Please help me process this


**Quick summary for those of you have not seen my previous posts:

I am a mom of a 2 year old girl who is extremely high energy with a willful personality and sleep problems. I am married to a military man. I also suffer from Fibromyalgia which is chronic and debilitating.

OK, now here is what I need help with. Hubby is in the infantry. He has 8 years left before he qualifies for a pension. But he really wants and needs a change of pace AND wants a more secure future for us… if he stays where he’s at, when he retires he will have almost NO job skills that apply to the “real” world.

So he applied for a change of trade to firefighter. Good all around… skills for the real world, no more going overseas, no more field exercises etc etc etc.

He was originally told that the course would be 3.5 months long (away from home) but not until AT LEAST fall time but most like not until next year. Today he was informed that things have changed and the course is now 8 MONTHS long and will be in either August or September for sure. We are both kind of shell shocked right now.

I am worried about how I am going to manage without all of his help around here. He is worried about that PLUS being away from Lily for so long. It has him in almost-tears.

My family is close by but are all ill and overworked and stressed as it is. My mom has promised to do all she can to help (but I haven’t told her about this new wrinkle yet) but I am worried that it’s just too much for her. We have looked into getting some help for me at home but nothing has come out of that yet…we’re still looking.

I am scared. I know in my head that this is all for the best and we’ll manage…but I still feel so scared. If you could pray for us as a family so that we can meet this new challenge with some strength and courage I would really appreciate it. Lily is such a daddy’s girl that I am very worried for how this will affect her the most. 8 months is a long time for kids.

I guess I just need some shoulders to cry on right now because I am not telling my mom or other family until at least next week… they have the flu and have to travel to my cousin’s wedding tomorrow (out of town). There is already a lot of stress and I just can’t be the one that adds more to that right now. And I am trying to be strong for my husband so he doesn’t have to worry about me so much…so that leaves you guys:o. Aside from prayers, any words of wisdom or advice from those of you who have been there done that would be great… thanks everyone.**


Oh man. :frowning: Praying for you guys, for sure. I wish I had some magic solution to offer.


Wow! I’m glad I peeked.

Right now, all I can say that you have my prayers, Malia. I know Lily is handful for you.

Let me think on it some before I say anything.


Okay… deep breath, Malia!

Crazy questions… so ignore if they’re totally impractical… :wink:
Can you go WITH him?
Are there any other practical career paths that interest him? Maybe something that would require a different type of training program?

And of course… prayers for you guys. :slight_smile:



My DH was sent on a yearlong remote tour (no family allowed) to Korea when our son was 4 months old. It tore him apart and broke his heart. But, and I am sure you will relate to this, his sense of duty did not allow him to do otherwise. He either had to accept the assignment or get out of the military. He wasn’t ready to get out yet, so he went. He was there when 9/11 happened…OMG did that suck. I was SO scared for him. No one knew what would happen next, they thought the North Koreans might take advantage of the perceived chaos…

Here are some things we did that helped:

A weekly set time for a video computer chat. He could see and hear the kids and they could see and hear him. At other times, if we caught each other online at the same time, we would chat then too if we had time.

Videos of Daddy reading stories, that the kids could watch whenever they wanted.

LOTS of letters. Military guys love mail from home. I sent him postcards with kid handprints. We made up small photo albums of holidays he missed. I also ordered boxes of his favorite coffees and treats and had them shipped directly to him.

I moved back to my home town that year. I actually lived with my ILs. I did need help. I know your situation is different because of health challenges for many people, but accept ALL help offered, and ask for help when you need it. If it can be spread out over many people, it will not seem burdensome. And I am sure they all understand and WANT to help you.

Hope that helps… and prayers. It’s hard, but you can get through these things. After all, you are a warrior wife! :thumbsup:

BTW, I wanted to let you know also that it took only a few days for the baby to warm up to Daddy once he came back. You would never know now that there was such a disruption in their early relationship.


I will keep you and your family in my prayers. I do hope that you will be able to discern this with prayer. (Or has that already been done and deceided for sure?) Is there any way he could do anything else? I know that the long months away will be a challenge. Not that I don’t think you can’t manage it apart, but it will be awfully hard on you without some help.Does your pain get worse in the winter? Is there any medication you can take that relieves it on the really bad days? Your little one is probably too young to understand and will probably ask you everyday where he is. (My grandmother, who lived with us and basically took total care of me died when I was your daughter’s age and my mother said it was almost a year before I stopped asking about her.) I do remember her still as it was like she was my mother. I will keep you all in my prayers, I promise. I find this heart breaking for all of you too.:hug1:


Malia, you have my prayers as always. I’m sorry for your situation. Little girls need their daddy’s. I don’t know what I would do. Just keep praying on it and something will come to you.

Did you mention how far away he will be? Can you not visit or him on the weekends or how does that work? Sorry if I missed something in the post that says that.


Sorry, I forgot to mention that he will be several provinces away… but good for him as he should be able to make at least one trip to the next province over and see his family.


Hi Malia–prayers going out to you.:frowning: God will enable you both to get through this–I know it.

