I want to get as many insights into the different ways we live as military families, this post is from a family who live married unaccompanied. If you would be interested in writing a blogpost let me know! Louise xx
The Allen Family:
We live separately not through choice but through circumstances, my husband left the army shortly after we married in 2001 and joined the police force. We moved out of our home town for this and 6 years later and two children he re-joined the Army! This was no easy situation, however we muddled through. I decided to stay in our home town as our first child was about to start primary school and we had only recently arrived back in our home town of Torquay in Devon. When I met my husband, I had a good career in local authority employment and had bought several properties on my own. Whilst married we had our own property and I did not want to lose a “home” for married quarters. For me, I wanted the same school throughout the early years.
His first posting back in was Op Herrick 10! My worst fear but we got through the time with my good friends and family around us and our sons school were an amazing support. On his return, we settled into the commuting at weekend’s lifestyle. He has so far been at four different locations and 2 tours of Afghanistan! Employment for me is excruciatingly difficult being unaccompanied. But that’s another story!
It can be a lonely time during the week but I keep busy and the children and I have settled into our little routines, I encourage them to do outside school activities as much as possible to make the week pass quickly. I personally do feel often; very isolated from the Army community and even forget I am an Army wife at times. I do get bogged down with the daily grind of lonely nights, not being able to go out in the week unless I pay an expensive sitter, always attending sports days, parent evening, school plays etc. alone; but I have accustomed to it. Military social media groups keep me in the loop too!
Our children are now 12 and 8 but our youngest suffers with separation issues, she is my little “cling on” but is also a daddy’s girl, she adores anything military related, camo coloured clothes, DM boots (preferably green/sand coloured) and every Hero’s day at school, dresses as Dad. She is rather well known for it around her school now! Our eldest struggles with the thought of another tour or gets very emotional if Afghanistan is mentioned or talked about but he tends to hide it and just says, “don’t talk about it, It makes me cry” Thankfully we do visit barracks on occasions but we don’t know anyone on site as we are not there often enough.
I ask myself daily why don’t we just move to MQ? I guess many would and do ask the same – My answer is always because although both our children want us to live together, neither want to leave their school and friends either. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way here; but I think I made the right choice.
My Daddy is a Soldier Adventures is a site I found when my husband was on his second Op Herrick tour (17) – this was a particularly difficult tour for all of us but the separation packs and support for Little Troopers; as you call them, is just wonderful. This is our children’s only link with the military world and makes them both feel a little special to be part of it.