a babysitter and two back-ups lined up for DD because my friends wanted to be helpful, but also had their own lives and commitments. I couldn't guarantee when I would go in to labor, or how long it would last, KWIM? It sure would have been easier if I had my family around.

 

ETA: The most ironic part about this whole conversation is I had just come home from a Family Readiness Assistant meeting and this was one of the first threads I read. It makes me giggle now. :lol:

 

One more ETA: I have NO desire to move to my hometown permanently. Not even when DH retires. Closer yes, but living there permanently - no thanks. Perhaps that helps me keep things in perspective. I've never really thought much about it.

Edited by fraidycat
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I agree with the majority that the nuclear family should be together as much as possible.

 

Having said that, in your dd's situation, I would probably have chosen to leave HI. I would have waited until the week before the wedding to leave though (which sounds like it would put her around 32 weeks, most airlines allow flying until 34 or 36). I would have prearranged an appt with my new ob and sent my medical records ahead as well as pre filed the insurance transfer paperwork. That would leave them with only 8 weeks apart which is much more doable than 15.

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I cringe every time these things come up because the implication is always that a good military spouse has to have his/her personal life and friendships all tied up in the military to be legit, or that it's the spouse's obligation to follow hither and yon with no consideration given to his/her own needs or what have you. When DH leaves work, the work stays there. I have my own career and pension. Our kids aren't military kids, they're kids who's dad happens to work for the Navy. We blend.

 

That said, we would not have done as the OP did (even though DH is currently geobaching). I'd have moved early to the new duty station to ensure a safe/healthy delivery and had my mom fly out to be with us there, not moved to where my mom lives. I love my mom but we have our own nuclear family dynamics to maintain.

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If he *does* plan on staying in? Then, I think wives who go home to stay every chance they get do a disservice to themselves because they are not acclimating to military life. How do you get support from people NOT in your family? I think you are better off navigating those waters sooner rather than later. I have never gone home for an entire deployment or the birth of a baby. I learned to take care of my *military family* and learned how to let them take care of me, even asking for help when I need it.

 

My dh is my "battle-buddy." I had to learn to *mainly* lean on him. Having a new baby? That is a big thing. I would not have given anything to have him there during the pregnancy and newborn stage. It is such a special time for a couple. And, they might not always get that time.

 

 

Very good point! I hear so often of young wives going home to parents when dh is on business or on extended shifts (like many firefighters in CA right now). I would encourage dd to jump in and get to know people and as Mungo said, form a support group and be willing to support others when they are in need.

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I cringe every time these things come up because the implication is always that a good military spouse has to have his/her personal life and friendships all tied up in the military to be legit, or that it's the spouse's obligation to follow hither and yon with no consideration given to his/her own needs or what have you. When DH leaves work, the work stays there. I have my own career and pension. Our kids aren't military kids, they're kids who's dad happens to work for the Navy. We blend.

 

That said, we would not have done as the OP did (even though DH is currently geobaching). I'd have moved early to the new duty station to ensure a safe/healthy delivery and had my mom fly out to be with us there, not moved to where my mom lives. I love my mom but we have our own nuclear family dynamics to maintain.

 

 

I would have ZERO issues going to her (did for 6 weeks when she had DS), but they aren't financially in a position to do that at this time. They'd have to maintain the cost of two households when they are pretty much scrimping in Hawaii to pay for one (they live off-base because they have found something less expensive - but still ridiculous - in a decent area).

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Very good point! I hear so often of young wives going home to parents when dh is on business or on extended shifts (like many firefighters in CA right now). I would encourage dd to jump in and get to know people and as Mungo said, form a support group and be willing to support others when they are in need.

 

I do think that'll be a priority at their next station. This one has been a bit of a mess with a lot of adjustment/change for them both (most of that being the navy's unpredictability with some things).

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I cringe every time these things come up because the implication is always that a good military spouse has to have his/her personal life and friendships all tied up in the military to be legit, or that it's the spouse's obligation to follow hither and yon with no consideration given to his/her own needs or what have you. When DH leaves work, the work stays there.

 

Exactly. My job as a SPOUSE is to support my husband, no matter what his job is. As my DH's spouse when he is deployed halfway around the world, I can support him via email, phone and care packages from Canada, just as well as I can from the U.S.A.

