Should I stay or should I go? — The Bump
Military Families

Should I stay or should I go?

Now it could be the hormones and the crazy dreams, but I'm having trouble sleeping while thinking about this one.

My DH right now is at Basic Training for the Air Force, and I'm 26 weeks. Thank goodness his graduation is in 3 weeks, because I've been missing him like crazy. 

His tech school lasts 2 years, which means I'll most likely be able to move in with him in 7 weeks or so from right now, which isn't terrible, but it's in California, and I'm in NYC right now. As soon as we realized the timing, we had planned for me to move out there ASAP (my boxes are already packed!), but now that the baby's getting bigger, I'm starting to have second thoughts.

Pros for going out there:
-DH gets to see baby
-I/we get to be with DH

Cons/Reasons to stay home:
-I have no idea what to do with a baby! (First Time Mom) Research isn't everything.
-No family out there, nor are they willing to stay out there for an extended period.
-He doesn't have Paternity Leave (For example, if I go into labor on my due date, a Wednesday, I have to call his school, have him meet me, and the next day he has to be back in school unless he wants to suffer in his class). = I'm alone right away.

I woke up in a panic just now terrified of my baby having SIDS or any other unpredictable problem, or if he's colicky and I get frustrated while I'm out there and take it out on baby. I'm so scared and I know it would break his heart (and mine) if he couldn't be there for the birth. His letters are always filled with how excited he is for our [soon to be] son, and how he won't stop talking about his son. I feel like so many women would trade anything to have their husbands with them for their first birth and I shouldn't even for a second not want that, but I want my baby healthy. My selfish self wants to go out and meet him, but in fear of not doing right by the baby, a lot of me is wanting to stay here. I just can't bear the thought of waiting until the summer and the baby's already a few months old for him to meet his Daddy and vice versa.

My family thinks I should stay, he/his family thinks I should go. What do you ladies think? I know a lot of you have been there/done that and probably have a more level headed approach. Should I stay or should I go?

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Re: Should I stay or should I go?

  • None of us can make this choice for you. Only you can know what's right for you and your family. I would not listen to either side of your family and do whatever you feel most comfortable with.

    For me, I had to make a decision of either continuing on with my military career or seeing my husband (we were in two separate branches and were going to be apart for a couple years). I chose family first. For me, I didn't think I would regret choosing family. But I knew that I would be more likely to regret choosing life without DH. So now I have moved to Japan where he's stationed and I'm struggling to find new direction (career wise) with my life. Even though I face that struggle, I would have been more miserable not having him around. Despite him deploying frequently, it meant more to me that I see him every so often than not at all for the next two years.

    Good luck with making your choice! And if it helps, military spouses are friendly and just without family as you are. So going to tech school will put you with other spouses just like you. You will be able to find a support system wherever you go. 

    Gabriel 09-11-2012 No dairy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts
    DSC_0803
    DH deployed since July 22
  • I agree with the PP no one can make this decision for you, only you and your DH knows what is best for your family. 

    However, my DH and I are pregnant with our first baby and we are all the way in Okinawa, Japan. We have no family here to help with the baby. Just me and DH. But I can tell you that military wives are and will become your family. All military families are used to being away from family and come together to support each other and help each other out. I know it's not the same as your 'real' family, but they make up for it. If it were me, I would move to be with my DH no matter what, to me having DH and the baby bond is more important to me. I know research isn't everything, but there are so many wives that you will meet that can help you as well. Lots of mommy and baby groups to get into.

    Good luck with making your decision, and congrats on your DH's graduation in a few weeks! 

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  • I think you would not be doing right by your son to keep him from his dad.

