The last deployment my family and I endured was 2 years ago, however it feels like it was just yesterday. Deployments are funny like that, they always stay with you – no matter how long ago it was, and you can almost always experience those same feelings just thinking about it.
I have spent quite a few years reading various blog posts, spent plenty of time in military spouse groups and talking to co-workers and friends about a topic that is extremely sensitive in the military community – moving home during a deployment. I know this is a path that many choose – all for different reasons, and many still struggle with whether or not they are making the right choice.
Why move home? A lot of spouses move back to their hometowns so that they have the support of their family, which can be a great option if you have it.
While not moving home was my personal choice, if you are thinking about doing so, you and your spouse have to sit down and weigh out the pros and cons. This is a big decision to make, especially when the deployment is looming over you, and you already have a ton of things running through your mind.
Every deployment is different; therefore moving home can seem like a good idea, especially since you will have closer family support during this time. But before taking the leap, consider this:
Who will the move affect?
If you don’t have any children, this will be an easier decision to make. If you have kids, how will this affect them? Do you have to pull them out of school? Are they young enough where you can just pick up and leave without it making a difference in their lives? If this is something that will end up adding more stress and work on you, you may want to consider staying put or holding off until the timing is right. If you are feeling homesick (which can be normal during a deployment), consider taking a trip to visit with your family during the holidays or a time that works best for you.
Can you afford it?
Think about the logistics of moving. Military family or not, moving is chaos, and whether you have kids or not, the overall idea of moving alone can be a nightmare. Also, consider if you want to stress yourself and your service member right before departure? Where would you put all your stuff? Do you own your home or rent? Also, if you work, will your employer allow you to work remotely, so that there isn’t a loss of income? Subletting is always a good option to ensure you will have money to pay for the mortgage – but if you rent, can you see yourself paying rent for a place you won’t live in for months?
Whatever you decide, it is a conversation for the entire family to have and remember that each deployment is different. You may feel differently about moving home during this one than you did the first time around.
Have you ever considered or moved home during a deployment? Share your experience with us in the comments below.
About the blogger: Angela Caban is an Army National Guard spouse, published author and branding expert. In 2010, she founded the Homefront United Network, a military spouse and family support blog created to assist spouses who do not live near an installation, but also focusing on bridging the gap between National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty spouses. She has an extensive background in Human Resources and Communications, with her Bachelor’s in Business Administration and a Master’s in Human Resources. Angela resides in the beautiful Garden State of New Jersey with her husband and two children.
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