Monday, October 17, 2011

To Homestead or Not to Homestead, That is the Question


I've been writing this blog for almost 2 years now.   And I've never written about PCS'ing.  Well, I've mentioned PCS'es our family has gone through in the past, but not recent PCS'es.  I've had a couple of people ask me when we'll be moving but I usually answer that I don't really know.  And the reason I don't really know is because my husband and I have become homesteaders.


Yes, that's right, we have no desire to PCS.  Therefore, we're planning to stay here as long as possible. 


Our first duty station wasn't bad.  We liked it for awhile, but as we drove away from our house to embark on our next adventure, we never looked back.  We were ready to move on.  Our second duty station was fabulous!  But we had to leave.  Didn't have a choice.  But now, at our third duty station, we have some options, and the possibility of staying in one place long enough for our son to get through elementary school is very tempting.


Mr. Roller Coaster has orders for 2 more years here, giving us a guaranteed 5 years in the same place.  Wow, 5 years!  I haven't lived in one location for 5 years since I was a kid.  And if the stars align just so we could probably stay here for another tour after this one!


But there are drawbacks.  Mr. Roller Coaster isn't crazy about his current job.  Of course he knew going into it that it wouldn't be as fulfilling as his previous position, but when he comes home in a bad mood because of his work day, I often wonder if it was worth it.  Maybe we should have broadened our horizons for the sake of my husband's sanity and possibly for the sake of his career.


I know military families who have PCS'ed so many times that they have trouble remembering every location they've called home.  But I also know military families who have stayed put for over a decade.  There are pros and cons to both.  I've moved so many times in my life that I really don't know any lifestyle other than a nomadic one.  At times I've felt a visceral need to move, to get a change scenery, a different perspective.  But the older I get and the longer I stay in one place, the harder it is for me to think about leaving. 


I'm not looking forward to when Mr. Roller Coaster is up for orders again.  It's going to be a very difficult decision for us, especially if his professional options in this area are as limited as they were this time around.  We agree that if we're presented with the opportunity to give our children some stability, some sense of a "normal" life, we'd like to take it.  But if that stability comes at the expense of my husband's job satisfaction, then we might have to move along.  (Plus, if Mr. Roller Coaster could find orders to Europe, there's no way we're turning that down!)



So for now we're homesteaders.  And it's nice to know I won't have to fill out any change of address forms for awhile.


Have you ever stayed at the same duty station for two or more consecutive tours?  Would you prefer to homestead or see the world?  Would your husband take a job he knew he wouldn't like in order to give your family some stability?






9 comments:

  1. We lived in Hawaii 2 years and 2 months. It was BY FAR the longest we stayed in one spot. And we've been married over seven years!

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  2. That certainly is a blessing. We've moved six times in ten years and haven't ever had the option to homestead; the positions and promotions don't allow it. However, we have a feeling we'll be back at our current location once retirement hits because it's truly amazing.

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  3. My husband is National Guard so PCS's aren't part of our package. We've lived in our same house for 10 years, although we've only been military for 4 years. I grew up moving every 4 years (not for military) and I actually miss the moves. I loved seeing new places and getting to know new people. I have to admit that we would LOVE to move, especially overseas! But I think it's the whole "grass is greener" scenario - I say I'd like to move and change every few years, but I've never actually had to do it with kids and a husband! Maybe my opinion would change then!

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  4. we were in WA for 2.5 years and i was ready to run the eff out of there, it was not my cup of tea.
    we are hoping to stay here longer, we like it here so far after only 2 mos, and the husband probably has the potential to stay here for a while.
    but maybe once the munch isnt so little we'd like to go overseas... we'll see.
    got to love army life and the fact we have these opportunities!

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  5. I think we're natural born homesteaders. SoldierMan grew up moving around all the time and he hated it. I lived in the same house until I was 20. Both of us crave stability. When we found out there was a chance we could be here for as long as four years, we got excited. Moving every couple of years doesn't appeal. We'll do it if we have to, of course. But given the option, we'd rather not.

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  6. Mister has been in for ten years and we've had five PCS's (and eleven moves total) Sometimes I wish that we could stay in a place for more than one tour at a time. So far it hasn't worked that way. Except for one move that was 3 hours we've moved cross country every time. Although we did move from Pendleton to Florida and then back to Pendleton. :-)

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  7. Knowing we are going to PCS come March or so is pretty hard for me. I am excited partly, but mostly I am kind of bummed about it. I love living in Alexandria so so much and it is going to be extremely hard to leave here... it will be almost two years for me here by the time we move plus four years in DC nearby for college, so this region has been my home since 2005!

    And the thing that sucks is, we are not drawn to another duty station. In fact most of them we are kind of dreading... so to even pick a top three if we can is quite difficult.


    Basically I wish we could stay here, but I know I have many many moves ahead of me!

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  8. I've only been to two duty stations: where we are now, and my hometown. I would be more than happy to go back to my hometown and stay as long as possible! As for other duty stations, it depends a lot on the place. I'm not a fan of our current station, so I would have no problem leaving any time.

    For the most part, I'm a stability person. I like to make friends, put down some roots, and stay awhile. Being a military brat and active duty military, my husband wants to see the world. We just have to find a way to find a way to get to the "Happy Medium".

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  9. The stars have aligned for us lately. We will have been here for 3 tours, for a total of 7 years. Wow! After the first tour (ship & IA) I was ready to move. I was the wife forgotten, and the wives that I had met wore rank. When the 2nd tour (shore) landed in our lap, I had begun to make friends outside the military, and life has never been better. There are few military I associate with now and I don't want to leave. We recently were up for orders and received word we remain here till 2014 attached to a ship. Although my hubby is thrilled, I have a less than excited attitude, but the fact we are able to give the kids a stable environment for so long has been great.

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