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  • Like others said, we can give input but you'll have to make the decision on what's best for your situation. If it was me, I'd be in CA right away! The way I look at it is DH is my family, so I would have support from him. We both have a good relationship with our families, but we also do fine when it's just the two of us. Based on how long your said the tech school is I can guess where you're going since we just left there, and we really enjoyed the area. I understand being nervous about being away from family since it's your first because I'm about to be in the same boat. It might be tougher not having your family around to help in the first weeks, but I would seriously regret my husband not having the opportunity to be involved from the beginning. You didn't mention this, but it will probably be harder for your husband in class for a while after the baby comes. A guy in my husband's class had a baby while he was in class and he struggled for a while, but it's still doable. It's also important to take into consideration your husband's feelings in all of this. Is it going to impact your relationship negatively if you don't go with him?

    Feel free to PM me if you want more details on how the day-to-day stuff might be while you're there. Good luck with your decision!

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  • I'm not sure your staying or going will have anything to do with your LO's health as far as colic and SIDS are concerned. You should have the same health benefits in NY that you will have in Cali and there is nothing having familial support can do to prevent colic and other issues with newborns. It could be very overwhelming for you to handle on your own, but you will meet new people.  I'm very close to my family as well and I know what its like to not want to be too far away from them with a newborn. I understand all your fears of being away from support as a FTM, but even not knowing you, I have faith that you and YH will be able to take care of your baby. One thing about being a military spouse is that you will most likely have to move, and regularly. I can't tell you what to do, or what's best for you, but choosing between being with MH and my extended family isn't even a competition for me. DH wins hands down every time. I can't see how being away from MH and having my children away from their father unnecessarily could be beneficial to my family as a whole.
  • Like the others have said, no one can make this decision but you - and your husband. Have you talked to him about the possibility of not moving out there to be with him? If you were in his shoes, how would you feel about being together or apart during this significant time? 

    Look. I am going to be blunt because the fact is, this isn't the only time you'll be separated from your family. And it sucks. But this is the life of a military spouse. You're going to move around a fair amount, you won't get everything you want, you'll live in shitty places, you'll live in amazing places. You have to suck it up and roll with the punches. You can't bail just because you don't like base housing or you're a ten hour flight away from home. You can't hide from life. It'll happen no matter where you are.

    Even if you stayed in NY, would you be living with a family member? Would someone be there with you 24/7? At some point, you have to be independent, able to maintain life on your own without your spouse. You have to be able to manage everything alone, as deployments are probably going to happen. This isn't going to end once tech school is over. These are decisions you're going to have to make throughout his time in.

    Honestly, here is nothing I hate more in the military world than the Dependent Military Dependent. And I am not saying you are, but the decisions you make may turn you into one. I wish you nothing but luck making the decision that is right for you and your new family.

    and that's my tough love for the day. 

  • I cannot imagine not going with my husband to a duty station even if it is for training, regardless of having a child or not. But seeing as your are expecting, I would never keep my husband and our child apart for any reason unless it was absolutely necessary.

    Military life involves doing and making sacrifices to keep your marriage working and together. Your going to have to do things you dont want or like in order to make things work, and so will your husband. Keeping your family separated by choice just seems wrong to me. 

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  • What is his job?  I have never heard of an AF tech school that is 2 years long.
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  • Yeah I pretty much agree with PP, I know I'm late to the game and there's already plenty of good advice, but I'd never choose to be away from my husband. I married him for a reason and he is my family now. Moving and being away from my mom and dad is sad and hard but a part of the military lifestyle that I knowingly married into. My sister gets SO MUCH help with her son from my parents and I know I'm not going to get much but that's okay, because my husband compensates for this fact. He is extra helpful and loving because of the sacrifice that we both have to make.

    But I think you knew the answer to this question or at least that we'd all pretty much say the same thing. For me staying with my parents and separating my child from my husband is unacceptable. Also I think my husband might question whether I even want to be married to him at all which I think is a valid question at that point.

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  • image MarnieMS:

    I cannot imagine not going with my husband to a duty station even if it is for training, regardless of having a child or not. But seeing as your are expecting, I would never keep my husband and our child apart for any reason unless it was absolutely necessary.