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My husband and I don't ever choose to be apart, because life chooses for us too often. I stay here (wherever our military home is) during deployments and TDYs because honestly, my "military family" understands the struggle and the cost to the families left behind much more than my family back "home" does. When I need someone to cry with because I saw something on the news, the wife next door does too. When my kids are upset because Daddy is gone, the child outside feels the same way. That sense of community has brought us through many hard times.

 

That's just my opinion, I have friends that always go home, and seem to have fun.

 

As far as "two years of not separating" goes- please take that with a grain of salt. There are NO promises in the military. Ever. Even when it LOOKS like they say. There are transfers, and changes of plan, and needs all over the world. Never in 11 years have I ever seen a promise of a certain "dwell time" or "no deployment" time EVER pan out. Something always comes up. Maybe they'll be lucky. But don't get your heart set on it.

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Do you want me to be totally honest with you?

 

Does he plan to stay military? If not, then it doesn't really make that much difference, IMO.

 

If he *does* plan on staying in? Then, I think wives who go home to stay every chance they get do a disservice to themselves because they are not acclimating to military life. How do you get support from people NOT in your family? I think you are better off navigating those waters sooner rather than later. I have never gone home for an entire deployment or the birth of a baby. I learned to take care of my *military family* and learned how to let them take care of me, even asking for help when I need it.

 

My dh is my "battle-buddy." I had to learn to *mainly* lean on him. Having a new baby? That is a big thing. I would not have given anything to have him there during the pregnancy and newborn stage. It is such a special time for a couple. And, they might not always get that time.

 

My dh and I are together as much as possible because we are apart a lot. We have never taken the "option" to be separated. He is the one I will grow old with. My kids will eventually start their own families. My primary relationship should be with him.

 

I am sure that is sort of disjointed, but as a career army wife, that is how I feel about it.

 

It hurts my parents too, at times. :grouphug:

 

:iagree::iagree::iagree:

 

Is there a way to agree more strongly??

 

I hate to over simplify or cast broad stereotypes out there, but the military families I see (over twenty years of being a military spouse) with wives who "go home" every time their DH is gone (for whatever reason) are the ones who end up having marital troubles. Add to this the families that end up staying behind for shorter moves to a lesser extent as well. If we have any say - we stay together. I think it would be, in many ways, kinda cruel of her to leave her DH out of this part of their lives together, and could possibly cause unforeseen consequences in their future.

As far as having time together uninterrupted: DH and I have thought, numerous times, that we were going to have some time off of deployments. Every time this has fallen through. Instead of being home for 8 months, he was gone for 6. Instead of having 6 months off deploying, he deployed for 3 of those 6 months. There are never guarantees.

 

As for the "good" military spouse - I have one friend in my dh's squadron, the rest are all civilian. It has nothing to do with being uber-active in military life or not being able to support from your home town. Going home all the time takes away from the self-reliance that a military spouse needs to develop as quickly as possible. It hinders friendships locally that can come in very handy, and are quite important, and by choosing to be apart when they could be together, sends a negative signal (consciously or subconsciously) to the spouse being left behind.

 

ETA - these are just my opinions from observations. Obviously this does not apply to every family or every situation. When my kids were young, we'd visit family for weeks when DH was gone - but it was like taking a two week vacation, not moving home for support, iykwim. I think had I gotten used to going "home" during deployments, life would have gotten really difficult when the kids got older. Even homeschooled, they have sports, scouts, friends they want to spend time with. Taking them back to where family is would have been very disruptive for them. Life needs to stay normal when dad deploys.....

Edited by SailorMom
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What she said. I have been an army wife for many years, and been through several long deployments. So many wives (esp young ones) leave for these extended visits to their parents. It truly is not a leave and cleave and I cannot count the number of them who end up separating. Yes, it is tough and lonely, but binds you closer to your spouse.

 

:iagree: It was the undoing of my first marriage, and I completely regret it.

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I cringe every time these things come up because the implication is always that a good military spouse has to have his/her personal life and friendships all tied up in the military to be legit, or that it's the spouse's obligation to follow hither and yon with no consideration given to his/her own needs or what have you. When DH leaves work, the work stays there. I have my own career and pension. Our kids aren't military kids, they're kids who's dad happens to work for the Navy. We blend.

 

That is not what I am saying, just to clarify. When I talk about having a "military family," I am talking about a family made up of people not in your actual family. I have friends who would come if I needed them, no matter what. Some of then are fellow military wives and some if them are not military. I am talking about learning to be independent and to make somewhere else your home. I am talking about making really good local friends. I am not talking *at all* about everything being tied up with the military.

