Wednesday, July 11, 2018

6 Questions to Consider When Moving to a Short-Term Assignment

You probably see a lot of people ask for opinions on moving home for deployments, but about about moving home during schools or short-assignment?

Your spouse will likely be sent to some form of school or short-term assignment at least once in their military career. These courses can last for up to a year or more.

Many spouses are faced with the decision of whether or not it is worth to pack everything up and move once again. Some spouses support going with their spouse, while others choose to stay behind.

Here are the most important questions to ask yourself when making this decision:

1. How long will we be apart for?
  It could a few months, or over a year. Is the distance worth it even it could be for quite a while? Some couples handle time apart better than others, and that is okay! This could be a tiny factor or the deciding factor in your decision.

2. What will their schedule be like?
 Will they be busy to the point that you only see them on the weekends? Could they only have to be in class a few hours a day? The best way to find out this information is to seek the guidance of other spouses.

 I reached out to the spouse Facebook page on the base where his training would be and asked this question. You will most likely get the best and most honest answers that way!

3. How would my career be affected? 
Steady employment is hard to come by for many spouses. If you have a career you love where you currently are, you might want to stay. It can also prevents gaps in employment which so many spouses have.

4. What about the kids?
If you have children, this can be a much more stressful decision. Is the move in the middle of the school year? Would my kids thrive in a new place for only a few months? Should we ask what they think?

Children can be greatly affected by frequent moves. You have to figure out what is best for your children and their happiness.

5. Does it make sense financially?
Would it be a strain on your finances to stay behind or to move? If you were not able to relocate a job, could you survive on one income?

Are finances fun to talk about? Absolutely not! However, finances are usually the main factor in deciding if you should stay or go. 

6. What comes next?
Will you PCS to a new location? Is a deployment on the horizon? Planning ahead (and having a plan b, c, d etc.) is essential.

My husband deployed a few months after we got to our current post. We had just come from a short-term assignment for a training course. We were there for a little over nine months. Looking back, I'm happy made the decision to stay due the deployment. However, I did miss having a job, I was frequently bored, and we were in the summer. 

What works for one marriage won't work for another. I feel like a broken record saying that, but so many people forget it. Some would never stay behind while others find it odd to pack up and move. No matter what happens, you will wonder if you made the right decision and that is okay! What matters is, that you made the decision as a couple.

Having a spouse in the military comes with a lot of tough decisions. While this might not be the toughest one you make, it can be scary. Please know that you are alone and that many of us have been in the same place you have! I hope these questions help guide your decision, whatever that may be!


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