Young and in the Military: Getting Settled
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It’s tough moving to a new place and learning the way of the military life. For me, I had only been married one month when we moved to Georgia to be stationed at Robins AFB. I knew nothing really about military life, but I learned fast and was surprised that really wasn’t all that bad! Here a few things I did that helped me get settled:
1. Deciding Where to Live
Before we moved, we started looking around online at houses in the area where my husband was going to be stationed. We weighed the pros and cons of buying a house, moving into an apartment, and moving onto the base. Depending on what your situation is, it will be different for each family. If you read the first part of my series Young and in the Military: Getting Started, then you know that I suggested joining a support group or a military wives group in your area or on Facebook. If you have done this, start asking questions of the wives who live in the area you are moving to and find out the best places to live. Google “base housing at (your base)” for pictures of base housing and decide if you would rather live there or off base.
Personally, we chose to live in an apartment. With our BAH we actually made a little bit of money by living off base. Now that I am expecting, we are going to be moving onto the base in March. We will lose a little bit of money, but the extra room for the baby, and the money on gas and food we will save, should help even things out a bit!
2. Finding a Church
Obviously, everyone has their own taste in a church they want to find. We tried out so many churches before we found the right one just for us! Recently I came across a website, and I wanted to share it with you. It’s for military families who want to find a military-supportive church in your area. I did not use it because we already had found our church, but perhaps it will be helpful to someone else: Yellow Ribbon Churches.
3. Finding a Babysitter
If you have children, then I am sure finding a good babysitter will be something on your mind after you move to a new area. Finding a good babysitter is hard, and you want someone you know you can trust. I have been babysitting for 10 years now, and several times I have moved. Finding a babysitting job can be just as hard as finding a babysitter, but here some tips to help you out!
Once you find a good church, you can sometimes find people there who are willing to babysit or are looking for babysitting jobs. There are also websites out there that are safe and reliable ways to find sitters. Two that I have used and are known to be safe and very reliable are: Care.com, Babysitters.com, and Sitter City. They are very easy to use; you can run a background check, see references, and even see the babysitter’s picture all online.
Another way to find babysitters is to go to or call your Family Readiness Center or FRG (Family Readiness Group) on base. Here, where we are stationed they have a list of people who have signed up and are willing to babysit when you need it. I am sure that can be very handy, and it never hurts to call and ask! You can also check out my post: How to Find a Babysitter (Especially After a New Move) for more helpful tips!
To read the rest of this series, click here:
- Young and in the Military: Getting Started
- Young and in the Military: Making Friends
- Young and in the Military: Saving Money
Is your spouse deploying soon? Check out my book on deployment for military spouses and families.
I can imagine that moving regularly would present itself with many challanges. You seem to be one of those make lemonade out of lemons kind of girls:) We pray for the safety of our troops and their famililes every Sunday, especially since that aweful Ft. Hood masacre. I did write my latest post. I write all of my posts unless I say otherwise. You are welcome to use it, just acknowledge me. I love the blog world. There is just so much connection there. But in life, as you know, a healthy balance is important. Look at me, here I am just moments after posting my pledge, with my laptop again in use! Hilar-at least I try and admit my flaws! We have to keep it real!
These are definitely some great tips. I always figured your best bet is to start on base, then see where you are in a year; which is what we did. It was nice especially being newly married, but I think now it would be a different situation if we were to PCS.
Thank you for those tips! You listed some websites that will really help too. Off to check them out 🙂
If i had to do it all over again I would buy a house. I have wasted so much money in the past for something that is not my own and I can never get back,…..
buy the house even if you have to tighten up to make ends meet… it will be a good investment in your future believe me..
second and most inportant school and day care… oh my you really have to watch it here…
the faith can always be taken care of in home if you cant find a good place…
Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!
You have an awesome blog & I can see that you would be a great asset for info to military wives. I always appreciate people who take the time to summarize what they've learned to help people in the same situation.
Great tips. I will say our FRG's do not have a list of babysitters, but the Central Registration does, and the babysitters have to be certified to be registered with them.
Oh I read other comments. Buying a house in this economy as a military family is not always the best idea, for the fact that we move for the most part every 3 yrs .
As for schools, if you're on a military instillation elementary and normally jr/middle schools are there and that option is taken care of (if you live off post, different story). Daycares, I know some will not agree, but mom stays home and raises their child, in the majority of cases it's not only possible, it's financially the best option (normally that 2nd income goes 90 % to childcare costs…so the time away from your child, the majority of your pay…not exactly worth it and then your child is getting the absolute best care!!).
Faith, we NEED accountability of fellow Christians, so finding a church home is to me the most important of all things. I've met very, very, very few people who do not attend church who actually truly have home church and fellowship with the Lord. Finding a church that is focused on Christ, is the greatest blessing and often the best source of support for military families!!
Kathryn I'm truly enjoying your blog!!
Very good tips.
I'm also a military wife.
Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!!
Great tips. One of the best websites that I have found online for parents is http://www.nannyserviceseattle.com/ This is an amazing website that has limitless resources for both parents and nannies and it’s free…