Military Spouses - please help!! — The Bump
June 2015 Moms

Military Spouses - please help!!

Hello ladies! This is my first time really reaching out, so please be gentle with me.

This is something that I am desperately seeking help with. To make a long story short, before the birth of our son my husband went through a long process to try and join the army. Due to a medical issue he had a few years back it caused major issues and we had to jump through many hoops to finally get him medically approved to join.

Now that he has the go ahead, we are so torn. On one hand neither of us want him to join because of the baby, and the milestones he would miss combined with the fact that I would be by myself to raise the baby for a little while with little to no help. (Closest family is 3 hours away, all friends work and have little free time).

And on the other hand, we think he should join for the opportunity along with all of the benefits it would bring.

I have struggled with this decision for months and nobody in my daily life has really been of much help.

I guess what I'm looking for is advice from current military spouses who have children.

Is it hard having them gone and missing out on new things with your children?

Would you prefer you SO not to be in the military?

I just need help guys :( I am so terrified of being alone and having to juggle a new baby, my job, my crazy animals and life events with no help but I also am nervous about missing out on a great opportunity.

JunB25

Re: Military Spouses - please help!!

  • katyertl said:
    I think it really depends on you as a person and you both as a couple. I have seen many men and women cheat on their spouse and have seen a lot of fighting. You have to go into knowing there will be things neither of you can control. Being in the military means having to put that in front of your family a lot of time and not be resentful to him when he has to leave or is unable to talk to you whenever you want. You have to be content and confident in yourself as a person to be able to stand on your own and do things by yourself. If you find it hard to be independent without him then it's going to be ten times harder with him being in the military. My husband was in the Marine corps and it brought us so much closer as a couple having to trust each other. We went weeks without talking during deployments and months without seeing each other. We didn't have children while he was in so I don't know that side of the spectrum but a lot of our friends had babies and some men even missed the birth. You have to roll with the punches. You get screwed over a lot and plans always get changed at the last minute. Just know that at the end of the day it's you two against everything else. You have to be able to depend on each other.
    That is another one of my biggest concerns. I have never been left alone. I went from living at home and going to high school, to moving out of state for college and into an apartment with 4 roommates to living with a boyfriend to now living with my husband. No matter my situation, I have always had at least someone there to help me or to talk to me when I need it. I worry a lot that I will be sad or maybe even a little depressed if it's just me and the baby. I have no doubt in my mind that neither of us would cheat on the other, it's more so the fact of just being alone and him missing out on our first baby's early months/years that's getting to me. 
  • You'll gain a lot of support from other military spouses on base if that's where you live. It's amazing how close you get to some ladies. They are like family. It's an amazing experience to be able to depend on them like family.
    That would get to me too. Frankly I'd feel
    Like a single parent. But everyone is different and maybe you'd be ok with it once you got situated.
    KaLikeAWindDavila21
  • @katyertl touched on a lot of stuff, so I'm gonna try to not repeat it, but I do want to emphasize something - you really do have to trust in yourself because you most likely will be spending a lot of time on your own. My hubs is active duty Coast Guard and while he does not get deployed overseas, there have been MANY times where he has been gone. He is, in fact, gone right now. Only for two days, but two days is hard when you have no one to help you, no support system. Our families are very far away as we were stationed in the Great Lakes and they are on the coasts. I'm actually very grateful for our time spent childless while he was in the service cause it helped me to become confident in being alone. I truly marvel at the spouses who have newborns and their service members are on deployment, as they don't get someone to give them a break every 3rd day like I do. On the other hand, they may actually be close to family, like you are (for me, 3 hours is close. Not 'let's meet up for lunch' close, but you could call them today and have someone there tomorrow to help).

    Which in turn brings up, what if he becomes stationed away from family, like we are? Yes, the other spouses are a source to lean on, but for myself I find it hard to hang out with them, its just my personality. In 12 years with my hubs in the service, I've never made friends with any other spouses, and this is our 4rth assignment. But a lot of that is my personality. I'm a loner. So I thrive by myself. However, if my husband were going to be overseas or deployed away from me and LO for a long period of time, and I knew that, I would probably move close to my sister so that LO and I had a support system. On the other hand, i might just deal on my own, and support system be damned. But again, that's my personality. I'm a loner and I'm stubborn and I just deal with shiz. My frame of mind would have been different going in, knowing I would be rocking this scenario solo. If you are someone who makes friends easily and has no problem joining into a group, the spousal support system will be awesome for you, and maybe even better than family. I do not make friends easily and tend to prefer my own company, so I barely benefit from the spouses nearby, despite the fact there is a pretty strong spouse support network here since its such a small town. I sometimes think that the other spouses actually think less of me for not hanging out with them. So definitely consider your personality type.