    Military life involves doing and making sacrifices to keep your marriage working and together. Your going to have to do things you dont want or like in order to make things work, and so will your husband. Keeping your family separated by choice just seems wrong to me. 

    Yes
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  • image ModestMousette:

    Yeah I pretty much agree with PP, I know I'm late to the game and there's already plenty of good advice, but I'd never choose to be away from my husband. I married him for a reason and he is my family now. Moving and being away from my mom and dad is sad and hard but a part of the military lifestyle that I knowingly married into. My sister gets SO MUCH help with her son from my parents and I know I'm not going to get much but that's okay, because my husband compensates for this fact. He is extra helpful and loving because of the sacrifice that we both have to make.

    But I think you knew the answer to this question or at least that we'd all pretty much say the same thing. For me staying with my parents and separating my child from my husband is unacceptable. Also I think my husband might question whether I even want to be married to him at all which I think is a valid question at that point.

     

    I think if I even brought this up to my husband he would be hurt, and question my loyalty to him and his career choice.  That would be the beginning to the end for us I am sure. 

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  • image MarnieMS:
    image ModestMousette:

    Yeah I pretty much agree with PP, I know I'm late to the game and there's already plenty of good advice, but I'd never choose to be away from my husband. I married him for a reason and he is my family now. Moving and being away from my mom and dad is sad and hard but a part of the military lifestyle that I knowingly married into. My sister gets SO MUCH help with her son from my parents and I know I'm not going to get much but that's okay, because my husband compensates for this fact. He is extra helpful and loving because of the sacrifice that we both have to make.

    But I think you knew the answer to this question or at least that we'd all pretty much say the same thing. For me staying with my parents and separating my child from my husband is unacceptable. Also I think my husband might question whether I even want to be married to him at all which I think is a valid question at that point.

     

    I think if I even brought this up to my husband he would be hurt, and question my loyalty to him and his career choice.  That would be the beginning to the end for us I am sure. 

     

    I'm thinking along the same lines as you are. I mean if you choose to be separate from your husband then your choosing to be separate from your husband. Maybe there's more to the story here I mean if I even thought about not following my husband to a duty station it would probably be because of another reason.

    I'm scared to be having my first baby with my mom half way across the country but that's what airplanes are for and after that I know I have to be independent, grow up and be a mom myself! 

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  • My lifelong dream is to be a Marine, and it looks like it's about to be realized. H will be home in the spring, I'm likely to leave within days for 9 months, plus more training, and he's slated to leave on another trip when I'm done with that. We're guaranteed about two years apart if I get my dream, which we expected, planned for, etc. We're choosing to be separate, which I don't necessarily think means we're doomed, but it's obviously not the best case scenario. I would never do it for any reason besides my whole life's dream. We actually both admit there's a chance our marriage won't survive this. We're trying to be extremely proactive in order to stave off the worst. I can imagine that you're scared of all your changes, but you married a service member, and with that comes independence. Get independent and don't put unnecessary strain on your marriage because you're scared. 

    I've seen a lot of military surprise homecomings. It wouldn't work on me. I always have my back to the corner and my face to the door. Looking for terrorists, criminals, various other threats, and husbands.
  • Thank you guys so much for the responses. Ranging from the sweet to the ones filled with tough love, they all meant a lot to me.

    See? This is why I wrote on this board, you'd be surprised how many people who I've discussed this with that overwhelmingly think I should stay in NY. I guess I needed to hear that I won't be suffering out there, contrary to what everyone at home thinks.

    To answer a few of the questions I remember off hand:
    DH's soon to be job is Cryptologic Linguist in the AF, which is why it's such a long school. We'll be in Cali for a year or so atleast, and then I believe he may go somewhere else to continue the language training, most likely Texas.

    I would be living at home with my parents in NY if I were to stay. I'm actually back home with them now for the time being while I wait to go meet up with the hubby. Although there will be hours where people aren't home, their schedules work out pretty well so that most days, someone will be home 24/7.

