The Answers : Kids and Military Life

Jul 17, 2015

So, you guys were pretty awesome about sending in some questions! I am being honest when I say that, I thought I might get one or two questions and be able to throw a post together with some answers. But there were many more questions, on all different topics, so as annoying as it may be I'm going to break it up into sections. I want to be able to answer the questions honestly, and not give one word answers in order to fit everything into one post. So I thought why not start off with kids and military things. 

What is my rant on a soapbox topic? 

This was a good question, and I'm throwing it in with kids because it has to do with them. Something I could go on and on about (even though I really try to refrain) is what the hell do I do all day? If I had a dollar for every time I heard "so what do you do at home all day?" I could send all four of my children to college. I mean yes, I was naive before I had kids and thought, oh the stay at home mom route is just the lazy one. But then I became a stay at home mom, which for me was a choice and I feel incredibly grateful that I was able to make that choice. When I was home with Ace I was also a full time student, now with four kids I am lucky if I can read a news story on an app. The thing about being a stay at home mom is that you are constantly on someone else's schedule. They all have a routine that is carefully orchestrated. That routine is also based around Chris's schedule. If there are breaks in that time then I can squeeze in a dentist appointment. The list of to-do's is a mile long, and ever changing. So while it may seem to some that stay at home moms just sit at home and watch the latest and greatest housewives episodes.....that is rarely the case. Okay okay rant over. 

Best and worst thing about having kids?

Best and worst things about having kids.....Well I don't really think there is a "worst" thing about it all, but lets start with the best. The best thing about having kids is this new found sense of love that you never had before. You may think you know what love is, you love your husband, you love your parents, you love your dog. But then they set that brand new baby on your chest and your world turns upside down. Your mind and your heart are blown! And really it only gets better from there (harder, a hell of a lot harder) but so much better. Kids are hilarious! Watching them learn and explore the world is amazing. It is the best feeling when your child gets a boo boo and truly believes that with one kiss from mom they are magically healed. Which probably brings me to the worst part about having kids. When they do get hurt, or another person makes them sad, you feel that pain ten times over. There is nothing more horrible than watching your child be sick, you feel completely helpless, when in your head all you want to do is make them better. When they get hurt and your magic kisses can't heal them, you feel so vulnerable. And when you become a mom you have completely out there paranoid thoughts. Your mission in life is to keep them safe and happy, but then you think of something happening to them, and you fall down a dark rabbit hole. Your whole life is wrapped up in your children, so obviously there are some ups and downs.

How do you go grocery shopping with four kids?

Got this questions a lot! So I will put it out there, I do not do the grocery shopping on the regular in this house. Chris does it. He always has, and he really enjoys it. I hate grocery shopping. Like I will do anything to avoid it. I love to cook, but I hate the grocery store. So we have a pretty good system down. Chris does the bulk of the shopping on Friday after work, or first thing Saturday morning. Then I will do the Costco run on Sunday. Costco isn't like grocery shopping....that place is amazingly fun. But, when Chris is in the field or we need only a few things from the store I will go. With four kids I can't really focus, so I have to go in knowing the exact few items I need. So, I wear Odette in her carrier, Avalon goes in the cart, Pierce usually starts in the cart until he screams bloody murder to get out and walk, and Ace is awesome and is the biggest help with grabbing things and helping unload the cart. It is always a race to get in and out before someone takes off their shoes, or an article of clothing for that matter. ALWAYS park by the cart corral, the sooner you get them strapped in the cart the better! And always have lollipops!

Can you share the birth stories of the other kids?

Another question multiple people asked. I can surely share their birth stories if you would like. I will have to consult with the other people involved to get a good recount of details, like my mother and Chris. But it is doable. I will warn you, they were quick just like Odette's.

Are you guys going to have more kids?

Never say never.....
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Will you be in Alaska for the duration of Chris's assignment?

So, we will be in Alaska through the winter and possibly the spring as we await a locked in date for Chris to go to the Captain Career Course. It has changed multiple times already, so who knows. But as of right now we will be in Alaska for a little bit longer.

Do you see the Military as a life long career?

Umm...we have a plan for both I guess. Chris will have 11 years in service come December, so it's hard to walk away when he is inching very close to retirement. BUT, we do keep civilian options on the table. Chris had a great offer with a civilian company last year and we were really excited about the possibility of having a "normal" life. After weighing our options, adding in the costs of four kids, the grass wasn't as green. So as of this moment Chris will be in a couple more years, and we will reassess. You can read more about our military journey here.

Do you like living on base?

Well, simple answer is no. It just isn't for us. This is our first time living on base, and we didn't really have many other options when our beautiful mountain side house started taking on water. We needed to move fast! And there were plenty of houses open on base. There are good and bad things. The good thing is that Chris is seven minutes from his office. That means we see him so much more than we did when we lived off base. On crazy nights he can come home for dinner, see the kids, and then go back to the office. I enjoy the safety factor, it may be a false sense of security, but I am not as freaked out when Chris is gone for a while and I'm home alone with the kids. Another great thing is that we are super close to the commissary, so taking advantage of that little luxury is awesome. The downside, at least for us, is the no privacy! We share a wall with our neighbors. Our house is three stories and quite big, but we still have the thought in the back of our heads that we need to be respectful of our neighbors. Their children go to bed much earlier than mine, like by a few hours, so we have to tone the noise level down. I know that seems so stupid, but for us we like to have a late night dance party, or watch Jurassic Park with the surround sound turned way up. Basically we are the party animals on the block. I also HATE how much other people do not watch their kids. Just because you live on base, doesn't mean it's a free for all. Your children should never be in my yard without my permission! I get so heated when I pull up to my driveway and there are kids in my backyard! Like what!!??? What the hell are you doing? I don't even know you. And parents don't seem to see the problem with it. Like we are one big happy family, we aren't! I am also a super private person in real life. I know, crazy since I put my life out there on a blog. But, I'm self admittedly the most un-involved military wife ever. I have been to one FRG meeting in 10 years, and it was 8 years ago. I'm not on the up and up with most military happenings. This is not to say I am not supportive of Chris in every way. If he needs something for work, I do it. I just don't show my face very often. I'm a behind the scenes kind of gal. I very much like to separate work and family. This has been hard for the neighboring wives to understand. They think I'm some raging antisocial bitch because I didn't join the wives club, (I didn't even know that existed). I am one of those people that although I might be very social, I like my space, especially at my own house. Having my doorbell rung five minutes after I got four kids unloaded from the car is just not cool for me. I know this is probably not how most people feel. I have plenty of friends that truly enjoy living on base, and to each their own. We are just crazy. No really...we are.




