The struggles military families face while trying to visit home and what family back home can do to help.
I want to talk openly about something….
Stop asking military families to come see you and go see them!
We’ve been stationed away from home since 2009. Our first duty station was only 7 hours away but we (and family) thought that was an eternity to drive!
Fast forward 12 years and it turns out it was the closest we would ever be stationed to home.
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Like mostly young families, we grew! With two kids, two dogs and a parakeet named Little Ray, things became a little chaotic.
Although we grew, we still get a lot of the same comments
- When are you coming home
- We want to see you more
- The kids are growing so fast
Yes, yes and yes!
- Yes, we would love to come home.
- Yes, we want to see you too.
- Yes, the kids are growing so fast.
But let me ask you something… Why don’t you come here? Hmmm?
I’d love to say it’s a two way street but really that’s not fair. It’s more like two lanes going home and one that seems to have a lot of detours to come see us military families.
So I’d like to clear a few things up and maybe give you a little perspective on why exactly it’s just not that easy for us.
5 REASON YOU SHOULD STOP ASKING MILITARY FAMILIES TO COME SEE YOU
Airplane tickets- no brainer right? But if you’re grandparents, aunts or siblings, the chances are it’s only a couple of you flying. But when you ask us to see you, we probably have a lot more tickets to buy.
Car seats- Not only do we have extra tickets to buy, if we have young families, we have car seats to lug around the airport and stress that they’ll make it to our destination when we do. Car seats, pack and plays, strollers, ect…
Time zones- How do you handle the time change vs. how well young kids will handle it. I doubt a few hours time difference will affect an adult the way it will completely affect a 3 year old.
Pets- We have the added complication of who will watch our pets. Military family friends don’t always come fast, or easy. And when we do make one, we aren’t exactly excited to ask them for favors. We like to save the favors for emergencies.
But if you’re the one back home, you probably have a lot more people to ask if they can watch your cat or dog, than we do. (If you just mentioned a kennel, let me bring your attention back to bullet one and then the added expense of a kennel)
Everyone wants to see us- We won’t get a break to enjoy being back home. We’ll have two sides of the family to visit (if not more!) add a few friends, cousins, siblings, half siblings, great grandparents who can’t make it down so you need to take a day or two to go up.
We don’t stop! Which means our kids don’t stop. Which means they are going to lose their ever loving minds and let’s hope it’s not at great-grandma’s house when they do.
All the pro’s on why you should come visit us.
- The kids will have one on one quality time with you.
- We won’t have to rush off to the next visit and we’ll be able to enjoy this moment without worrying about the next.
- You’ll get to experience a taste of what our family lives are like.
If you have the means, make the time! Because we want to see you.
We most likely don’t know when or if we’ll be moving again. Don’t take for granted that we are finally station on the mainland. Because that day you finally say you have the time, will be the day we receive PCS orders even further away.
So do us a favor. Come see us!
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