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.
The 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.