I thought today would be a poignant day to reflect on what life is like as a military family.
Today is Remembrance Sunday. A Sunday where we stop everything that is going on in our hectic lives to remember and respect those who have given up their lives in various wars to give us the freedoms we are lucky enough to enjoy.
I met my husband about 5 years ago when he was based out in the Middle East. I was on holiday visiting a friend and he was meant to be a rebound! The first year of our relationship was spent long distance or with him travelling to different bases. We saw each other every few months when we first met and spent the rest of the time getting to know each other through 3 hour phone calls and ridiculous Skype sessions where we’d often fall asleep together on screen but 1000s of miles apart.
I moved to London a few months into our relationship and busied myself with a hectic job and city life. As much as you get used to being apart, there are always moments when you stop and wish they were there…
I always knew what I was getting into if I chose to get into a serious relationship with somebody in the Armed Forces. In the beginning, if I’m being completely honest (and my husband knows this!!) I never expected to end up spending the rest of my life with him. But fate is a funny thing and when he asked me to marry him a year into our relationship, I’d never been happier.
We’ve been really lucky in the sense that he did so much sea time before he met me. We’re the same age but he’s been in the Royal Navy since he was 16 – so 11 years now. He’s been all over the world on various ships but since we moved in together 3 years ago, when we lived in London, he’s either been based in London or Portsmouth which has been great. He’s still had to travel but he hasn’t been off on a ship.
But all that is going to change next year. And we have to start bracing ourselves. He is on his PO’s course until June, which is based in Portsmouth, but after that he will be joining a ship again. The deployments have just changed to go up to 9 months as well now which is a very long time. Especially in context the of a child’s life. I’d hate Isla to forget him.
And that brings me onto another topic. Children. We would ideally like a 2-2.5 year age gap between Isla and another sibling but that would mean some serious timing issues in regard to his drafts. We’d have to figure out whether to start trying before he goes, then I’d have to be pregnant with a toddler by myself with no family around. Or wait till after, when I’d feel it was too big a gap. Also, as we know, it can take quite a long time to actually fall pregnant so there’s that added stress.
As many of you will know from my, occasional (!), moaning on Twitter I had to move from London to Portsmouth a few weeks before I had Isla. I moved around quite a bit as I was growing up with my family but this was the first time I’ve had to give up my life, out of choice, for someone else. And I’m not going to lie, it’s been really hard but I’ll get into that another day!
So that’s just a little personal post from me about what life is like for us as a military family. I know there are so many other military families out there who have things 1000x harder than us and I am very grateful for the way the timings have worked out with us. My heart goes out to all the military families who have lost someone or who have a loved one deployed at the moment.
I am so proud of my husband and his job and, as much as it frustrates me sometimes, I know what he does is important and I have the utmost respect for all other members of the Armed Forces and their families. I definitely wear my poppy with pride :)
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A twenty-something, full time working, mum of two, with a love for all things cat, cacti and scandi related.