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How Do I Help My Kids Adjust To Life After the Army? (long)

Posted by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM
  • 72 Replies

I have a feeling this is going to get some bashing. Please don't be an asshole and just give me some advice. :)

Whew. So, my husband spent 8 years in the Army. Last November he was medically retired so we moved from our station at West Point, NY to my hometown in the Florida panhandle.

We were staying with my Mom on a temporary basis while we looked for a house and hubby looked for a job. This is a really small "redneck" area and it took him from Nov. to June to find a job. He was a journalist for the Army. He couldn't find a job in his field so he took a job at a store in the mall doing retail. Anyway, so we ended up staying with my parents all this time because he has not found a good paying job.The house we are staying in is tiny. It has bugs (my Mom says because it's Florida). It's not pleasant.

Hubby is also in school full time. He'll graduate in Dec. '13 with a BA in Public Relations. We hope to move back up North as soon as possible when he graduates.

We have a 9 (10 in October) year old son and a 5 year old son. They are really having a hard time adjusting to the changes. To be honest, so am I. Hubby only retired at 30% so he is not getting very much in retirement pay and obviously his part time mall job isn't giving us very much money.

When we were in the Army we had a huge house we paid no money for - not even utilities. We had lots of extra money each month and the kids had very nice things. We lived on base so the neighborhood was safe and they played outside a lot and children were everywhere to be their friends.

Now we live in a neighborhood with no kids at all. We are finally going to get our own place starting in September and it's in a very bad part of town. It's all we can afford. The kids will not be allowed to go outside. It's very very small. It's seriously like a cinder block shack. It's so depressing. My kids miss having kids to play with.

My older son really wanted a specific pair of shoes for school and I couldn't afford to get them. He is used to getting to pick out what he wants. Not that we buy him lots of stuff like this all year round but he is used to picking out his style of school clothes/shoes.

Now it's almost his birthday and he came to me and said "I want an Ipod touch for my birthday Mom". There is no way I'll be able to afford that - he's used to getting one or two nice presents though - and a party. Before it was no problem. How do I make him understand now he'll be lucky to get $50 for his birthday?

The Christmas post in this group is what got me thinking about this - I see no way that we will be able to do Christmas this year. Also my kids are used to going to Walt Disney World each Christmas and obviously that cannot happen. :/

How do I help my kid's adjust? And NO I cannot work. First of all for medical reasons and second because I would have no childcare. Me working is not an option.

by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM
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Replies (1-10):
PepperWillow
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:41 PM
1 mom liked this

bump

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:45 PM
1 mom liked this
Teach them what money is and that hard times but things will get better will just take time. Not to ne rude but your child is 5 why is he not in school?
Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:46 PM
this is why you should have saved during the times you had money. You gotta be honest with your son and dont worry about hurting their feelings bc there isnt shit you cando about it. they have what they need and what matters
PepperWillow
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:47 PM

He just turned 5. His school hasn't started yet.

Quoting Anonymous:

Teach them what money is and that hard times but things will get better will just take time. Not to ne rude but your child is 5 why is he not in school?


Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:48 PM
If you medically can't work, why can't you get disability? There is other ways to make money. Just try.
PepperWillow
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:49 PM

No, we did save. We were able to pay off most of our debt in the last few months. You have to remember I said we got out of the Army in Nov. and he didn't find a job until June. Our savings is what we lived on.

Quoting Anonymous:

this is why you should have saved during the times you had money. You gotta be honest with your son and dont worry about hurting their feelings bc there isnt shit you cando about it. they have what they need and what matters


PepperWillow
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:50 PM

I know. I'm working on it but it takes time to get. I just moved to this state so I have to start all paperwork fresh and I have new doctors now.

Quoting Anonymous:

If you medically can't work, why can't you get disability? There is other ways to make money. Just try.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:51 PM
I make very little have five kids, a mortgage and utilities and still managed to save a little each month and get my son an iPod. How much do you take home with dh job and army pay?
NumbaHumbaVII
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:53 PM
1 mom liked this
There really isn't an answer for this. The adjustment will come on its own and your kids will EVENTUALLY come to terms with it. Sit your son down and gently explain how although you understand it's difficult, there isn't much you or your husband can do in regards to certain extravagant gift ideas. After that, he has to learn to cope.
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PepperWillow
by on Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:53 PM

About $1300 a month. $700 from retirement and about $300 every two weeks from the job. He just got the job a couple months ago.

Quoting Anonymous:

I make very little have five kids, a mortgage and utilities and still managed to save a little each month and get my son an iPod. How much do you take home with dh job and army pay?


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