 

I know Stacey already came in and explained more. I just wanted to clarify what I was saying.

Edited by Mrs Mungo
iPhone's autocorrect really loves random apostrophes
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That is not what I am saying, just to clarify. When I talk about having a "military family," I am talking about a family made up of people not in your actual family. I have friends who would come if I needed them, no matter what. Some of then are fellow military wives and some if them are not military. I am talking about learning to be independent and to make somewhere else your home. I am talking about making really good local friends. I am not talking *at all* about everything being tied up with the military.

 

I know Stacey already came in and explained more. I just wanted to clarify what I was saying.

 

I understood what you meant but just didn't agree. Making small talk with strangers to establish emergency contacts is my idea of torture and it makes my eye twitch to see the idea pushed that the only way to have a happy, successful marriage with a service member is to have the entire family moving around, hanging around, waiting ever so patiently as if we were in line for an audience with the king. I love my DH, but the world no more revolves around him and his job than it does me and mine. Fortunately, DH appreciates my differentness. Or, maybe I'm just smokin' hot?! :D ETA - I don't completely disagree either. DH and I have always been a really close, tight-knit team. We are not, however, happy movers.

Edited by Sneezyone
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I understood what you meant but just didn't agree. Making small talk with strangers to establish emergency contacts is my idea of torture and it makes my eye twitch to see the idea pushed that the only way to have a happy, successful marriage with a service member is to have the entire family moving around, hanging around, waiting ever so patiently as if we were in line for an audience with the king. I love my DH, but the world no more revolves around him and his job than it does me and mine. Fortunately, DH appreciates my differentness. Or, maybe I'm just smokin' hot?! :D ETA - I don't completely disagree either. DH and I have always been a really close, tight-knit team. We are not, however, happy movers.

 

I get where you're coming from. I'm not a fan of all the establishing of contacts either. I'm not a fan of going go FRG meetings etc. I know for some these are great things, but I'm not one of those people. I had a time where due to my dh's position I HAD to attend every one of them and I hated every minute of it. I'm lucky to have a husband that doesn't care what things I choose to do and not do in regards to that. I'm not a big "Meet all the neighbors" person either. We haven't had the privilege of living in base housing since our 3rd duty station, so I've only ever done that twice because in all the other places the wait list was longer than our orders had us there. Now it's not such a big difference as I live in an area with a huge saturation of military. I guess I came into this marriage pretty independent and like it that way. I love my husband and love having him around but I'm also fine at making a go of it as a single mom when he's not. I'm not one of those that needs girls night out or things like that.

I think each person that marries a service member has to figure out how much they want to be involved in activities outside the family, just as any other married couple does. Being military doesn't really change that. Some are huge joiners, others not so much and that's ok.

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I grew up in a together at all costs Navy family. We often lived in the Navy Lodge for months at a time. Our support usually came from non-military families in the area -- usually met through church, scouts, school, -- my mother would work on setting these contacts up before we moved, which couldn't have been easy in the pre-Internet age. Other military families made up a very small part of our network. It was terribly hard on my mom, especially when we were young, but in retrospect, 20-35 years later, it was a great adventure and our family and my parents' marriage is stronger for it.

 

I did have friends, sometimes ones that I knew at several duty stations through the years, whose moms would go back to extended family many times that their dad would deploy or go to a less than favorable duty station. Sadly, none of those friends' parents are still married. Just anecdotal, the divorce rate in the military is high anyway, but ties closer to extended family than nuclear family were factors in at least 15 divorces that I can think of off the top of my head. Not the answer you're looking for, I know. As a parent, it has to be difficult to be separated from a child and grandchildren, but I haven't seen more separation than the military already forces be good for marriages and parent/child relationships.

Edited by higginszoo
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I understood what you meant but just didn't agree. Making small talk with strangers to establish emergency contacts is my idea of torture

 

You never make friends when you move? Don't all friendships start out as small talk with strangers? I guess i'm not getting what you are trying to say?

 

and it makes my eye twitch to see the idea pushed that the only way to have a happy, successful marriage with a service member is to have the entire family moving around, hanging around, waiting ever so patiently as if we were in line for an audience with the king.

 

Again, I have no idea what you're trying to say here. Do you not move when your husband does? I definitely have never felt like waiting for an audience with the king. :lol: I think there is a disconnect between what I'm trying to communicate and your answers. Honestly, I'm a person who really does want to figure out what someone is trying to say. But, I'm not getting it, and it's partly because I think you're reading my words differently than how I meant them. So, I don't know what that thing is that you're responding too because I don't see it.