    What I fear most if I don't go, would be the resentment I/DH would have about the situation. This is supposed to be an amazing moment for the two of us as a pair, and as lovely as being able to watch it on Skype or Facetime would be, if he has the opportunity, he should be sharing in it too. My father's great at bringing up to me that I'm likely to be depressed out there especially because of the postpartum hormones, and I won't have any visitors for several months, and so on and so forth. For this whole pregnancy, I had confidence that I could do this but I just don't want to take away from the baby.

    I fear the SIDS and colicky baby because of the paranoia of being pregnant, but in relation to being alone because I wouldn't want to just feel like giving up and being frustrated with the baby. Especially being alone for the first time in my life. DH is gonna be stressed from school (like "Skooz" said), and I can't exactly ask him to drop everything and help me out when I can't handle it. I'm just expecting the worst, which probably isn't a great attitude, but it's just crazy how this is becoming so real!

     DH and I have talked about it. When I brought it up, he either said "I want to be with my son," or "I understand and I know you'll do what you think is right." He wasn't offended or appalled. Maybe we're both used to that in our families, when a daughter has her first child, Mom usually swings by for a couple of weeks and helps out with the baby. Mom's a newborn veteran and would teach by example, and neither of our mothers can make it to even visit for a long while. As of where he and I last left it in our conversation, I would definitely be going with him.

     I loved how you guys brought up that he is my family now, and you're 100% right. I guess because he's not around and all I hear is my parents', sisters', and other extended family's opinion about it all, it started to rub off on me. After having a clearer head about it today, reading your responses, and having a good cry, I decided not to say anything to anyone (in the non-internet world) until I know for sure what's going on with DH's tech school, but between you all and I, I'm going to plan on leaving the day he gets approval from his commanding officer, or whoever it is that gives him the permission for me to join him. I would trade anything in the world to have my DH next to me, and not having him there would make me more depressed than any hormones can do. Moodiness is temporary, but that feeling that I chose wrong would last me forever. I know that in the first few months of the baby's life, the moments we have with baby, both DH and I are crucial to the bonding process.
    If I remind myself of these things, I think this decision will be a lot easier for me, and my family can't really be mad at me for it.

    I hope you all don't think I'm a horrible and/or selfish person. I'm just a worrier and want this baby to have the healthiest life possible.
    Thank you all again! If I ever feel overwhelmed with worry in the near future, I'll just come back to this thread and read what you guys have said to make me feel sane again. <3

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  • From my experience I would say everything you are feeling is normal when you first start out in this life. But you have to do what you have to do. I was lonely, depressed and homesick for a while after I married my DH and moved to the other side of the country. My husband was gone ALL the time, and then deployed shortly after we got married. Ive spent probably 3 out of the 5 years we have been married alone. Its a hard life, but it does get easier. You find your ground and figure out who you are as a woman and a spouse.  The military is a wonderful life IMO with lots of ups and downs. You just gotta take those ups and down as they come and try and not be to scared or worried, or it will tear you apart. Trust in your decision to marry this man and support him in his life, and trust in him that he will do what is best for you whenever it is possible. I say that because it is important to realize that the military comes first in a lot of ways. At least it did for us with my husband being infantry in the army.  But 5 years, 2 deployments later, I love my husband more than I did when I married him, and this life has made us stronger and I wouldn't change that for anything. It has tought me to be independent and strong on my own as well as with my husband next to me. Having a baby is hard in this life style, but you can do it. 

    I wish you the best of luck, and try and keep an open mind. There is a lot the military can offer you as far as support if you decide to go just look into all the things they offer where you would be living and start to get ahead of it now.  

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  • IMO, you need to go.  You are married to a military man.  The likelihood of you living near family during his time in the military is slim.  You'll get by.  You cannot stay with family forever if you want to have a successful marriage.  You need to go with your DH. 

