Why a PCS Is Like Having a Baby

'Tis the season and many of my friends are preparing to PCS.  Here are my seven reasons why  a PCS is similar to birthing  babies.  Maybe you can relate, whether you are about to have a baby or are about to move.

1. Both are due to my husband

His job as an active duty dude moves us all over the place. I would not choose to do this all on my own, but seeing as how I chose to marry him, I accept the consequences.

While both our boys look remarkably like me, I am not asexual and did not grow them simply by wishing to have two mini-male-mes roaming the planet.

2. Both have an anticipatory time frame

Sometimes we are lucky (unlucky?) enough to know waaaaay in advance that a move is in our future. But where?  And when?  And when will it be 'official'? Then we find out the where and much like finding out the sex of a baby, an unknown factor is removed from the equation. Excitement followed by thrill and a sense of relief knowing that the "I don't know where we will be going" or "pink or blue" question is answered.

3. Fear and denial are in direct relation to the impending date

It is amazing how quickly anxiety rises in proportion to the time frame as the move/birth date approaches. Details that were no problemo only weeks before suddenly become the MOST. IMPORTANT. THING. EVER.

Suddenly you realize logistics are a crucial, and often overlooked, aspect of life. "This baby has to come out of where???" The fact that the fetus is putting enormous pressure on your nether regions is a daily reminder that yes, it will indeed come out of there.  Nope.  Not doing it.  Changed my mind.

Armed only with the knowledge of a move, it can be easy to act cool as a cucumber.  Then the list of questions begin to taunt me:  buy/rent, neighborhoods, schools, sports, church, traffic....all suddenly seem as urgent and pressing as the 9 and 10 lbs. babies did on my pelvic ligaments. Everywhere I turn I see things that need to get done in order to make the move less painful. Things would be so much easier if we just did not move. Yep, that's it. We aren't moving.

Denial is a marvelous  sedative. While not as tasty as beer, it is one I continue to use on a regular basis.

4. There is a rush of relief as soon as it is over

Once things get under way and are completed, there isn't a whole lot you can do. There is the crash from the adrenaline spike that makes everything a-o-kay. I don't know how many times, after both events, I simply said, "Whatever" and meant it.

I could have received a call from the moving company informing me the semi truck carrying all our worldly possessions spontaneously burst into flames and I would have said "awesome".  Situation would be out of my hands and out of my control. What is done is done and now I don't have to unpack.  Groovy!

Similar to after giving birth. You are kind of stuck there in awe of the whole event. Not a whole lot you can do about it now but sit back, enjoy the peace, finally eat, snuggle with the baby,  and wait for reason 5.

5. Reality strikes

I learned soon after childbirth that washing my hair every day was overrated. Same goes for brushing it, too. And was okay with that. I grew to enjoy the peaceful moments with my baby. Life took on a different pace.  I focused on being a good wife and mother, well, with the exception of being Ursa the unkempt hairy beast.  Instead of the hectic world of earning a paycheck, I entered the chaotic and less predictable world of parenting.  And it sucked.  I was no longer seeing twenty or more patients a day but the same little being whose only forms of communication where through bodily noises.  What did I do???

I try to see the beauty/fun of  our new surroundings post move.  I find new places to shop and begin to appreciate the new scenery...all part of the new adventure.  "Look how much fun getting lost is...we never would have known this place existed if I had not taken that wrong turn!"  And then I can't find our favorite brand of tortillas in the grocery store.  I hate this place!  And I hate not knowing where everything is!  Moving blows!

6.  Forgetfulness

With childbirth, I pushed for FOUR hours and needed help from a vacuum extractor to get my first son out.  And yet over a year later, I wanted another baby.  Was I mental?  Forgetfulness is a powerful weapon life plays on us.  Did I not remember the hormones, sleepless nights, and always smelling of spoiled milk?

I continue to accept the unavoidable military lifestyle of moving every 2-4 years.  Am I nuts?  Do I not remember how we all turn into head cases for the first two months?  How I hate unpacking?  How I hate having to re-identify myself and find a new happiness each place we move?  Why do we not revolt and set the moving truck on fire ourselves is beyond me.  Why do we not have a sit in and chant, "Heck no, we won't go!"?

There is a part of the brain missing in moms.  Please, if you know, don't tell what part it is.  That kind of awareness I honestly don't want to possess.  Ignorance is bliss.  Just like forgetfulness for military spouses is an art form that needs no cure.  Ask any military family: sometime around the two-year mark, they get the itch to move.  It is a sickness.  There should be a twelve-step program.

7. Adaptation

note: the word acceptance here could also have been used, but after comparing both words in my dictionary, adaptation seemed a better fit since acceptance usually arrives with contractions and the moving truck

After a baby is in the house, you adapt to new routines all the time because life would be waaaay toooo easy if babies always wanted/needed the same things.  No, they continue to change and grow and you need to adapt with them.  As a mother, if 'flexible' is not one of your character traits, you are in big trouble.  That is a word I have already added to my resume. Not trouble, but flexible.

New moves create new routines. My husband's job differs depending on his assignment and so my roles change, too.  One  year we are blessed to have him around during breakfast, helping with homework, and is around all the stinkin' time.  The next year it changes completely different with most domestic duties falling solely on my shoulders once again.  It is all about remaining flexible to differing situations.  I won't may not like it, but I will ADAPT.  And end up liking it, dammit.

Adventures occur with military moves.  So do new friends and experiences.  Same with babies.  We all learn to roll with life's punches, not to sweat the small stuff, and survive with war stories to tell.  And soon forget the pain.

Did I miss anything?

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