Having first child in the military. — The Bump
Military Families

Having first child in the military.

Let me start out by saying I'm sorry if this post comes off unappreciative or selfish. I'm hormonal (13 weeks pregnant) and very tired (hello, five hours of sleep). My husband has been in the military for close to three years. Next year his contract is up and currently he's deployed. We are expecting our first baby in the Spring of 2016 and that makes me nervous. I'm thrilled, of course, but I barely saw my husband when he was home and I worked. I quickly learned that my husband is a service member first and a family comes second. He is currently debating about re-enlisting after his contract is up, so here comes my selfish side...


I (currently) really dislike the idea of him re-enlisting. I'm beyond proud and appreciative of him and other military service members/spouses who've been/are in. The place we are stationed is so far and the opposite of where we were both raised. I've only lived there for a year and it's been rough. I've met some wonderful friends but often feel alone. Before we married a year ago, my husband and I talked about how he'd get out after his contract and we would come back home and raise our kids near our families whom we are both close to. It's insanely important to me for my family and our kids to be raised close, as I was with my family. I lost my great-grandma a little over a year ago and it just breaks my heart to think our kids may never even get to know our families. Anyways, my husband keeps going back and forth between enlisting and not.

I guess what I'm asking is, is there a way to go about this and be honest to my husband without feeling like I'm unsupportive of him? Or is there even a good compromise here? I want him to be happy, more than anything. I just don't know what to do. It makes me upset to think I'll never live close to our families and our kids will never know their grandparents, cousins, etc. Again, sorry if this sounds upright bratty and selfish. Being stationed in another state has made me realize how much I just love and miss my family (why did I ever take them for granted)? Plus, being a new mom scares me as I won't have anyone around for support (with the exception of a few wonderful friends and a busy but loving husband).


Re: Having first child in the military.

  • Firstly congratulations. I'm 24 and pregnant with my fourth baby. My husband is in the Air Force and has been in 8 years. He already enlisted for another 4 and is planning to make a career out of it, which I fully support. But we did make that decision together. We made a pro and con list. I know it's hard to be away from family and having to move. This military life is not for everyone and that's ok. My mom hated it, my dad was in the navy. She told him it wasn't for her. My FIL is actually active army and all my husbands immediate family is stationed in TX (we're in Cali). I think you should just be honest with your husband, compromise but obviously understand there are many sacrifices him being in the military but also many benefits. Figure out what will be best for your family together. Honestly after many deployments I can honestly say I'm ok without my family (parents etc). My main focus is my husband and kids. We FaceTime a lot with family and we take trips to visit. Which is fun to do. But I wish you the best. You can do this. But communication is key. You can still be supportive but honest with your feelings/concerns.
  • I am older in my mid 30s. My husband had been in for 20 years. I just support whatever decision he makes. He was in the military for years before we got married and he just re-upped last year. Military life isn't for everyone. If you can't be flexible and/or adaptable then it's probably not the life for you. Military life is what you make if it. I do my own thing outside of my husband's career. I work full time. Both our families (except my father) live several hours and states away. Visiting has never been a problem. We meet for long weekends, holidays and/or vacations. My husband has been deployed eight times. When he is not deployed he is gone for training, teachings, out in the field. His regular day, he's not home until 6pm or so. But we have family time on the weekends. We make use of his R&R. Just because we don't live close doesn't mean my daughter doesn't know who Gma (my mother) or Gamma (MIL) is. 
    karmana
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  • As a service member married to a vet and expecting my first, I want to discourage you from insisting that he doesn't re-enlist. On top of the bonds he is forming during this deployment, he is probably considering the financial burden children can be. I was recently written prescriptions for nausea, seasonal allergies, and constipation; the nausea prescription alone would have been $600 out of pocket without tricare. This is a decision to be made together, and if he feels like he is forced between you and the military, there's a decent chance he won't choose you. This decision should also take into account whether he has any civilian education and whether he will be able to provide for if he gets out - because if you get pregnant again, he will be the sole provider for at least a few weeks. I will only re-enlist if there is something seriously wrong with my baby and I'll need tricare to cover expenses like specialized healthcare and adaptive devices. If LO is normal and healthy, DH and I will make enough outside of the military to have good insurance and support him or her without all the perks we enjoy now.

  • Thanks for all of your responses, I appreciate all of your views and insight on your personal experience. To answer AmadorRose, yes, he has college education. The thing is, he keeps being wishy washy about re-enlisting. One day he thinks it's a good idea, then another day he talks about how he wants to not re-enlist and pursue being an engineer or working for the law enforcement (two careers he's wanted to do since he was younger). It's just tough we are no longer on the same page anymore. He's currently deployed and doesn't get home for a little while, so I'm trying not to stress or focus on his potential re-enlisting too much. With the health of two of our family members declining, it just really worries me to not be around if something were to happen, the way I wasn't with the passing of my great grandma.

    Thanks again ladies for all of your responses. I appreciate you taking the time to write them! 
  • Hi! I'm 7 months pregnant right now. My husband has been in the military for 8 years and recently made the decision to get out when his contract is up next year. There were multiple factors of why he decided to get out (he knew it's halfway to retirement). In his situation, the bad outweighed the good. I told him I would support his decision no matter what he chose because we would be together and I'll be happy wherever he is (secretly hoping he would not re-enlist). I was honest with him but told him it was ultimately his decision because if he's not happy, I won't be happy. It's not "happy wife, happy life" in my house, it's more like "be happy, and together we'll be happy" haha if that makes sense to you...it makes sense to me but I may not be explaining it very well.
    kata18ammnam14
  • dawnaleee said:

    Hi! I'm 7 months pregnant right now. My husband has been in the military for 8 years and recently made the decision to get out when his contract is up next year. There were multiple factors of why he decided to get out (he knew it's halfway to retirement). In his situation, the bad outweighed the good. I told him I would support his decision no matter what he chose because we would be together and I'll be happy wherever he is (secretly hoping he would not re-enlist). I was honest with him but told him it was ultimately his decision because if he's not happy, I won't be happy. It's not "happy wife, happy life" in my house, it's more like "be happy, and together we'll be happy" haha if that makes sense to you...it makes sense to me but I may not be explaining it very well.


    Exactly this! My husband is getting out when his contract ends next year. I'm secretly thrilled because him being gone all of the time is emotionally exhausting. I'm 7 months pregnant as well and know that whatever he decides will be the best decision for us. If he's happy, I'm happy. The military offers many great benefits, but nothing compares to happiness.

    I think you two need to really sit down and weigh the pros and cons. Just support his decision no matter what! As for the family being so far away..my nephew is an army brat and we do miss out on some things but technology is so advanced these days it's like he lives in the same town. Take advantage of the tech. Keep in contact with your family. Sending T&P's that everything works out for you!
    karmana
  • Considering this is his first enlistment and he is on the fence about it, I would speak to him honestly about your feelings and provide valid reasons as to why you would rather the two I you go back to the civilian lifestyle.

    After 17 years of active duty service, my husband had a couple more to go before retirement but never has he put his job before his family. Your input matters just as much and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.
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