Seeking advice — The Bump
Military Families

Seeking advice

Hello, so my husband has had this long time dream of joining the military, recently he mentioned it to me to get my thoughts and feelings. He's considering joining guards instead of becoming active since he's married, has a full time career, and now we have a three month old. Being very pro-military I gave him my blessing and told him I'm here to support his dreams. He's talking with a recruiter today to get some answers to his questions before making a final decision and I've felt like an emotional wreck. How can I be supportive of this without letting my emotions get in the way? We are Christians and it is his belief that God is calling him to serve. Our LO is a total daddy's girl, even though she's so little will it hurt her that her daddy will be away for basic and training for a few months? I would be proud to join all of you military mothers, but this is a completely new concept for me. I was heartbroken when my uncle got deployed for a year and I had to help watch after my young cousins. I can't imagine it just being me and our baby girl for awhile. Is it easy to find help and support? I live far away from my family, I live next door to my in-laws but it still feels awkward and lonely between us.

Well that escalated into a vent, my apologies! Thank you :)

Re: Seeking advice

  • Being a miltary spouse means that no matter where you go you will always have family right next door! You're going to have a rough time with him being away. And I'm not going to say that things will be easy with your daughter... But depending on what branch and what job he chooses he should only be gone a few months. I hope you're near a base. You should find a moms group on base and it will help you a lot!!! Stay as busy as possible and don't feel guilty if you can't reach a bunch of dumb goals like cleaning or anything like that. Write him every day. He may not be able to write back but he will need the encouragement... And send him pictures of the baby and you. Nothing awkward just u and baby can take cute selfies at all the places you are. You want him to feel like you are still able to live your life... He doesn't want to picture you sitting on the couch crying eating chips all day... Even if sometimes that's all u do. You will do great... I promise!!!! You sound so devoted and loving and that's what makes a great military spouse!!! Best of luck!
    - love a medically retired airman turned marine wife
  • I'm in the Guard and I'm married to an AD Marine. We are not stationed near a base and the camaraderie in my unit is nada. It sounds like the Guard would be a good option though, is his current job amenable to him leaving for a while for training? Make sure he understands the job that he's taking, what the training entails, if he's split ops (in the Guard we either do all our training in a row or do BCT then come back and leave again for additional training) or not. I highly recommend doing all his training in one long shot. Coming home in between is the worst.
    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.
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  • Are you planning to live on/near the base where your husband would be stationed? IF a deployment were to come up, I believe that living in the military community would serve you well. This is my first pregnancy and I have learned from my midwife that there are family support groups that meet on post. There are groups that meet based on the age of your child so your child can have friends in the same age group and you can relate to other parents. The Army (my husband is AD and I don't have any first hand knowledge of other branches) is generally very family friendly. Every unit has an FRG (Family Readiness Group) which meets to plan family activities both when the unit is home and especially when they are deployed. I will tell you that being a military spouse works best if you are able to be independent and can handle being on your own. It's not always fun but it isn't a bad life and you and your family can have the opportunity to see the country/world.

  • Its a hard decision. Before I knew I was pregnant, DH and I had the same convo. Whether to accept the contract, and enlist in the Marine Reserves or not. Its always been a dream for him, and so I supported him. Right after he signed, we found out I was pregnant. Now he has been gone for 3 months and its been so hard! I can't imagine when he eventually gets deployed with a child...

    That said, its a very personal decision...

    Good luck in whatever you decide!
    BabyFruit Ticker
  • When I married my husband he was a reservist and now he's active duty with the Air Force. Two weeks after our DD was born he left for little over a month for initial flight training. I'm not going to lie, it was hard. I missed him a ton and the sad part was I knew my daughter didn't know what she was missing. It was especially hard on my husband because he knew she wouldn't remember him when he got back. But we made it through it. DD is now a complete daddy's girl and loves sleeping on his chest while he's studying. I also agree with everyone else, getting involved with groups on base can be a life savor. There is a group at our base that goes walking with their strollers once a week or has a play date at someone's house just so we can get out and have some company. Basically it comes down to you. Military life can be hard, but if you put out the effort to make friends and try to connect it can really help out. Your daughter will be fine too. She'll grow up knowing she has a daddy that loves her so much that he's willing to do a risky job to protect her and others. While my SO was gone I sent him a picture on DD everyday, even if he couldn't reply or check it that day it was there waiting for him when he got the chance. I also talked to DD about her dad a lot, even though she's so young it made me feel better. For basic I would make sure you send letters with pictures (walmart has cheap developing and it only take around an hour). Whatever you decide, know that it's ok! It's a hard life and not for everyone and that's alright.You will be emotional, it's a life changing decision, and that's completely ok. I would be more worried about you if you weren't! Also, since you are religious, realize that God is with you no matter what. You're never really alone in this.  :-) (My church family has been a God send. They look out for me and DD when my husband is away.)
  • Being a miltary spouse means that no matter where you go you will always have family right next door!

    This. She is right.
    I connected with the FRG & ladies from my husbands unit. I've never had a better sense of family and friends. Everyone is super supportive.

  • I have a slightly different take from the other comments in that we have always lived off post and away from the bases (for example, at our current station we live almost an hour from post) because we personally do not like having the military become our life. But I think a big part of it is that I work full time and have always preferred to make my own non-military friends at each station (my best friends here, I met via yoga and a local running group). I never attend anything FRG related. So it really depends on your personality and what you like. I'm an extremely independent person (perfect for military life!) so I do well making my own community wherever I go.
    As for your daughter, I grew up a Navy brat and my father was frequently out on the ship for months at a time. It can be hard at times, but you get used to it and it's just the way of your life. It's especially easier when it's all you've ever known.
    Make sure he's careful to be specific and adamant about what he wants to do in the military. Recruiters have specific quotas they have to fill for each job and I've known a ton of people who've been talked into something that is far from what they want to do (for example, I'm a dietitian and used to work as a civilian at an Army hospital, I knew several Diet Techs who were enlisted guys that hated their job bc their days were spent making sure people were happy with their meals, not their dream army career!). And if he has a degree, make sure he's persistent about going in as an officer. They tried to convince my husband to "just start out" as enlisted and I'm so glad he refused that bc we know so many people who didn't get an OCS opportunity for years after that.
  • I am the same as Coco118 above. Never lived on post & always lived away to create our own community. My husband currently commutes 130 miles round trip & it's been the best decision ever for our family. I go to base maybe five times a year total & have nothing to do with it other then visiting my husband at work. We are heavily involved with our church & other local groups.
    Mom of one toddler boy, with another BOY on the way. Life is exciting traveling being active duty & a wife. 

    Sometimes I vlog on YouTube. Check out my channel here! 
  • I am the same as Coco118 above. Never lived on post & always lived away to create our own community. My husband currently commutes 130 miles round trip & it's been the best decision ever for our family. I go to base maybe five times a year total & have nothing to do with it other then visiting my husband at work. We are heavily involved with our church & other local groups.

    I am with these two as well. While we do live 25 minutes from base, I only ever go if my son's have a pediatrician appointment. I've really chosen to separate myself from the military community. I wasn't always like this, but burn me twice and I won't come back. My two best friends I meet through my husband and through a FB group I used to be in. Other than that, that's what church and hobbies and children are for. We make friends in our neighborhood, friends with other Multiples (we have twins), friends with others who go to our church.

    To us the military is my husband's job, not our life.
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