13 comments:

  1. I love this! Such an interesting look into life and your soapbox rant is fantastic. I'm a working mom and I see my life as significantly easier in some aspects because I can plan appointments / run errands during lunch and after work while my child is in daycare.

    Also, I have to laugh about your dislike of the military base because I would absolutely LOVE it; I'm that person who will stand outside talking to my neighbors for 45 minutes after we get home. I think my husband would hate it (he also wouldn't make in the military - I assume he would have to run more the 0.25 miles, right?)

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  2. I really hope he gets a locked in CCC date soon, it's so frustrating waiting for that!

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    1. Ehh...it's the name of the game right? I am fine with waiting so that we don't have to move Ace during the school year.

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  3. Ugh Kelsey, I LOVE your blog. As a fellow (uninvolved but supportive) military wife I can relate to your soapbox. Your blog is literally the first thing I read every morning. I grew up in Anchorage and until my husband went to CCC last March I had never left so your blog provides me with what I love about home and the tips and tricks I need to get through a day. My husband is deployed right now so I am at home with our new baby girl (born in May) and your blog is the reassurance that - I have it pretty good haha, my chaos is nowhere near yours and you do it every day! So thank you, I appreciate what you do.

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    1. Erin I just want to hug your right now! You basically just made my day, maybe even my whole week!! And congrats on baby girl!!! I hope you are holding up well while your husband is gone, you can shoot me an email anytime if you need to vent! ha! :)

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  4. yes to always parking by the cart corral, I have to be able to buckle them all and then out my cart away.

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  5. I feel like you might be a soul sister after reading this. I effing LOATHE when kids are in my yard. We used to have a GSD and these damn kids would stick their hands in our fence!!! I was so mad. Like use the sidewalk! I try so hard to teach my kids to stay on the sidewalk and respect people's property. Ugh. And! The wives club!? That made me roll my eyes just hearing about it. Ridiculous. I just don't have that kind of time. Nor do I want to have that kind of time. I am more of a homebody I guess. I prefer to just be with my people. No one else. If that makes sense.

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  6. Damn! I always miss asking the questions!! I am with you with the on post living. Although I guess I would say that I do like living on post, I have the same likes and complaints that you have. This is our first and only time. These damn kids every where!!

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  7. Amen to the private lives and separating work from family! I don't like to be a part of the neighborhood lady gossip and I'm not the walk around the block with my mom friends type. No I will not watch your kid that I don't know just because you live next to me. No my kid cannot come to your house to play, strange neighborhood kid, since she's three and I don't know your or your parents. And no, you cannot just walk onto my porch and play with my kid's toys. Get away from my house. . .I was seen as the raging bitch lady in our neighborhood on base too, but I didn't mind. Once the memo was sent, crazy people stopped showing up at my house all hours of the day.

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  8. I completely understand about what you're talking about when in base housing. I am a veteran from the Navy and my husband (active duty) and I used to live in base housing. When we were in it, we were lucky because we had good neighbors on both sides. Now that we live off base, his PCS is coming and where we're moving, we're almost going to be forced to live in base housing. From what I've heard, this base is full of crazy military wives, which is what I'm not looking forward to. I think the main things I'm worried about is trying to start a family with all of the crazy ladies who apparently try to force marriages apart.

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    1. My only advice is, and this has worked for me for 10 years, and also my husband. Is to just keep to yourself. Don't feel like you HAVE to be apart of anything. I know there are a lot of people that say it negatively effects your husbands career is the wife isn't involved, and that is simply not true! I am living proof of that. You can absolutely be supportive without being forced into friendships. Be selective! I have a couple really amazing military wife friends, but then I have also run into some not so great people. But that is like with anything. In my neighborhood I do not know anyone, and I actually like that I am very left alone. Good luck with your move though!

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  9. All of this. Yes. Everything! Especially the last part about living on base. We never thought we'd live on post, but in Hawaii there really aren't great options. But we're in a townhouse (sadly no yard), but the neighbor kids just play in everyone's driveways and will come in to my garage as I'm trying to load up and drive away--where are your parents???? Get out of here??? Also, the other wives don't really understand that I don't want to go to your jamberry nails/scentsy/all natural product/clothing swap party. I. Am. Not. Interested. But again, I support my husband, very much so, doesn't mean I need to do military wife crap. Seriously, we need to be at the same post someday and be antisocial together. 😉 I hope y'all get in to the CCC soon!

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    1. YES! What is with the kids bombarding you at the car? One girl was literally inside my car as I was trying to buckle the kids in. I was like...uhhh...you need to get out! We totally need to be at the same post! haha! :)

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