They protect our country. Service-people are occasionally under harm’s way. And as an old Army song goes “You’ll never get rich / by digging a ditch / you’re in the Army now!” To say it’s a stressful gig for both the enlistee and their family puts it mildly. Imagine living everyday knowing that the people of America are depending on you to do your job – sometimes at the business-end of a powerful weapon.
Not only do they honor us with their courage, military families experience this extra added distraction called Permanent Change of Station (PCS). Permanent? Yeah, right?
That means you have to move around every-so-often. Strange new places, most likely from one base to another. It could stay for a month or a year, but it’s quite likely to happen.
Blowing-Off a Little Stress
The only difference between moving a military family or one who chooses to move is that the relocation generally shoots-up overnight. Try these tips to release some stream from the kettle:
- Assistance, please?
You’ll usually find that the military has all kinds of resources where you can get some help with the relocation. Including a list of recommended moversin some cases. A few of the services they might provide:
- Ways to track your expenses.
- How to apply for reimbursement of out-of-pocket costs.
- Getting you all settled-in if you’re base-bound.
- Supplying you with a list to set-up child care at the new locale.
Beyond that, here are a few websites that can lend a hand when slipping out-of-town:
- Kids, Part 1
As mentioned above, those with children should probably find someone to babysit or take them to a top-notch childcare service. Do the same thing once you’ve resettled. It unloads a ton of stress for the kids and you, too. It’s frustrating enough to pack and unpack. This way, you’re not required to have a third eye implanted in the back of your head.
- Kids, Part 2
Speaking of the little ones, this can install some bad craziness in their noggins for a short period of time. Be understanding by explaining the process the family is about to experience. Honesty is the best policy! Just make the dialog sound like fun. Likewise, when the kids are in the new house, encourage them to occasionally webcam with a best friend still living in the old town. A neat project is to let them go through their belongings to find stuff they could give to their bestest of friends as a reminder of their closeness. Don’t be afraid to encourage them donate to people less fortunate than themselves as well. Less you have to move later.
- Tune-in to the New Place
Going from base-to-base, seek out the folks that are commonly called “Relocation Managers.” They’ll roll-out a list of all kinds of things and activities for the whole family with a special emphasis on the young’uns. Once everything is un-boxed, hop to it. Don’t worry if you’re moving during the school year. That’s actually the best time for the kids to adjust to the other children as we said in an earlier post. If it’s during the summer – as that always seems to be the PCS season – get your children involved in as many activities as they can handle.
One final thing. If there’s a place to store the empty boxes, keep as many as you can. Odds are you’ll be doing this again.