Question for dual military parents — The Bump
Military Families

Question for dual military parents

Both DH and I are Active Duty military.  I have the more standard schedule, as I work in healthcare.  He's a pilot, so his schedule changes quite a bit. 

We're about to have our first child.  I'm taking close to 3 months off between maternity/regular leave.  I will still have leave days left after I return to work.  We live on the opposite side of the country currently from any/all family. 

So, what do you do when your child is sick and can't go to the CDC?  Do you alternate based on who has the most flexible schedule that day?  Any suggestions? I'm not due until May 1st, but we want to plan ahead. 

Thanks!

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Re: Question for dual military parents

  • Hopefully my post doesn't discourage you too much.  Lots and lots of people make being dual mil work.  I'm just not cut out for it. 

    Our situation is very similar.  We are both AD Air Force.  DH is a pilot, and I work in the clinic.  When DH isn't flying or in the sim, he works a typical 7:30-4:30 schedule, but it's very difficult to get away from because he is often the only person working in his shop due to everyone else being TDY/deployed.  I almost always have the same schedule, except during exercises.  However, it is very difficult for me to take a day off of work because I have scheduled appointments with patients. 

    What we have done so far is that whoever can take off more easily that day takes care of DS.  Sometimes this results in each of us staying home a half day.  When DH is gone, I just have to scramble to try to find someone to cover my patients.  It's very stressful.   

    Honestly, I have been extremely miserable as a dual military couple, especially with DH begin TDY or deployed half the time, and then trying to deal with frequent exercises, finding time to workout, and not being able to take off work at the drop of a hat.  I have struggled so much that I've just recently applied for early separation through the FY11 Force Management Program. 

    Flame away for trying to get out before my committment is up, but I'm not doing anything shady to try to get out.  I'm taking advantage of a program that the Air Force has put in place to trim the people they need to trim, so hopefully people who would like to stay in don't get force shaped. 

    Hilary
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  • I am also dual military as well and DH is currently TDY luckily I have a great working relationship with my COC and if I ever needed time off for little one they would most likely work with me.

    I think if I needed to I would use my leave days if she was sick for an extended period of time though.

    When DH comes back he will be on a ship but we are going to try to alternate if anything comes up like LO getting sick and just see how it works for us.

    I do have a backup who is her godmother as well so If for any reason she couldn't go to daycare I would use her too.

     

     

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  • Like PP said, I hope this doesn't discourage you but I am actually opting to separate AD. DH and I are both AD shift workers and the CDC is not as lenient or kind to shift workers as people think. And neither is downtown childcare. After seeing so many of my friends struggle with being dual AD parents we made the decision for me to get out and take care of the baby full time. It was a hard choice for me to make because I love being in but we know it is the right one for our family. I wish you luck in making it work!
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  • Another discouraging post here....I decided to switch to the IRR for right now, but still keeping my commission. I'll probably come back in later on, but for right now this is best for our family.

    Both DH and I have scheduled patients every day...I can't imagine the issues that would arise if one of us needed to take the day off work.

  • imagehilwithonelary:

    Hopefully my post doesn't discourage you too much.  Lots and lots of people make being dual mil work.  I'm just not cut out for it. 

    Our situation is very similar.  We are both AD Air Force.  DH is a pilot, and I work in the clinic.  When DH isn't flying or in the sim, he works a typical 7:30-4:30 schedule, but it's very difficult to get away from because he is often the only person working in his shop due to everyone else being TDY/deployed.  I almost always have the same schedule, except during exercises.  However, it is very difficult for me to take a day off of work because I have scheduled appointments with patients. 

    What we have done so far is that whoever can take off more easily that day takes care of DS.  Sometimes this results in each of us staying home a half day.  When DH is gone, I just have to scramble to try to find someone to cover my patients.  It's very stressful.   

    Honestly, I have been extremely miserable as a dual military couple, especially with DH begin TDY or deployed half the time, and then trying to deal with frequent exercises, finding time to workout, and not being able to take off work at the drop of a hat.  I have struggled so much that I've just recently applied for early separation through the FY11 Force Management Program. 

    Flame away for trying to get out before my committment is up, but I'm not doing anything shady to try to get out.  I'm taking advantage of a program that the Air Force has put in place to trim the people they need to trim, so hopefully people who would like to stay in don't get force shaped. 

    Thank you for your response.  I would never flame you for making a decision that best works for your family!  Your schedule sounds VERY MUCH like my H's and mine. 

     I actually did an interservice transfer from the Air Force MSC to the Navy MSC in order to be able to be stationed with my DH. 

    He is currently a flight instructor, so he is non-deployable.  It's been nice, but he still flies nights and is TDY quite a bit.  I guess we're just going to have to work with it and whoever is free (likely me) will stay home with our daughter.  It's discouraging though, b/c I feel like I'll grow to resent it.  Sigh. 

    Well, good luck.  And thank you for your response!

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  • Thanks, ladies! I guess we all understand each other.  I seriously do feel for the shift workers.  I think the military should have 24 hr childcare for those of you who need it.  It must be really hard. 

    I really appreciate the responses.  We're going to try to make it work.  My H can retire in 6 yrs.  I have almost 12 to go.  We'll see how it goes.  Thanks! xo Laura

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  • Your CDC can give you names of approved people / day cares in your area.  When you're dealing with a child care provider out of their home, they are much more flexible.  I am a flier and have found child care where I can drop of the baby at 4 am if needed.

     Nothing against those who separated from AD, but in this economy the job security of the military is a great comfort.  Make sure to weigh your options carefully prior to making (another) life changing decision.  The Navy has very strict rules on allowing for shorter days post partum, time and facilities for pumping, etc.  I am staying in until retirement, and am scared of deployments and TDY, but I'll cross that bridge when I get there.  In this day and age with Skype I can see my child every day over the computer, no "stranger mommy" anymore with technology!

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  • Same boat, we are due with our first in July.  If things are tight, I have planned on using my short term family care sponsor.  She is a SAHMand and we have already discussed these things until DH and I can build our leave up again. 

    Also, I know back home some Ped's floors accept sick kids on a first come first serve basis for $30/day 8a-5p.  They are on locked floors with a PRN for tylenol every 4-6 hours.  I plan to research that and see if it's available out here

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  • My husband has always had crazy work schedules, and I get them when we have exercises. Anyway, our little guy got sick a lot during his first year with random, typical infant stuff -- colds, diarrhea, etc. They pick up everything from the CDC, but don't be worried about it too much. It's pretty common, and recent studies suggested that kids who get sick more often in the early years get sick less often later. But I digress....

    Usually, we wouldn't need to take more than one day off in a row, and, like you said, we'd choose based on which one of us was more flexible on that particular day.  However, once we had to take off two days in a row, so I got one and he got the other.  Neither of us had to take leave because we had good bosses -- that is key.  Still, even if you have a good boss, expect to take leave if the child's illness forces you to stay home for longer than a day. That's just what you have to do sometimes, just like civilians taking sick days for their kids' illnesses. (I try to let my civilians just go to appointments and doctor visits for "free," though.)

  • We've done a combination of things...

    If one of us has a flexible schedule, we'll take off a whole day

    If we both have things that can't be missed all day, we have a friend in town who will take care of her...she has all her kids in school and doesn't mind having a sick kiddo around

    We've also been able to manage some working from home/adjusted schedule, where one will work 0400-1300 and the other will work 1300-2000 or so and check emails from home.

    We're both pilots, so it really depends on the flying schedule.  Right now I'm pregnant with #2, so I can usually get away easier.

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