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Thread: Defence Force Families

  1. #109

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    I ditto MD too. In the end it comes down to it being a part of the job and while its horrible to think of it happening and heartbreaking for the families its a fact of military life. I think we've been fortunate that its only 9 soldiers, a majority of whom werent actually killed by enemy fire but combat accidents (2 of who my Dh and I knew personally). The US has lost thousands of soldiers but even then when you compare it to the gross number of military employed its still not an alarming number of deaths statistically. Its definately a testament to the superior training our soldiers get that we havent lost more. My stomach always sinks when I hear of another death, esp infantry soldiers, wondering if it is another one of Dhs former workmates or a friends husband Im so glad Dh changed from infantry to trade, and is adamant about not volunteering for deployment because he has us to think of (and he doesnt think is worth it anymore but thats a whole other long-serving soldier rant lol) Still he works a position where he could get severely injured or killed in a workshop-related accident so the worry never ever stops no matter what he's doing.


  2. #110

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    Anna - I am actually finding that DH is at less risk in his trade job in the defence than he was in his civillian trade job - They were pretty dodgy though.

    Shauna - My girls are absolutely Daddy's Girls. DH is currently on his IET's and has come home for the halfway point, which I think helped, it reminded them of who daddy is. If we could afford it I probably would have gone back to my family, but only for my health with pg issues. I think that when the are deployed there is a bit more availability to webcam and things like that than when they are in the country on training (my mobile bill is huge at the moment ). We have pictures of all of us up around the house, and often the girls will point to them and say 'Daddy'. When they ask for daddy I tell them 'Daddy's at work darling' He will be home just after DD1's birthday, so at the moment when someone asks her when he will be home, she says 'afa my pirstay' So she knows that she will have a cake and not long after that he will be home. Giving them an end date in relation to something they find to be quite soothing, like a celebration is helpful, so if there is a birthday around the time he will be home, they have the association of it being very special, and a better birthday.

    They tend to understand more than they let on, so just continuing as if it's normal (avoiding showing that you are extra stressed ect.) is more likely to help them to adjust to DH being away. They do pick up on how we are feeling, so make sure you use your support networks and I think they will be fine.

    I got a letter from DH's new battalion CO today (addressed to me personally, not just Mrs S). They want to do more family focussed events within the battalion. Silly thing is that the date they wanted the forms for what ideas we have to do with family events was Friday just gone . They have an activity for sposes planned for 2/4 and I would love to go, but I still don't have my security card to get onto the base . Might have to give them a call and find out what I can do about that, cos I would like to be able to go to the playgroups on the base too.

  3. #111

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    Alioops, Thankyou, Yeh it would be costly but thankfuly if DH is away for more than 6mth DCO will move me but i am really unsure still.... As for getting on base without a pass...if you know someone else going they can sign you on..even just a spouse or i think last week at playgroup one of the mums just had her name up at the front guard room and got a pass....if they arent sure they can always call through etc...

    I do have to keep reminding myself that the boys will be older and they will understand but man its hard to think in advance seeming the now is so painful with these boys but i will survive :0)

    Thanks again

  4. #112

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    I called the duty room to find out what they are doing, they plan on having a van at the gate to get eveyone past security, I also asked about a creche and he said they are trying to organise something, they already know I am having health issues and want make sure all of us know what supports are available so they are keen to get everyone there. He said there have been a few changes since the letter got posted out so lets hope I receive the update letter before the event

    Shauna - If you don't mind me asking - Where are you posted to at the moment? I can't remember if you already posted that, and I cant scroll far enough while I write a reply.

  5. #113

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    When we were posted to Darwin a lot of the women whose DH's got sent to East Timor (this was 99) went down south for the duration. I taught at a school where there were a lot of military kids and it was really disruptive to them to move. I found the other wives were really supportive and understood what each other were going through. (Sorry to butt in when I am not defence anymore just my 2c worth LOL)

  6. #114

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    Soory Alioops i am in Townsville i would forget my head if it wasnt screwed on...

    MrsMac, my kids arent school age but do attend daycare etc and playgroups and i figured upheaving to perth for that long would still be very disruptive..just really wondered if anyone had used the entitlement and if and how they found it..I would love to be with my mum and friends but the reality is they would be at work all day etc so i am figuring i may as well stay here maybe go home for a few weeks....

  7. #115

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    Shauna - we will have to meet up then. In June I might be a bit busy this year but I am available if you need some sanity most of the time.

  8. #116

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    Hi girls, just thought I'd pop in and see what's going on..

    Shauna, as you know, my hubby was gone for 4mths to Timor, having just got back in Feb. The one thing I think I'd definately do next deployment is the video. Have him read bed time stories and also before he goes video tape him playing w your little people, I think that's really important esp w the age they will be. Also, photo's maybe do a wall on each of your little people's rooms of them w daddy & the family...