    The fears of SIDS, colicky baby, etc. are every new parent's fear.  Living with family will not make those fears go away, nor will they stop those things from happening.  You can just do the best you can, take known precautions, and enjoy your time as a family of 3.

    Those few months might not seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but could you imagine being denied the right to see your child's first smile, laugh, sitting up, crawling, etc.?  Your family wants you to stay for selfish reasons.  They want you to stay because they don't want to see you go or your baby.  That doesn't mean they are bad people. It means that they love you and your baby.  However, your place is with your DH, not with them.

    The bottom line is that you are married to a military man.  You need to get used to the moves; the uncertainty, the independence; being away from family.  The sooner the better.  Good luck.

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  • When you said your H was going to tech school for 2 years and that it was in CA I had a suspicion that it was for DLI in Monterey. My husband is already signed up for a class in the summer! He's in the Army and he's been in for almost 4 years but he's changing his MOS to linguist. I'm SO excited I know a of people who have gone through the program and never want to leave Monterey. I cant WAIT to get there and get the hell out of Georgia. BLEGH!

    But that being said it's taken me a lot of sleepless nights, crying, and LONG conversations on the phone with my parents and sisters to get to a place where I'm comfortable being a military wife. It's hard. I got married when I was 21 and had only been living out of my parents house (but in the same city) for 2 years. So leaving was very tough. The first year was not easy as you seem to know but you really do make some great life long friends that help it get easier and hopefully you establish your own life and routine alongside your husband who will be doing the same in his career. I had to grow up very fast and gain my own independence and self identity and while it was difficult it's been the second best thing to happen to me (1st is my LO coming soon!). So don't discouraged about not having anyone around you because even though people around you are strangers (at your first duty station) they are in the same boat as you and USUALLY become a great support system.

    With that said please Private message me and I will gladly give you my phone number or email and please feel free to call me whenever you get to CA or even before for anything I can do to help you. I will have a newborn and I will be a FTM with only my DH as support (but not really b/c they'll be studying like mad) but I can still offer you a comfy couch, cup of coffee, and no judgement if you come crying to the house with LO in hand, no make-up, and decked out in sweats. I know I'm a total strangers and exchanging info online is scary but I SWEAR I'm a normal person, daughter of a preacher, don't smoke, don't drink, don't judge so if you do that's ok. I'm not a cray cray I just know how difficult this life can be and how important friends are in a new place. Having a new baby AND adjusting to this lifestyle will be very difficult but very rewarding! Seriously don't hesitate to contact me! GL! 

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  • It's going to be super hard but I would definitely go.  I'd ask for family to be there for about a week or two after, maybe space out the different sets of parents, and then you should be okay.  I've been a military wife for 3 years and I ended up being induced 3 weeks early.  Family was there (not planned) but I could not have done it without my husband and I wouldn't have wanted to.  If it were me, I totally choose DH over everyone else.

    Good luck with your decision and I really hope family helps out!

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  • I would say go you can always go back and visit your family for an extended vacation if you needed to. Military life is hard and can be lonely, but you will always be amazed at all the support you will get from other spouses. Best of luck with your choice. Like others have said you will never regret picking family first. You parents can always fly out of CA for a few weeks after the birth. When I had my DD my mom came out for 2 weeks. I had zero baby experience never even held a baby before and my DD is now 2.5 and doing great. The experience brought us closer :)
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  • I would definitely go.  IMO, this is a great time to have a baby because he is non-deployable, and though he will be busy (and maybe inflexible) he will be HOME.  And probalby have a pretty predictable school schedule which is great.

    Most of us military spouses understand what it is like to have a baby away from family.  It is hard and scary and frustrating at times.  But my husband and I are a unit - our children deserve to have both of us whenever possible.  There will be deployments and events that force your DH away for long periods of time - to deprive him of time that he can have now, while in school, is a mistake IMO.

    You will be okay.  Becoming a new parent is scary for everyone.  Your fears are normal.  If it is true that you will be in Monterey - woohoo for you!  That place is absolutely amazing.  What a fun place to have a new baby :).

