Keeping My Modern Military Family Together
If you follow my Instagram (modernmilitarywife), you will have seen recently that I've moved. The Hubster and I have been talking about this move for well over a year now and finally the time came for me to pack up our stuff and make the move down South to live in the dreaded Army Quarters.
The main reason for my move is so that my husband could see his daughter daily, instead of just at the weekend like he has been doing since she was born 4 months ago. It's been a little crappy for me, having (by choice) to do everything alone but even crappier for him. At this age, the spawn changes everyday and Mike said he felt like he was having to 'reintroduce' himself to her every weekend which in effect, he was. Now, without blowing my own trumpet (though credit where credit's due...I'm awesome) I have taken to Motherhood very quickly and easily. This is down to a number of reasons I think. I have lots of experience with little ones. Although I don't have any younger siblings, the majority of my friends have sprogs that have been unleashed upon me in the past several years. "Auntie Katie" is my default name. Not only that, I happen to have birthed an extremely well behaved, happy, placid baby. I am not trying to brag (Ok, maybe a little bit, but not to the point it becomes nauseating, I hope.) but seriously, she is (mostly) an absolute freaking dream. I don't know where she gets her delightfulness from because quite frankly I can be a stroppy cow and her dad can be a miserable sod too. Laws of mathematics I suppose, two negatives blah blah blah. What I am getting at, is that I have not upped and moved because I needed help. I have done it to keep our family together.
The move was successful, if a little stressful. In the last 7 years, I have moved 5 bloody times and I am so well versed in the packing routine that I can say with absolute confidence...it's really shit. It's one of the worst argument-inducing, hair/tooth-pulling, most dull activities you can partake in. The funny thing is, although I am a military wife, and have been for the last 2 and a bit years, this is actually the first time I have moved because of the Army. My previous moves were due to a number of different reasons. I like to think of myself as a free spirit. A wanderer. A unicorn fart blowing in the wind embracing change etc etc. That's not exactly the reality. I get bored easily. That's all. And each time I have moved, I have bitched, carped and complained every box dragging step of the way. I hate the utter tedium of it all.
When we first got together, Mike was living in Germany, and had been for about 8 years. When we started our relationship, the cogs were already in motion for me to move from the Midlands to Brighton. Which I did. He was actually due to go on tour not long after we got together so to be honest, it didn't really make much difference whereabouts I was in the country. But that's for another post. After a year in Brighton, I moved back to the Midlands as all of Mike's family and lots of our friends are there. It was hard saying goodbye to Brighton. I had made lots of lovely friends and for the most part had a great time. I loved being close to the sea, and my lovely sister and brother-in-law are based there too. Even though at that time Mike was still posted to Germany, he had put in a request to come back to the UK as we were intending to get married, again, another post. So long story short, for the last 3 years, I have been Midlands based whilst Mike has been commuting. I constantly had people asking me how I coped, being so far away from my husband. This question always left me wondering about the nature of our relationship. The truth is that I coped just fine! And so did he. When he wasn't on tour (that's a completely different kettle of fish!) and we only saw each other at weekends, we were cool. I had my wobbles and missed him of course, but I wasn't falling apart like some people almost made me believe I should be. The fact is that we are both independent people. I can be dreadfully clingy, and an emotional mess. But on the whole, I would say I am independent. I've never really known any different. In my previous relationships before I got married, I was always the 'breadwinner', the 'primary carer' as it were (God that sounds awful. Fuck it, it's true) and so am used to sorting out my own shit. I have worked since the tender age of 13 and I moved out of my parents house when I was 17 and never looked back. I did sometimes wonder though, does it mean we are not as 'in lurve' as other people who just can't bear to be apart? Then I would have a fucking word with myself and remember that we are just grownups and life isn't like it always is the films. I am still a sentimental soul at the core, but I am also practical. What good would falling apart do anyone? Being apart worked for us. I always joked that living apart kept us together, that we had at least an extra year of marriage in us due to living unaccompanied. And this was true...until following a 7th month tour, I fell pregnant. After the baby came along, we realised that it was no longer practical for us to live apart and so Mike sorted us out marriage quarters close to his work.
And so, back to the move. As well as being a moany tit, I am also a bit of a hoarder. Don't judge, I'm working on it. A sentimental fool at heart, I keep every bit of crap attached to a happy memory be it a card, a train ticket or the wrapper off a reeeeeally good chocolate bar. Ok, perhaps I'm not quite that bad, but close. I got a lot of shit. I wanted to take the opportunity with this move to declutter and downsize a veritable plethora of trinkets and treasures I no longer wanted or needed. I managed one cupboard before I got bored and ended up in the pub. I don't mind unpacking, but man alive I hate packing up my stuff. Last time I did it in Brighton, I had a 2 hour meltdown, crying on the floor with a bottle of wine surrounded by piles of junk. This time was a little different as Mike was around to help. And help he did. Although his idea of packing is to throw (literally throw) EVERYTHING in boxes. On a side note...at this end I have actually unpacked the following due to his packing technique; empty crisp packets, empty cigarette packets (neither of us have smoked for over a year!) countless bottle tops (where the fuck do these things come from?!) amongst other massively annoying things. But anyway (hmmmm). The move seemed to sneak upon us and before we knew it, moving day was here. It all got done in the end. I was a bit nervous as I had not seen our new house in the flesh. Mike had, but I didn't see it until the day we moved in. You see, that's trust right there. Nail-biting, send me a picture of every goddamn square inch trust.
Massive relief! The house is actually pretty nice, and one of the benefits of quarters is that it's cheap. Which is great (thanks shitty, shitty maternity pay). We can finally afford to start saving. Well, try to. Babies aint cheap, kids!
I've had my reservations about moving onto a base. Army wives don't have the best reputation and from what Mike has told me, some of them are total knobheads and can be really cliquey. My plan is to just be myself (well, not too much. Don't wanna scare the gals off!) and be nice to everyone. I'm really not into any 'hierarchy' bullshit. I always treat everyone the same. A personal policy. So far, I've had a chat with the lady next door and she seems nice. Early days. I'll keep you posted. The surrounding area is beautiful and even though this is a temporary move, I hope we will be happy here, and Mike enjoys seeing his offspring (and his loving wife, ahem) everyday.
|Cheering dad up on his lunch break.|
So the purpose of this post was just a bit of an update. Moving has not bothered me (apart from missing my fab mates!) but to be honest, we will be back in the Midlands at least once a month so both Nanas can get their baby fix and we can see our friends. So it was never goodbye really, just 'smell ya later'. It will be interesting to see how me and the Hubs get along as we are not used to being in each others pockets all the time. We can't even go a weekend without bickering, so if you don't hear from me again, assume one of us is dead. Or locked up for killing the other.
|A squinty, sweaty mess trying to pack up our shit. Note the xmas tree far right...told you I was a hoarder.|
Thanks for reading. Take Care,