Former military spouse here. DH had been in the military 2 years when we got married and was in for 23 years after that. In that time we had 8 different postings, all over Canada. It wasn’t always easy but I found the kids adjusted better than I did.
Our last posting occurred just after DD graduated from high school. Although we were moving back to the Base where she’d been born, we left her behind because she was due to start university in that town only 6 weeks after we moved and we could see no logic in moving her with us and then having to spend thousands to take her back a few weeks later. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, much harder than sending her two brothers off to university and work. A few weeks before that move she looked at me and said “I don’t know if I’m ready to leave the nest.” “You’re not leaving the nest, the nest is leaving you.”
The one thing I learned was to get involved ASAP upon arrival in a new town. Except for our first two postings, the minute I got to a new Base I’d volunteer to be a reader for my parish. I have also served on parish councils, liturgy committees and as EMHC. I’d also find something I really loved to do and get involved in that in some way. For me that’s theatre, so I’d save enough to get season tickets to any local theatre or, as I did in this town, joined the local amateur group. I was in a few productions but settled to working backstage, usually as stage manager, assistant director or even as director.
My one coping mechanism is not getting emotionally involved. I’ve found that once I leave a place, I leave EVERYTHING behind, including any friends I’ve made over the years. I’m not sure if I passed on that trait to my kids but I remember the day that I realized that each time we were due to move they picked a fight with their friends – it’s so much easier to leave behind people you’re mad at.
The moves affected each child differently. DD considers my hometown HOME. That’s probably due to the fact that we were posted to a Base close to home from the time she was 10 mo. old to 3 1/2 and she developed a close relationship with both sets of grandparents in that time.
DS1 considers our next to last posting HOME. He went back there for university (also his sister’s alma mater) and lives there now.
DS2 is HOME wherever he hangs his hat.
Although we’ll have been living in this town 11 years in July, DH & I consider our hometowns home (we grew up in communities just 6 miles apart, he in the town, I in the village). We head back there as often as possible and hope to retire there when DH finally retires in a couple of years. Water is what draws us back to my hometown. I grew up on the banks of a bay and I miss the salt water & the beach. My brother and I inherited the family home and property so it wouldn’t be too expensive to put up a small house on that beachfront property.
I say, go for it and make the best of the experience. Having a happy & fulfilled husband will help ease the transitions.