Posts Tagged ‘transition’

Who Thought Moving Overseas Could be Such a Hassle!!!!

Sorry for my absence — we are still in the middle of our move, as you will see, and I will try to continue to post as I can! — Household 6 Hooah


For those of you traveling overseas, it is rather easy to do.  All you need is a passport and a way to get there.  For us, it is a different story.

Of course, we need our passports.  But what I found out after getting tourist passports is that as a military family that will be living in the UK for an extended amount of time, we need military passports.  Since I am a novice at this overseas moving, I didn’t know there was more then one type of passport.  I will take ownership on part of this and say part of it is my fault.  And that is because I didn’t do more research into exactly what I needed.  On the other hand, part of the blame is on the forces that be (the Army) for not giving us a detailed check list into what we need to move overseas.  Most of my civilian friends and family are saying, “Why don’t they tell you what they need.  Isn’t there a list they could give you?  and So many of you go overseas, it should be easy for the military to get this done.”  And yes, you would think that it would be easy, but one thing that is forgotten is that the military sends families to many different locations overseas.  With each country that we are sent, different rules apply.  One thing that I’ve found out is that since we are moving to the United Kingdom, we need visas.  This is not so for every country.  Rules change for each place that you go.  All that being said, I think that the Army needs to have a detailed check-list for each place they send families.  It would make life a lot easier and less stressful for us in the middle of a move that is already stressful.

Now we are applying for visas.  I had no idea the amount of information that they would ask for.  One thing I didn’t have from my husband was a copy of his passport.  Why would I need his passport information for my visa application?  Well, since he is the working party and I’m just along for the ride, his information needs to be included.  Now when if was finally told that I needed a visa (and that was through a soldier friend that is in England with his family) I wasn’t told that we would need to be finger printed.  Now I talked to many different folks and it wasn’t until I called a lovely lady at a Naval Base in Connecticut, that we would need to be fingerprinted before our applications were sent in.  At the end of the application, it let me know that I would need fingerprinting and so would my seven year old daughter.  So the two of us have our appointments for that later this week.  Luckily, my four year old and my 2 year old don’t need this part done.  Once the fingerprinting is done, we get to send the applications to the UK consulate in NY.  We wait 4-6 weeks and then, with approval, we will be joining my husband in England. 

While all of this is going on, we are staying with my parents.  Now I love my parents dearly, but they are not use to have three kids around and I am not use to living at home any more!  It is just more added stress into our lives.  Stress that is not needed.  We also found out, on our drive to my parents, that I am pregnant with #4!!!  More stress – although a happy kind.  My oldest had to switch schools (which wasn’t planned originally) and is not happy.  More stress — and I think one of the hardest because any parent hates to see their kids unhappy.  And our family is separated again.  My husband just returned from Iraq in October and left for his next duty station in January.  I hate being apart when we don’t have to be.

I know this will all end soon, but in the mean time it’s just hard.  My message to the Army (actually all of the military) — how about putting a list together for each of the countries you allow families to live.  It would save the families a lot of aggravation and stress.  And as you Army folk like to say — when the family is happy the soldier is happy!  Let’s work on making this an easier transition for all of us.  Contact me — I’ll help!


Hurray!! My husband is home!!! Now what?!

It is the most wonderful time when my husband returns home.  It’s a great time for all military families!  I know that he is safe and he is able to become part of our family again.  Now the hard part starts!

I have been working on my battlemind skills to make this transition easier, but it is still work.  No different then when you are first married and learning those little quirks that you didn’t know prior to living together.  The first thing that reminded me he was home was when at 2 AM I got up to use the toilet and the seat was up!  Unfortunately, I didn’t notice this fact until my rear end landed in the toilet water!  EEWWWWW!

I will have to admit, I’ve been on edge during this transition.  I keep trying to stick to my normal routine, but he’s there!  And sometimes in the way.  We are trying to get on track on how things are done in the household.  Some things have remained the same, but others have changed.  The kids are all a year older and he isn’t use to their new behaviors.  I think it’s hardest with the little one.  Since she just turned 2, a lot has changed in the year he was gone.  She just stopped using the bottle when he left and was not completely feeding herself.  Now, she can feed herself with no help.  Although, she has to be reminded to use a utensil!  My oldest has begun to read and Daddy has just learned that he can not spell in front of her!  LOL  And our son, almost 4, only wants to play with Daddy.  The little man has also become the whiner of the bunch.  With Daddy just home, he is not ready to completely start disciplining them.  I don’t blame him.  He doesn’t want to come home and be perceived as the “bad guy”.  So for now, that’s still my job.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy my soldier is home.  It’s just a hectic time.  The other factor in this reunion is that we are moving in December.  That gives us two months to decide what we are keeping and not keeping.  Normally this isn’t a big deal, but this move is taking us overseas!  That means three separate packing times — one for household goods, one for hold baggage and the other for storage.  I’m sure this move will give me so many stories to tell!

Homecoming and Battlemind

My husband will be returning home soon.  It is something that I have waited for since I dropped him off at 2am on a rainy morning with sleepy crying children in the back of the car.  With my husband’s departure, my role as a wife and mother changed.  The term you will hear some of us use is “Single Married Parent”.  What most people not familiar with is the challenges that we face as our family is reintegrated after any lengthy deployment. 

After we have our initial reunion, our soldiers have 5 days worth of debriefing before we can go on leave.  They have recommended classes for the spouses to take as well.  The Army, in recent years, has realized that they can not just throw their soldiers back into family life without some information/training.  It’s no different than not training their soldiers before they go into the battlefield. 

With each family comes a different set of issues and degrees of how the transition affects the family.  For some the transition is fairly smooth, but with others it’s not.  Thankfully, the Army has great mental health professionals that are willing to work with our soldiers and their families to create the smoothest transition possible.

What is discussed with all of us is “Battlemind” skills.  Below is what is meant by the word “Battlemind”.  There is a definition for the solider and the spouse, along with information on how to transition.  Since there is too much information to explain this all in one blog entry, I will be explaining these skills over the next week or so.  So comeback to learn how we reintegrate our family.

 Buddies (Social Support)

Adding/Subtracting Family Roles

Taking Control

Talking it Out

Loyalty and Commitment

Emotional Balance

Mental Health and Readiness


Navigating the Army System

Denial of Self (Self-Sacrifice)