See...see what I did there. Total big sister move. Throw the younger one under the bus. And run like the wind! Just kidding. Love my sister. Poor girl gets a lot of unsolicited advice. A Lot! But as the older sister you get the trump card. It's called age and experience. I guess that makes two cards. Trump cardzzz.
On this Military Monday, Ashley from Eights On The Move, asked for advice on family planning in the military. I wasn't quite sure how to approach the topic. I am by no means an expert in family planning! However, I am an expert in non-family planning. I have a pretty good success rate. So, I can definitely educate you on what happens when you don't use strategy when having babies.
Here is a quick family history. My husband joined the military. My daughter was born 18 months later. Our son was born three years after. And our other son 18 months after that. As I have written before, my daughter will only know life as a military child. My husband will retire around the time the boys enter high school. Of all my worries about being a military family; having to uproot my child during high school would be top 3. I pray we never!
My second bit of sound advice is Never tempt the deployment "gods". With our second, we knew my husband would be deploying in the new year. We had given ourselves a cut off date. If it didn't happen by a certain month, then we would stop trying. Without success, we decided to just let things happen if it was "meant" to be. Chances are it hadn't happened yet so it probably wouldn't happen. Our second child was born three days before my husband returned home from deployment. I honestly wouldn't recommend having a baby if your husband is on sea duty or in a continuous deployment cycle. Having a baby during deployment sucks. No way around it. It sucks. And the second time around isn't any better. I got to learn that lesson too.
Retrospectively, if I had chosen when to have babies, I would have waited until my husband was 4 to 6 years into his military career. By the time my kids were high school age, we would be settled in our forever home. But, life doesn't work that way. No crystal balls or time machines. We just have to trust God that everything works out exactly as it should. One lesson all military families learn quickly is to be flexible. Your well intended plans always seem to get derailed by the military's master one. If we would have waited to have kids, then our time in Japan would have been about raising preschoolers and toddlers. We wouldn't have been able to explore our host country for three years toting 3 littles around. And if we tried, the kids wouldn't remember it anyways.