    In regards to going home, when I went home for a 6 wls (Matilda was only 4mths), it was good but I missed the support that I had here and I also found that people could take a day or two off but as I was there for 6 wk it meant spending a lot of time on my own at the end during the day. Maybe if you do go you could find a playgroup etc so you have things to do when others are at work. I also think for my little people this deployment he just got back, I didn't go because I thought it's important for the little people's lives to be disrupted as little as poss. Can family & friends visit at different times to help out.
    Anyhoo, hope this helps and we are always here for a catch up, and happy to help anyway that I can

  9. #117

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    Thanks alioops we will definately have to catch up..and cayce i will be in touch

  10. #118

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    Meant to chat to you about it today Shauna -

    Would you go home to Perth? Personally, I probably wouldnt with just J and R BUT if he was deployed when I had River as well and under 12mths old I might consider it (I would go home to Perth too). Honestly Im not sure it wouldnt adversely affect the boys being uprooted from what they know on top of Ryan being gone..........its a tough choice and you know us girls will be there for you 110% but if moving home would help you cope better then you do what you have to.

  11. #119

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    Hi Girls, Im going to the round table conference w Minister Snowdon in relation to the big picture of families in the defence force and was wondering if there was anything anyone wanted me to bring up if your not going yourself?
    I'm interested in any issues you have and constructive idea's which could help address those issues...
    My email address is:
    [email protected]
    Cheers

  12. #120

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    Yes Please! Can you please remind Mr Snowdon that there has been NO STUDIES on the mental health of defence spouses/families since World War 2 - even though anecdotally Defence wives are overrepresented in needing help from Post-Natal Depression organisations. Please remind him too that DCO is often unable to help families unless they are in acute crises, and that in many locations they do not provide ANY counselling OR programs for children who are struggling to cope with an absent parent and the stress-issues involved when they finally return.

  13. #121

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    [QUOTE=Marydean;1728650] even though anecdotally Defence wives are overrepresented in needing help from Post-Natal Depression organisations.

    Quick question - Where are you obtaining this information from? if there have been no studies? Are you able to provide a source?

    I have been looking for studies on various area's of miliatry life and have come across a lot of studies from the USA, and a number of Australian studies, although haven't found anything specifically regarding spouse mental health.

    Look forward to more info, the more I have the better the case

  14. #122

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    Maybe something about DHA and the amount of space in the rooms they expect little kids to share, the beds only fit a certain way, and when they are close in age it becomes hazardous for young children (ie. 1 in a cot another in a bed, the one in the bed climbs into the cot and smothers the baby) We can only fit the beds in an L shape, and that puts 1 of them under the window and the blinds which is also a strangulation hazard.

  15. #123

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    That's just from talking anecdotally to people who volunteer for organisations like PANDSII.

    The point is - no one ACTUALLY knows because no comprehensive Australian cohort study has been done. But it doesn't take much asking around - or time spent on online defence family forums - to realise and awful lot of women are -or have been - on antidepressants. Often it's related to separations that occur outside of the deployment-model (long courses, training, time spent out bush).

    Even DCO has never collected any statistics about it!!! They're supposed to be our number one port of call.

  16. #124

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    Hello fellow defence mummies, how are we all...does anyone have a partner deployed atm...My DH has been gone for almost 6wks now and i think the penny has finally dropped with the 2 boys, they have had enough and want their daddy, which is really disheartening at times. Every plane that flys over head DS1 yells 'bye daddy see you soon!!' and DS2 now just has the worst behaviour out of no where..Another thing he may only be 2.5yrs but DS1 whenever something doesnt go his way manages to throw the 'i want daddy' at me or he will ask 'mummy where is daddy' i reply at work, and oh my its like world war 3 has just errupted.
    I must say though, i have not called DCO back but i got home from shopping yesterday and they had called to check in on me and the boys while DH was away which i thought was really lovely so i have to call back tuesday and get all the info from her.
    My boys basically reduced me to tears yesterday while we were grocery shopping they were just so feral, screaming the whole time i was so embarrassed, i know that is just a typical kid thing but its hightened by dad not being around.

    Anyway would love to chat to you all more shauna

  17. #125

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    Shauna, I think the 5-6 week mark is when it really hit our household as well. My DD was much older (school age) but even she went through a very rough patch - it was like she was grieving for DH not being there. I sooo wish there was more support for the kids - but because of where we were there wasn't *any* deployment support at all. Make sure you ring the DCO lady back - find out what's on and make the effort to go along to deployment functions...you might even click with some of the other families there.

    The other thing you might like to consider (and I'm only suggesting this because it was my main coping strategy) is putting your boys in child care or family day care - either for a couple of sessions a week (if they don't go at all) or for a couple of extra sessions (if they already go) - then schedule those jobs you find hard with the boys there (ie grocery shopping, cooking up a big batch of freezer dinners, doing the paper work etc) while they are in care. It then means you can spend more quality time doing things you will all enjoy when you are not stressed about trying to get stuff done, kwim?

    It aint an easy time.

  18. #126

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    Quote Originally Posted by shauna83 View Post
    I must say though, i have not called DCO back but i got home from shopping yesterday and they had called to check in on me and the boys while DH was away which i thought was really lovely so i have to call back tuesday and get all the info from her.
    It wasn't Alison was it? She was our case worker with my pelvis issues and was really helpful, as much as they could do was done. I like her.

    DH was meant to be going on course next weekend but will be taking his paternity leave and managed to get course postponed until Feb. He can't deploy until he has finished his course.

    When DH was away on course before it hit at 2 weeks, and by 5 weeks I was ready to do something drastic, don't know whether that was more to do with my pain and not being able to do much or kid overload. You are welcome to pop around any time though if you want adult contact!!

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