My one question is…is this his only option?


Here are some ideas on how to get help:

–ask your parish (confirmation kids, moms groups, prayer groups, whatever) tell them what help you need!!

–seek out community help for military families, the U.S. has several organizations to help military families, I would imagine Canada does too

–it there is a local college (esp with a Newman center) seek out a mother’s helper from there, a child develpment/education major would be the best (ask for references and then check them)

That’s all I can think of for now. Prayers for your family. My husband used to do research that required him to be gone for weeks over the summer and then he had several over seas trips that were 3+ months long–he even missed our oldest son’s first birthday. It’s tough, but you can do it!!!


So does he get any kind of break in this 8 month training, like maybe a week off after 4 months or get to go home for Christmas time or anything like that? I would think that if the time was broken into at least sections and he could visit, that would feel very different from 8 months straight with no contact.



Agree here. Start looking for help now, like tomorrow. DH will be more at peace knowing that you have a support system built.

With being away from home, will he get a pay increase? That could pay for a mother’s helper -

Get to know your DRE well at the Parish. Confirmation kids will need service hours and you can get into the rotation.

Let your Catholic family BE a family!


Another thought, since she is weaned, perhaps you could get her in a daycare/toddler preschool a couple of days a week? This would give you some built in downtime.


Oh honey, I can so relate! DH went on TD/course after the 2nd & 3rd babies were born – I always suspected it was planned that way. :wink: The last time I was in Moose Jaw and he was in Labrador and one of the kids ended up in the hospital. I always hated the words ‘course’ and ‘temporary duty’!

Is he off to Borden or Trenton? How’s the MFRC in Edmonton? Have you ever used their services? It might be worth your while to check it out. They might be able to take Lily for a few hours a week, giving you a break to do other things. They might be able to help you in other ways too, by directing you to other agencies that might provide assistance.

What about his section? Does he have any buddies who would help him out by doing some of the outside work for you ? I found DH’s section a lot of help when he was on TD.

Keeping you in my prayers,
A veteran 23-year dependant/spouse


I do it often when DH is on sea duty. Often, and for months at a time, 4 months, 6 months, 8 months, plus weekly, bi-weekly, and even 21-30 day trips.

You just get used to it. You are lucky to have family near, most of DH’s deployments occurred more than 1K miles from my hometown. I did it with a high-needs child, plus 2 more.

It’s good for him and your future. :shrug: Deal with it. Accept it. Go with it. Put a smile on and greet it with enthusiasm. At least he can call you when he wants! :thumbsup: I certainly didn’t get that luxury . . .

I sound dry and I am not trying to. Just know I am saying it isn’t the worse thing ever, and it’ll be over before you know it. Plus it can make your marriage stronger. You know that whole absence theory!


I really do not have any suggestions beyond what others have posted.

I just want to tell you that you and your family are in my prayers. In fact, Malia, I suspect you have people all over the world praying for you.

May God grant you wisdom and peace. And may He grant Lily the gift of sleep!


Is there a college nearby or other situation where you might be
able to offer room and board for help when they’re not in school?
Might be perfect for a nursing student or education major. That’s
the only thing I can think of with getting you help.
I’ll say prayers for all of you.
BTW, by “situation” I was thinking of a young women who might
be new to a job nearby and need the financial help of room and
board. I’d ask at church and require references, of course.



If you do have to stay home without your husband, BE SPECIFIC about the kind of help you need. Many people may want to help you, but not know how. Others have already given great ideas: confirmation students, Newman Assn students, college student or young professional who could live-in, etc. Through all the difficulties, “One day this, too, shall pass…” must become your mantra.

I didn’t understand your answer to someone else’s question asking if you can go with your husband. Even if it’s “training” not a “posting,” could he live off-base with you evenings and weekends? If it’s just you and one young child, you may be able to live in rather tight surroundings temporarily: Motel room with efficiency kitchenette? Extended stays should get a significant discount off their daily rates. One-bedroom or studio apartment? Even if your husband MUST sleep in his assigned quarters, could he spend some evening/weekend hours with you? He’s got to get SOME free time in eight months.

Also, if your husband’s heart is not completely set on the fire-fighting route, has he considered gov’t service? A relative of mine was in the U.S. Army’s infantry for a few years, then transferred to the U.S. Army’s military intelligence group, then got out of the Army into U.S. gov’t civil service doing intelligence work for the military and then for the federal gov’t counter-terrorism. ALL of those years of military and civil service are counting towards his pension.

And don’t be so sure that your husband’s current job skills will not be applicable or valuable in the “real” world. Some companies (besides the obvious security firms) actively seek out ex-military folks because of their qualities e.g. discipline, leadership, planning, perseverance, etc. I know the U.S. gov’t civil service applications give extra points in the hiring process for previous military service. And as another example, look up this insurance / financial company founded BY military folks FOR military folks (and their families)
which I think gives preferential hiring to ex-military folks.

Sorry I can’t help with Canadian specifics and equivalents, though.

Best wishes,

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