As it happens, the needs of the Navy do not include a sea tour this time around. I won't lie. I am relieved. I have a bit more time to acclimate myself to the idea now.
For a few reasons, Seadaddy's best move was an overseas tour. We were lucky enough the location has recently been reclassified so we did have the option to go accompanied for two years or unaccompanied for one. While we did weigh this decision heavily and I imagine we will both feel some regret about our choice along the way, the boys and I are staying stateside.
Seadaddy and I have done pretty well through our deployments and we are hoping his internet connection will be even better in a non war zone. So long as the boys get to see and hear their dad on a regular basis, I think we will do alright.
But it is the pre-game strategizing that has me flustered.
To move near family or stay put? Oh my goodness, does this decision vex me so! Not to mention the HUGE GUILT I am feeling.
Even though we did not meet while he was living in my home state, Seadaddy also has family there. In fact, most of our family live within an hour of each other. And my moving back home would help his parents and my mom cut out one travel destination from their choices on where to go with time off. And in this economy that is a big deal.
There is little chance we would ever get orders in or near my home state. We are already the closest we are likely to get. The idea of seeing my kids with their family on a weekly basis sounds so awesome. The appeal is HUGE.
But there is a lot on the pro side of staying put where we are as well. Living on post, our grocery store and doctor's office are both minutes away. Our neighborhood is nice and our stuff is all well situated. From what I can tell, the Army Family Covenant will allow us to register for childcare and give us a certain amount of free hours each month and a discounted rate for any hourly care I might need (or just want for sanity's sake).
Does the idea of hourly care exist in the civilian world? I am having trouble finding that alternative. Back when we first pcs-ed and I was working it took forever to find a daycare for when my stepdaughter would be with us on weekdays. No one wants to fill up an income earning slot with someone who will only be in for a handful of days.
For those of you who have gone through unaccompanied orders, how did you fare? What were your determining factors when deciding whether to stay where you were or go home? I would love some feedback.