PCS Alone: Any Ideas To Survive?


No one thinks of going through a PCS move during a deployment and thinks, Oh, Joy! Rapture!

Instead they think, Oh @$&^%^%!

Asami is the mother of two “really, really active boys” ages 5 and 3. Her husband is deployed. They have an overseas move coming up in September. She has no family in the area and her friends already PCSed.

Asami is looking for some advice from our SpouseBuzz readers:

“I was hoping he comes back a month before to help me. But his command said like right before we PCS they'll send him back.

Just surviving the deployment is really hard for me but gotta do all moving stuff by myself too?

Any ideas to survive? Or do I just need to be strong as a military wife??

Does she “just need to be strong as a military wife?” That certainly is what the military expects. We are a self-help organization around here.

But being “strong” doesn’t cover it, does it? It isn’t advice that helps. Instead it is code for “Go away and deal with it yourself.”

I hate that.

Because most of the time when we are struggling, it isn’t because we aren’t being strong. Most of the time we struggle because we don’t know what we are supposed to be doing.

So I am hoping that everyone will help us come up with some concrete things Asami can do to prep for this move—and feel a whole lot better. Here are three things I thought I would tell myself if I were Asami:

1.Focus on today. Overseas moves ARE a little more complicated than a regular move, but they don’t take six months of constant work to make them happen. Don’t let yourself borrow that trouble. Instead, set a date on your calendar for when you are going to start worrying about your move. Military.com recommends three months before the move is the time to get started.  (Check out these PCS checklists).

If you start worrying before that day appears on the calendar, get busy doing something else. Reading or watching TV or skimming the Internet doesn’t take enough attention. Instead cook something. Organize a drawer. My grandma always recommended scrubbing the kitchen floor.  She always had a really clean floor.

2. Focus on passports. You can score an early win by getting your service member to get started on the passport process for you and the boys. Passports can take up to 12 weeks (so that is something you can do now). Somehow it is very reassuring to have those little blue books already in hand.

3. Focus on the boys. During deployment with kids, sometimes making the days pass quickly was the key to being less stressed. My son was so “active” that I had to make a rule to take him outside for an hour every day rain or shine (Confession: I kinda hated that part). Sometimes his outdoor play was at a McDonald’s Play Place where we met a bunch of other “really, really active” boys and their moms.  I liked that part.

Find more ideas about helping toddlers PCS here.

What about you? What would you tell Asami to do?  Did you rely on a checklist? Did your service member help a lot? Did you find that the work of moving took less time than you think? Let us know!

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