You'll know the time is coming. No, the sign won't be that impending meeting with the Career Manager, it'll be something much less subtle, something that will be everywhere... The memes will begin to fill your social media, images from The Hunger Games wishing that the odds be ever in your favour amongst others,and you will know; Active Posting Season has come once more!
Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Posting
As the seasons turn, the possibility of the next move draws closer...
Your family may have already recieved the posting message, or you may be anxiously awaiting one that hasn't yet arrived, but the result is the same... Your mind begins to turn to the thoughts of a move (closer to our families, finally!), of selling the house (hadn't we decided this was our dream home?), of buying a new one (maybe we should just rent this time...), and of finding schools (will the kids be able to make new friends?) but you don't need to get overwhelmed.
Frequent moves are a reality of the military family life, for some they are a welcome change and for others a difficult separation from what they've become accustomed. These moves can be especially difficult on the kids in military families, especially when it's the first one that they experience. It is important that children know that they are loved and cared for, and feel supported during the tumultuous time of the move. Try to maintain as much of the regular household routine as possible and give your children the opportunity to be involved in the move process; their life is changing too, and by being a part of the adventure they can retain some ownership. The Military Family Resource Centres (MFRC) at your current and future homes can also assist with help connecting to schools and services, suggestions for ways to approach the move as a parent, and even supportive counselling services if required.
It isn't all about the kids though, the posting of a military spouse may be difficult on you too, and it's okay to admit that; to yourself and your partner. Keeping open and honest lines of communication open will help maintain the all important resilience that is so critical in a military family. Yes, your life in Montreal is pretty nice right now, and no, you don't know anybody in (or near) Wainwright, but sometimes a move we don't want can turn into the best thing that ever happened to us; it doesn't hurt to keep our mind open, even when we can't bring ourselves to embrace the change.
There's no need to abandon what you've built though; make new friends after the move, but keep your old friends too! Stay in contact with them via social media, email, and calls (phone and video); you can even take the time to write an old-fashioned letter if you want. Once you've settled in to your new home, however, be sure to get out and start expanding your circle; you never know when you may need a social safety net for anything from a cup of sugar, to a last minute sitter, to a shoulder to cry on when something goes wrong. The MFRC is there for you too, from supporting you in finding your next job to supporting your mental health. Reach out to them before, during, and after your move.
The moving process can, unfortunately, be complicated, so be sure to read up on the most current information on entitlements and procedures, know the steps that you need to take for your family's HHT, move, and finalization of the process. Talk to the BGRS advisor and ask questions, especially when something isn't clear. The CAF Relocation Program has been (and is) going through significant changes over the last few months, so there it makes sense to check and double check, even if these moves are "old hat" to you and yours.
Posting season can be scary, it can be disruptive, it can be frustrating; but it can also be the greatest adventure your family can have. Make it the best experience you can, and don't forget to ask for, and accept, the help that is all around you. You can't do it alone, even when you are...
The Stength Behind the Uniform