 

I love my DH, but the world no more revolves around him and his job than it does me and mine. Fortunately, DH appreciates my differentness. Or, maybe I'm just smokin' hot?! :D ETA - I don't completely disagree either. DH and I have always been a really close, tight-knit team. We are not, however, happy movers.
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You never make friends when you move? Don't all friendships start out as small talk with strangers? I guess i'm not getting what you are trying to say?

 

Again, I have no idea what you're trying to say here. Do you not move when your husband does? I definitely have never felt like waiting for an audience with the king. :lol: I think there is a disconnect between what I'm trying to communicate and your answers. Honestly, I'm a person who really does want to figure out what someone is trying to say. But, I'm not getting it, and it's partly because I think you're reading my words differently than how I meant them. So, I don't know what that thing is that you're responding too because I don't see it.

 

I think nukeswife explained my position best. No, I really don't make friends when we move. I've never wanted or needed to; I'm just really private and independent. Moving a lot as a kid taught me that investing in meaningful friendships when you're only going to be there short-term is a pointless exercise. Sometimes I move with DH. Sometimes I follow a few months later. Sometimes, like now, I split the difference and spend the workup cycle with him and the deployment part somewhere else where I have an established professional network. My point is just that it is possible to have a happy, healthy, marriage without taking the together at all costs approach and you don't have to immerse yourself in the local scene to be content. ETA: I do have friends, LOL, they're just people who've known me for years, pre-military, from college, childhood, or family ties. I think I've made two friends (and they're only 2 years old so they're not in the perma file yet) in the last 15 years.:lol: I travel with and without my kids and DH to visit them.

Edited by Sneezyone
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While I can respect your point-of-view, I just want to point out that this is not necessarily so. I have made life-long friendships with people whom I lived physically near for only a short while. Don't underrate the potential of true friendships just because someone won't be in your midst for very long. My bff and I have only been in physical proximity for about two years - and that was seventeen years ago! We are still quite close to this day.

 

That is true, but not everyone wants or needs a lot of friends or acquaintances, or any for that matter. Unfortunately a lot of the posts here gave the impression that if you don't get involved or reach out to make lots of friends that your marriage is doomed to fail.

 

I've been a military spouse for 15 years and have never had to worry about that. I get along just fine with dh deployed without having to have a bunch of friends and or get involved in every little thing offered by the command. In fact I prefer to not be involved in anything the command offers unless it is something my dh is required to attend. Even in those situations by no means does he require me to go, it's up to me. If I feel like going I do, if not I stay home with the kids and trust me our marriage is anything but on the fast track to divorce.

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I completely agree with Kinsa. I do move with my dh. I couldn't see not moving with him. Even more important than this is to our marriage, it is very important to our kids.Obviously, it being the military, we haven't always been able to live in the same place- my dh has had extended tdy's and that sort of thing. We have made a commitment to fully engage in the community wherever we live. Our lives and the lives of our kids have been so much richer for that. We have friends in so many places because we moved out of our natural inclination of shyness and talked to people.

 

I see most of the other people who are responding on this thread are military wives who have many years of experience. I have over 25 as a military wife, others have retired, others have 15 or more. All of us are recounting how what you describe as leading your own life usually ends badly. Hopefully it won't in your case.

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That is true, but not everyone wants or needs a lot of friends or acquaintances, or any for that matter. Unfortunately a lot of the posts here gave the impression that if you don't get involved or reach out to make lots of friends that your marriage is doomed to fail.

 

 

But, that is different than continuing to rely on your family to be your only support system. *That* is what I've seen lead to problems.

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I was the same way. I probably wasn't the model military wife, though. And I would thik nothing of spending time with my family of origin during a deployment,

 

But the original post was about spending the last months of a pregnancy with one's mom rather than with one's husband, and more importantly, taking a young child away from his dad during those months.

 

If the mom to be is happy being self reliant, great. I think the point people were making was that if she is feeling scared, lonely, or insecure about the move, weathering that by the side of her DH, with the support available there, is better in the long run than going to her mom and taking a son from his dad in the process. For some people, neighbors and friends might be part of that, but they don't have to be.

 

Military life involve enough seperations without creating them during those precious pregnancy months, IMHO. The dad may be happier knowing his wife is off with her mom and mom will take care of her, and he may not even realize now what he is missing with his son. But I think it is the beginning of a potentially bad pattern.

Edited by Danestress
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