My Diagnosis: PCS Fatigue


My husband and I are in the throws of yet another PCS. This of course means a to-do list a mile long. I usually create a calendar mapping out on which days I’m doing what to prep our home for packers, make a reminder list of when to make phone calls and such.

But, this time feels different. My usual stir of move excitement is lacking.

That lack of excitement and ever growing to-do list had me wide eyed one night thinking, “Again! I have to do this AGAIN!” In that moment the whole process of moving had me feeling overwhelmed and exhausted.

Being the savvy social media gal I am I posted to my friends, "Is PCS fatigue a thing? Because I think it is." The response was overwhelming.

What, exactly, does "PCS fatigue" mean?

Some might define as the that they are just tired of moving.  That's me right now. The endless to do lists of finding schools, homes, hotels, moving companies and on and on they go is exhausting. Then there is the starting over aspect. New job, new friends, new contacts for emergency, new city to learn. And then, of course, is the leaving. The good-byes to friends, resigning from a job I love, packing up a home I love and everything else that makes us sad to go. The consent moving is taking a toll and I long for retirement days when we stay put for longer or better yet, forever.

But another military spouse might define "PCS fatigue" as the never ending problems of a single move itself. Good ol' Murphy at his finest pops his head in with a wrench causing chaos. It could be anything from discovering your spouse needs to take a "short" trip leaving you with a power of attorney to do it all. Your household goods may have been sent to the wrong location because of one incorrect number in the address. Or maybe you discovered that yes, you do need to quarantine your pets in order to take them overseas and no, DoD doesn’t cover that cost.

The list of nightmare situations that are possible are almost endless. And it causes our military families to feel just DONE and ready for life as they knew it to get return to normal. When things go wrong it is exhausting and so draining mentally and emotionally.

But whether we are fatigued or not moves must happen. We will make our to-do list, get them checked off and start our new life in no time flat -- whether it seems that way when we are in the middle of it or not. We will handle the unexpected issues and tackle them like a force of nature.

Because, as military families and spouses, no matter how over it all we can feel in any given moment, we lace up our boot straps put on our game faces and get it done like a professional.

And when all else fails I hear wine and chocolate are good cures for just about anything including a case of PCS fatigue.


Kate Laing is the author of the former blog Tips From The Homefront. She and her Sailor husband along with their two boys have been traveling the world thanks to the Navy for 14 years. When not shuttling her two boys around you can find her running with her favorite running club, Stroller Warriors or advocating and helping for Navy families as a Navy Ombudsman. 


Photo courtesy flickr user Vernon Swanepoel via the Creative Commons license.

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