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PCSing without the kids

While not ideal, many military families deal with divorce and with a pcs on the horizon parents without primary custody may find themselves with little opportunity to remain close to their children. So with regular cycles of 'picking' new orders every few years, is there any right or best time to try and be stationed near the kids?

I was hoping to get some feedback on this.

As a stepmom, I watched as my husband tried his best to get orders near his daughter. The closest he received was around 200 miles. Relatively close. But with three metropolitan areas between our current duty station and where my stepdaughter lives, that 400 mile round trip can sometimes take triple the expected time.

So now that we are approaching our next pcs window opening, we are struggling with what might be best. For my stepdaughter, for Seadaddy's career, for our family as a whole. And sometimes these three things conflict.

As far as the children go, I see different things. It would be nice to go to her now and establish a closer relationship while she is young that can benefit and carry through for the years to come. On the other hand, it could be smart to wait for her rebellious teenage years and be close to help with any issues that might arrise then. But if you wait till later, will the children have no real concept of you being a present and local parenting figure and not take your efforts seriously or as being valid?

There are definitely many variables, including number of children, their ages, the existing co-parenting relationships, etc. But I know we have many readers and authors with educational backgrounds in child development and teaching and hearing some feedback on this would be great.

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