Clickin' Moms

From Having Babies to Raising Them

IMG_7117There is a time in every mother’s life where they hit a very important point when it comes to their children. It is that point when you go from having babies to raising them. Although it has been a couple of years since we made a decision to stop at three children, we are finally at that moment when my youngest son is the exact same age his brother was when he was conceived. So even though I have had a child this age before, I have never had a child this age as my youngest child.

Before we know it he will turn four and all things baby will be a thing of the past for us. We will no longer have to buy diapers (hoping to hit this sometime before summer.) We have put away the crib and have moved on from baby toys and sippy cups. All three can sleep through the night well, unless they are sick or some other random issue. I need to work on selling off my baby carriers and lingering baby/toddler clothes. We just don’t need them anymore.

This is weird, but in a good way. I know some people hit this stage and yearn for another baby. I do not. I am perfectly fine just having three children. If I see a newborn, I think they are the sweetest thing in the world. They might sigh and coo and remind me of when my own babies were that age but I don’t have a big desire to have another one of my own. In the back of my mind I am looking forward to my brother having his own children and later on becoming grandparents.

It has been 10 years since we dove head first into the parenting pool. We had no idea what having babies would mean or what our little family would look like. We didn’t know how far apart they would be or if they would be boys or girls. All we knew is that we were ready to become Mommy and Daddy.

Sometimes I look at my husband and remember those days before kids came. The carefree, relaxing all weekend days. I feel like we have been in the Mommy and Daddy roles for so long that those moments seem like a lifetime ago. And yet, we are slowing getting them back. No, we don’t have the same carefree lifestyle, who does? But it is the little things. Like when they are all in school and we can have a lunch date.

And it isn’t as though we have lost each other, we have just taken on different roles. And now it is nice to be able to enjoy my husband in a kid-free environment more often than we have been in the past.

I have a lot of friends who have just had babies. They are in a different stage than I am. They are in the mist of having babies, still wondering if they should add anymore to the mix. And when I look at them it feels so strange to think all of that is behind us. That it is just a memory. Something to think about, to see pictures of and to tell stories about.

In the next few years we will have teenagers in our house. Teenage boys! Kinda worried about that grocery budget. That is hard for me to believe but I know it will happen just as my babies grew from little ones to children. I don’t want to rush any stage. I want to enjoy it for what it is. To enjoy the benefits of it and pray through the difficulties. But it is nice to reflect on where you are and what stage you are currently in.

What about you? What stage are you in?

Who Will I Be Without The Military?

download (4)When we were in Germany, the Military was pretty much all around us. There was no way to escape it. From where I shopped to where I lived to who my friends were. All Military, all the time. I could never quite relate to people who were married to a service member and yet didn’t feel so Military spouse like. It was all just who I was and what I was a part of.

Then we moved back to the United States, decided to live off post and four years later I feel a little differently. My life isn’t all Military all the time anymore. My kids go to school off post, we go to church off post, we have friends that are not in the Military and some who have never been in the Military. I only shop on post once or twice a month and I don’t really depend on the post for all of my needs. My husband goes to work, some days are longer than others but then he comes home to our civilian house.

As we look ahead to leaving the Army altogether I am not sure what it will be like. What will I feel when I know longer have access? When I am no longer apart of the Army wife “club?” When I no longer live that life?

I have had people tell me that it was so hard to not be a Military spouse anymore when their husband left the Military. Most of the people who have said this to me married into the Military or became a Military wife at 18-20 years of age. Some even grew up in the Military as well. The Military life is all they have ever known. I can see why leaving it would be a very big change.

I am not saying I won’t be sad or miss it or wish we were back in sometimes. I just think it is a little different for me. I was not raised in the Military and didn’t even know much about it until I was 26. My husband and I had about three years of married life before he joined. I think it will be different at first, I think it will be difficult but I think it will also just be a chapter in our lives that came to a close.

I don’t feel like my sole identity is being an Army wife even though I have been one for 8.5 years. Yet at the same time I know my husband’s time in the Army was more than just a job. It was a lifestyle and soon we will be living a different lifestyle. I have learned a lot over the last few years and I know this time has made me a much stronger person. For that I am very grateful.

 

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Having Children When Your Husband Is In The Military

As April is the month of the Military child, I figured I would blog about having children while being a Military spouse.

When my husband joined the Army, we had one 13 month old boy. I got pregnant with boy #2 about 5.5 months in. We had our #3 about 4.5 years in. So I had one child before the Army and two after. I know had we stopped with one child we would have had it a lot easier. Deciding not to have a child while in the Military is a choice some people make. It just wasn’t the right one for us.

487247_4872976988480_1591817069_nThe hard part about that is that we did have to deal with certain situations that we never had to even think about with my first. When I was pregnant with Daniel, my husband was always around. He didn’t leave to go to the field, he never had to work a 24 hour shift. If I needed him, he could be there.

When Daniel was born there was no question that Ben would be at the birth. All he would have had to do is call into work and tell them that I was in labor. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t have gotten out of. With Drew, he was deployed, coming home on R&R when I gave birth. Luckily my Mom was with me but as every Military spouse who has given birth without her husband knows, it really sucks when your husband has to miss a birth.

And the birth wasn’t all he missed. He went back to Iraq when he was 2.5 weeks old, kissed his newborn son goodbye in his crib and didn’t see him again until he was 11 months old. That is exactly what can happen when your husband is in the Military. There were families where the husband missed the entire pregnancy and then the birth. Sometimes you do get lucky and the husband can make it home in time but you can’t depend on that.

Those in the Military miss so many events in their children’s lives. That is just the way it is. They might have to be away at a school or in training. They might be deployed. You just have to assume it is possible that they could miss these things and you will just need to solo parent through it.

It is a difficult choice having children when one parent is in the Military. For some it is better to wait. To enjoy the Military life kid-free, get out, find new jobs and then start a family. For others, that just isn’t an option. For some the Military career can last 20-30 years. Raising children in the Military is just apart of the deal.

If you are someone who knows you will be having children while your husband is in the Military, although it might be rough, you can do it. The thing is, so many of us going through it. So many of us have had to deal with solo parenting, dealing with deployments and all of that. You will not be alone. There is a lot of support.

What about you? Did you have children while your spouse was in the Military? Are you waiting until they get out?

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