    Married 6/28/03

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    No more TTC for us. We are done, and at peace, as a family of 4.

    "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” — Charles Dickens

     

  • I would definitely go. We just had our first 2 weeks ago, and its been hard, but having my parents here wouldn't have made it easier.

    I'm lucky enough that my sister is also a Marine wife who lives here and was here when DD was born. I also had a doula. MH had a hard time seeing me in pain when I was in labor and ended up leaving the hospital a lot (we got the keys to our house that day so he did a lot of moving). When MH was gone, I was miserable, even with my sister and the doula there (doula is a good friend).

    I will tell you, I was bawling my eyes out everytime MH was gone. Not because of the pain necessarily, but because I wanted him there with me.

    I give props to all those that have done it without their husbands.

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  • image expletive baby:

    Like the others have said, no one can make this decision but you - and your husband. Have you talked to him about the possibility of not moving out there to be with him? If you were in his shoes, how would you feel about being together or apart during this significant time? 

    Look. I am going to be blunt because the fact is, this isn't the only time you'll be separated from your family. And it sucks. But this is the life of a military spouse. You're going to move around a fair amount, you won't get everything you want, you'll live in shitty places, you'll live in amazing places. You have to suck it up and roll with the punches. You can't bail just because you don't like base housing or you're a ten hour flight away from home. You can't hide from life. It'll happen no matter where you are.

    Even if you stayed in NY, would you be living with a family member? Would someone be there with you 24/7? At some point, you have to be independent, able to maintain life on your own without your spouse. You have to be able to manage everything alone, as deployments are probably going to happen. This isn't going to end once tech school is over. These are decisions you're going to have to make throughout his time in.

    Honestly, here is nothing I hate more in the military world than the Dependent Military Dependent. And I am not saying you are, but the decisions you make may turn you into one. I wish you nothing but luck making the decision that is right for you and your new family.

    and that's my tough love for the day. 

     I liked this post and wanted to quote it.  Everything everyone said in this thread is good, but I just wanted to add my two cents.  When you got married, and then got pregnant, you made a decision to be a grown woman and start your own family.  This is your main responsibility now.

    For the woman becoming a Marine, I don't see your situation as being the same.  You planned for this well in advance, your husband is on board, and you're not pregnant.  You're making a decision to better your family's future.

    And to the poster I quoted -- expletive baby -- holy bejesus your blog is effing hilarious.

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  • image pesci12:
    What is his job?  I have never heard of an AF tech school that is 2 years long.

    Some jobs on the actual plane take years of training.  For instance, my husband, after he graduated from the Academy, was sent to Randolph in San Antonio for a two year tech school for his job as an EWO/Raven.  Then once he was done with that he was sent here to Offutt where he spent another year in the training squadron before he was allowed to test into the real squadron that he will be part of his entire career.  Jobs like that are very specialized, they take years of training, and so they don't really let you move around a lot in terms of positions on the planes and squadrons, especially if they are a job that are specific to one certain type of jet like my husband's is.  The guys who fly that jet and have that job spend three years training, before they are even allowed to fly their first mission.


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  • As for my answer to the lady that originally posted:  GO WITH HIM!  I know that you will miss your family, but in the long run you have to think about what is best for the new family you have created and that bond that is formed between parent and child in that first year is too precious to risk.  Take advantage of the fact that your husband has the opportunity to be here and create that bond with your child. My cousin is army.  He deployed to Iraq about three months before his daughter was born.  He didn't come home until 2 months after her first birthday.  What he wouldn't have given to be able to be there for her birth and to spend that first year with her. Too many men have to go through that.  If Uncle Sam isn't forcing your husband to, please don't force him to go through it anyway.  Don't listen to anyone that tells you differently and tries to convince you it's better to be separated during that time than it is to be with the one you have vowed to share your life with and have agreed to raise a family with.
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