    Do I wish he was not in the military? This is going to be SO subjective to each person, but for me - No. I do not wish he were not in the military. This lifestyle suits us - going from place to place every 3-4 years, seeing new people, new cultures. I'm fond of saying every time we transfer and are looking as possible assignments that are open "its like shopping for a new life". And I feel like its still the same us everywhere we go, but we get to start a whole new thing every few years. We have seen so many places and done so many things, all thanks to his military career. Yes, there is stuff that happens because of his career that is really hard. Really stressful stuff happens. But that's life. Stressful stuff will happen regardless of military service or not. Maybe different stressful stuff, but stuff still happens. I just roll with the punches and enjoy life, cause what else are ya going to do?

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Davila21
  • Ooh, side note - hubs is at this point getting pretty tired of his job, and talks about getting out more and more often. So, should your man join, have some kind of plan for after his service, as well. Example, if in his service he becomes an airplane mechanic, that's a skill he can use outside. If he just learns how to shoot guns and drive tanks (not saying those aren't important and / or demeaning our soldiers who do not become mechanics) then those skills are worth very little in civilian life. My hubs all the time now wishes he had become a cook way back in the day when he was deciding the direction of his military career. He could have serious options for work post military life (a guy we know who was a cook and got out now cooks for the uber fancy restaurant atop the space needle). Instead he chose to become a bosun's mate. He drives boats. Good skill for military branches, not very marketable for a career outside of the military. People do it, sure... But the field is very small, and full of other people who have been doing it longer. So he basically has to begin a whole new career when he gets out. Now he wishes that since he didn't choose a marketable (to civilians) career, that he had used his time in service to further his education. Cause you can plan to do the whole 20 and retire, but get 2 contracts in and just be sick of it. Now he has to use the next 2-3 years to get some kind of 2 year degree that he can use when he gets out, cause he doesn't want put in the 20 anymore. Too much bs.
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
    Davila21klkonwi
  • mellymar said:

    @katyertl touched on a lot of stuff, so I'm gonna try to not repeat it, but I do want to emphasize something - you really do have to trust in yourself because you most likely will be spending a lot of time on your own. My hubs is active duty Coast Guard and while he does not get deployed overseas, there have been MANY times where he has been gone. He is, in fact, gone right now. Only for two days, but two days is hard when you have no one to help you, no support system. Our families are very far away as we were stationed in the Great Lakes and they are on the coasts. I'm actually very grateful for our time spent childless while he was in the service cause it helped me to become confident in being alone. I truly marvel at the spouses who have newborns and their service members are on deployment, as they don't get someone to give them a break every 3rd day like I do. On the other hand, they may actually be close to family, like you are (for me, 3 hours is close. Not 'let's meet up for lunch' close, but you could call them today and have someone there tomorrow to help).

    Which in turn brings up, what if he becomes stationed away from family, like we are? Yes, the other spouses are a source to lean on, but for myself I find it hard to hang out with them, its just my personality. In 12 years with my hubs in the service, I've never made friends with any other spouses, and this is our 4rth assignment. But a lot of that is my personality. I'm a loner. So I thrive by myself. However, if my husband were going to be overseas or deployed away from me and LO for a long period of time, and I knew that, I would probably move close to my sister so that LO and I had a support system. On the other hand, i might just deal on my own, and support system be damned. But again, that's my personality. I'm a loner and I'm stubborn and I just deal with shiz. My frame of mind would have been different going in, knowing I would be rocking this scenario solo. If you are someone who makes friends easily and has no problem joining into a group, the spousal support system will be awesome for you, and maybe even better than family. I do not make friends easily and tend to prefer my own company, so I barely benefit from the spouses nearby, despite the fact there is a pretty strong spouse support network here since its such a small town. I sometimes think that the other spouses actually think less of me for not hanging out with them. So definitely consider your personality type.

    Do I wish he was not in the military? This is going to be SO subjective to each person, but for me - No. I do not wish he were not in the military. This lifestyle suits us - going from place to place every 3-4 years, seeing new people, new cultures. I'm fond of saying every time we transfer and are looking as possible assignments that are open "its like shopping for a new life". And I feel like its still the same us everywhere we go, but we get to start a whole new thing every few years. We have seen so many places and done so many things, all thanks to his military career. Yes, there is stuff that happens because of his career that is really hard. Really stressful stuff happens. But that's life. Stressful stuff will happen regardless of military service or not. Maybe different stressful stuff, but stuff still happens. I just roll with the punches and enjoy life, cause what else are ya going to do?

