Saturday, April 17, 2010

Deployment Question #7--Do you stay or do you go?

A friend of mine from high school is married to a guy in the Air Force and he is about to leave for two months of training and then deploy to Iraq for a total of 12 months.  She has three kids, 3, 5, and 7.  Today on facebook she wrote this:

MILITARY friends who have been thru this - lots of questions now as to whether or not we stay where we are or move closer to family - IF you've been thru a lengthy deployment like this, please tell me what did you do? stay or move? and what were the deciding factors for you? SOOO much info to try and process quickly - all in hopes i make the right decision for my kids!

What do you do?  If you went home, was it worth it?  Did you wish you had stayed?  How did your families help you?  Did they ever become overbearing?  

If your spouse deployed for a shorter period of time, did that influence your decision?  

Would you move home again?

I didn't move home from Germany, but at the time we had no kiddos.  (Don't worry, that changed 9 months after he returned, lol)

At Hood, we were close to family, we were established, and I'd have nowhere to go.  

I have thought about it since we got to Colorado since I know absolutely no one!  I could get a teaching job in Texas, rent a house for a year, and be near family.

I quickly let that idea go to the wayside because my family and Gunner's family will visit.  We will have tons of things to explore in this area since we just moved here, and the thought of moving/storing etc., was overwhelming.  Not to mention by the time he leaves we will have been here a year and we've established doctors, schools, and all that good stuff.

Please share what did or didn't work for you!


Lindsey said...

I always stayed where we were during deployments. I made frequent visits back home but I never MOVED back home. After getting off active duty we bought a house in our hometown so during this deployment I will already be close to family. I guess we will see which is better. So far, it's nice having family around, but I already miss having my "independence" by living 600 miles away, lol.

The biggest deciding factor in not moving back home during deployments was the continuity for the kids. I didn't want my boys to ever think that I couldn't do it by myself. I didn't want them to think that I needed help with them or anything. We survived just fine, without any help from family, but then again. I have three great kids who made it very easy for me to survive on my own.

MG said...

It has never crossed my mind to move back home during any deployments. Visit,yes. Move? No thank you. I have my house, my life, and my way of doing things, I do not want to have to deal with anyone else intruding on that!

As for kids, I really believe that by staying put, you are keeping some sort of stability in their lives. Having their dad leave AND having to move away... that's a lot for children to handle.

At the end, I honestly believe that the spouse community is more supportive than any family members. Spouses understand, family may to some extent, but it would frustrate me that no one else around me was in the same boat. I've heard many people say that while they moved home the first time, they would never do it again as they didn't have as much support as they thought they would.

Anonymous said...

Our first deployment I stayed put until there were five months left in the deployment. The only reason I went home was to finish my last semester of college and to get help with my newborn. If I could go back I would have not moved home...I don't think. I am happy I got my degree but my mother became too attached to my child and there were boundaries crossed. It is still hard to be around my mother for extended periods of time with the kids because she lets them do anything they want and undercuts my authority. (She knows better after all...LOL) Second deployment I was living in my hometown so it was better that I had my own place but still had some help when I needed it. (Downside, no one was going through it with me). Future deployments...we will stay where we are at. My children are finally getting school age and I think they need that stability.

dutchgirl (Ellen) said...

Hey now, you know me! I know, I know, I haven't seen you since last summer, I'll have to fix that.

I have always stayed wherever we were. Mostly for the reasons you listed, too hard to change everything up... and my family lives far from any military installation so healthcare and that sort of thing would be more difficult. Not that I haven't been tempted, when the dutchkid was a baby and he was deployed I asked myself many a time why it was I stayed.

Julie the Army Wife said...

Well I was planning to go home for our last deployment. Our housing situation was horrible and I couldn't see going through another whole deployment there. But then our housing changed so I decided to just go home for the summer. It was such a great thing to do. My family is pretty cool and had the space for us. But after the 3 months there I was glad to get back to my own space. And was glad I didn't go for the whole year. I don't think I would go home for that length of time again as my kids will be older and be involved in more summer things in our community I assume.