    You bring up a lot of good points. I've spent the majority of the day researching different support groups since I posted this and it does seem like there are a number of options out there. While I do like being alone at times, I also really enjoy meeting new people and socializing so I think if we do decide to join, I'll definitely have to check some of the groups out to try and keep me sane.

    I also would be totally okay with moving around a lot. I tend to get bored of my location easily so I think the constant change of scenery might be pretty cool.

    It definitely is a lot to consider and there are many pros and cons for either path. Hopefully when he gets home tonight we can try and finally decide something and stick with it.
  • KaLikeAWindKaLikeAWind
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    member
    edited July 2015
    It takes a certain kind of strength. I think *most* women could do it, by tapping into their innate awesomeness, but not all.

    I have enjoyed it. DH has many friends that have kids (multiple kids, even) and they all make it work and somehow make it look easy.

    This may help you guys to decide - what do you gain if he joins? What do you gain if he does not?

    For us, him joining was the way we were able to break out of a likely to be dead end life. Neither of us could make enough $ to go to school to get a degree, nor could we make enough $ to escape our very expensive area so that we could try to make a better start somewhere else. Without his joining, we would both still be stuck barely scraping by. Yeah, we had good jobs that paid well, but the area we lived in was so expensive that we were constantly struggling. His joining allowed us to move our lives forward. His not joining would have gained us nothing. We would have never even considered having a kid in that other life...

    Edited, words, I missed some
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    Davila21
  • mellymar said:

    It takes a certain kind of strength. I think *most* women could do it, by tapping into their innate awesomeness, but not all.

    I have enjoyed it. DH has many friends that have kids (multiple kids, even) and they all make it work and somehow make it look easy.

    This may help you guys to decide - what do you gain if he joins? What do you gain if he does not?

    For us, him joining was the way we were able to break out of a likely to be dead end life. Neither of us could make enough $ to go to school to get a degree, nor could we make enough $ to escape our very expensive area so that we could try to make a better start somewhere else. Without his joining, we would both still be stuck barely scraping by. Yeah, we had good jobs that paid well, but the area we lived in was so expensive that we were constantly struggling. His joining allowed us to move our lives forward. His not joining would have gained us nothing. We would have never even considered having a kid in that other life...

    Edited, words, I missed some

    This exactly! We met at our job which is nothing special as we work in a call center. I feel like if he joins, we will be able to finally get out of this dead end job where we have both have gone as far as we possibly can within the company, we'd be able to move out of Florida which is something we would both really like to do,and for once in a very long time we might be able to buy something without having to check our bank account to make sure we can afford it. I know in a lot of ways things would improve.

    I think after a very long talk with my mom(also a previous military spouse of 28 years) along with work friends and you ladies I have decided it may be the best route for our family if he were to join. I don't see much use in passing up a long term benefit for a temporary inconvenience.
    KaLikeAWind
  • There is also a military spouse board in the 'Specialty' section of the bump forums. You could go and check that out and talk with some more spouses
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • Thank you! I tried to search for one but didn't come across it, I'll hop over there and check it out!
  • I wish you the best of luck @Davila21 - just want to second what @mellymar said about him choosing his specialty.. SO is in the Marines in the infantry. He was convinced he wanted to be infantry (they all get it in their heads it's important to be on the front lines) so he knows lots about lots of different guns and martial arts etc.. He is in the reserves now and works for Allstate as his civilian job. Obviously Allstate is a good career, but I think he would have been a lot better off if he went in with an MOS that would help him with jobs in civilian life.

    I will say the beginning is hard. I think the army might be slightly less strict, but I didn't hear from SO at all the entire time he was at boot camp (3 months) besides occasional letters, it was hard since it went from being together every day one day to no contact the next. It only got easier from there, so just hang in there!

    It sounds like you guys are being very practical about your decision, so I don't think you'll have any regrets! You can do it, girl!
    katyertlklkonwi
  • Boot camp was hard for CG, too. It was 2 months instead of 3, but they work their asses off and have very little time to themselves. I got very few letters. I would expect it would be similar for all branches. They are in the process of molding these peeps into something, so they work them very hard. They will probably be like me right now, with so little free time to ourselves i know we should call my mom and email my dad some pictures, but all I can do is catch a nap or grab a snack.
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