So really the answer is different for everyone. It depends on where you live, where you will go, how your family is. Like in my parents house I had 1 room and the boys another. If we had to share a room it would not have worked. Not for 3 months. So it really just depends.

Julie the Army Wife said...

Oh and another factor for me was that my family lives in a place with 4,000 things to do and where we were in Germany was pretty boring and lonely. So I needed the break.

Jeannette said...

I am struggling with this question right now too. We live in Alaska. Home is Texas. We can't go "visit" without dropping $2,000 so I really don't know what to do. I don't really have any friends here yet, we live off post, LB will be under 2 years old, and I have had anxiety in the past. I haven't had a panic attack in several years so I think I might stay here. We talked about moving into a small apartment to save a lot of money... but I don't know if I will feel overwhelmed that I'm not in the home we made together. Or will it be depressing to live in the house without him? I just don't know.

silver star said...

I agree with something MG said, "Having their dad leave AND having to move away... that's a lot for children to handle." You have only lived in Colorado for about a year, so why not stay a little longer, get to know the area better, provide something a little more stable in the kids life, they'll probably be moving again in a few years anyways.

Sara said...

During both deployments, totaling 20 months nearly consecutively (a 5 month + a 15 month with 3 months between the two), i stayed where i was which just happened to be near my parents. I was working in Houston about 35 minutes from their house. Honestly, it almost ruined my relationship with my mom. she didn't understand, really get, how hard it was. i have no intentions of going back home for any others. i need my milfamily.i knew i was missing something during those deployments and support from my army community was it.

However, if your relationship with your parents is spectacular, do it. My relationship with my mom was really awesome before those deployments but each person's experience is different. And with three children, I can see how it would be nice to have the extra hands and support. Hopefully your mom and dad can pick up some of the slack from having your husband gone.

Anonymous said...

I stayed, and will be staying this time too. Factors that make my decision for me, we have our own life, I have outgrown my friends that we left behind, and now with Princess in school I don't want to pull her and cause more strife in her life. I want my husband to come home to a home, not a bedroom that we are all sharing, our families now live in 2 different states and don't understand military life, I have friends here where we are now. I don't want to lose that and be constantly moving back and forth, too much time and effort.

BryceandWhit said...

I moved Home...First reason was I didnt really know anyone back in Tennessee...I had milspouse friends but I felt like I needed to be a little closer to family...(They live in AZ)...We have no kids so I didnt have to pull them out of school or anything...And I could get a job back home alot easier then in TN...Yes its hard cause no one knows what I'm going threw here but I still keep in touch with my friends back in TN...Im ready to have my own house but we are saving so much money so I just keep telling myself that:)

Sara said...

My family in Arkansas took a vote and decided that I couldnt move home. We PCSed to Colorado Springs at the very end of December. Joe deployed mid-March. I know 3 people in this town! But my family promised me that they would come to visit. They have always wanted to see the Rocky Mountains and here's their chance. They have already made good on their promise.

In my opinion, 2 months is nothing in the Army. It wouldnt be finacially possible for me to move home everytime Joe left for some training. And even this with year long deployment, moving home, renting an apartment (because there is NO WAY I would live with my parents), deposits, pet deposits, etc, only to turn around and do it all again when Joe comes home? Joe and I talked it over and decided that it was a waste of money. Instead, I can get a job here and pay off our car with the lovely extra deployment pay.

Jessica said...

I moved home for this deployment (our first). One reason for me was that I didn't know anybody. I know the next deployment, I will stay where I am at and just come home and visit. We don't have any kids, but two furbabies. It was way too much stress on me to have to move everything on my own, plus it financially drained us. Never again!

Wife on the Roller Coaster said...

My husband's first deployment was less than a year, and I never considered moving but that was partly because I was in graduate school. With the deployment this time around, I still never considered it. My family lives close enough that they can visit a lot. But my friends are here, my son's school is here, and I have no idea what I'd do with myself if I moved in with my parents. As lonely as I feel sometimes, I love my house, I'm sticking with a good routine, and I have all the support I need.