Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Joys and Trials Of Military Housing

Okay. So, the truth. I would have rather pulled teeth than return to military housing.

I obviously have pride issues that God wanted to work on.

So, our house didn't sell and we were forced back into military housing for the utilities break we get. Oh, you didn't think the rent was actually better than civilian did you? No no. It's uglier than ugly...but it pretty much costs the same. The biggest saving are in the government rate on electricity and gas and the free water and trash. Only a few hundred dollars, but when you are paying mortgage plus rent plus 2 electric plus an extra water bill. Well. We couldn't do better in a comparable neighborhood.

Shall we?

Joy #1
You have built in playmates. As you must qualify for the size house you are in, you are pretty much guarnteed a whole neighborhood of playmates. Right now we are in a 4 bedroom home. This is what our block is made up of. This means everyone has AT LEAST three kids. Younger and same sex kids can be made to share a room so there could be more.

Now. This does not mean the kids make friends quickly. Our last house we had someone knocking on the door to meet Songbird within hours. But then she was the only other teen in the neighborhood. The native was EXCITED to see another teen. Not so much here. The kids see them come and go so much that there is not a big rush to meet the new kid. Makes me sad for Songbird.

Horror #1
Due to the extreme amount of kids, our nieghborhood is a scary place to be. Kids play in the street all the time. There is always kid noise. ALWAYS. There are kid tricks....like flipping all of our gas caps open each night/morning. (The mister is foaming at the mouth to get his hands on that kid.) Then, there is the bus stop in the mornings. And I'm just talking lower elementary. There are 5 buses that go through here and I'm just talking about one. OVERFLOWING with children. The 3 base stops literally overfill the bus. I'm not happy about how they cram 3 kids in each seat...and its not even the buses that have the little bit larger seats. They are the small seats. Mighty Mouse has ended up in the floor in the isle more than once over this overcrowding and being bounced out of the seat. Not happy. I don't believe for a second they are within the legal limit of capacity. This just might become an issue soon.

So we have been lectured twice by said bus driver. First time it was to tell us "You base stops" (uh oh....that brought the hair up on my neck) have too many kids at the bus stop and nearly give me a nervous breakdown. Keep the non-bus riders all the way back in the grass.... Ok, see above about how you qualify to be in this neighborhood. Should the babies be left alone in the houses as the mommies are required to be at the bus stops?? Hmmm?? And should a bus driver utter the words "nervous breakdown" while driving my precious cargo??

Second lecture is about our kids behavior. You know them base stops. Seems they have problems staying in their seats. Yes? See above. Of course this time they aren't giving her a nervous breakdown. This time it is heart attacks. And should a bus driver utter the words "give me 3 heart attacks this week" while driving my precious cargo?? (I must add here that when we got the noise complaint a parent turned to me and said "Well we know it wasn't your daughter! She don't say nothing!" Yes, one full week at the bus stop and they've noticed.)

Joy #2
Military men LOVE their dogs. We don't have to worry about our dog annoying anyone because almost EVERY SINGLE HOUSE has a dog.

Horror #2
Military men have big ego's......and BIG dogs. This means there are always huge dogs running around in their yards barking their very loud and BIG barks ALL DAY LONG...and into the night. Our next door neighbor has a Newfoundland (who is NOT one of the annoying dogs). It's so very huge.

Joy #3
If you have a problem with a nieghbor or their kid, you can do something about it. No really. You call the SP's and they get in trouble. Not like calling the cops and that's it. You can literally cost someone their career or have their kid removed. Seriously. This means you don't have many nieghbor problems....cause you can get them stopped.

Horror #3
Due to the nature of mom or dad being away so much, you will have angry teens that do bad things just to hurt their parents. The easiest way to mess with a parent is to get them in trouble with their commander. All it takes is doing something bad in the neighborhood. So, unfortunatley there are times in life where you have to be the one that brings that to a head. This is sad on all levels. I watched my cousin do this also when we were teens.

Joy #4
Nobody, but nobody, understands what it is like to be in your shoes like other military spouses. There is so much you can leave unsaid and they still GET IT. This can make for some of the strongest, most supportive friendships you have ever seen.

Horror #4
Due to the close nature of the community everybody knows everybody's business. This can cause serious issues. If you are the type of person that never spanks a child and you live next door to someone that does....well, lets just say you could make a phone call and ruin a life pretty quick. And I'm not talking abuse. I've seen military wives do this kind of thing to each other out of spite and it is UGLY. Plus, I don't necessarily WANT to be surrounded by other people that have been left behind while spouse is sent off yet again. Its friggin' depressing!

Joy #5
We are patrolled by SP's several times a day. Doesn't keep the neighborhood kids from causing problems, but does keep strangers out of our neighborhoods. This makes our neighborhood fairly safe for our kids. It's a little extra security. Our neighborhood in Texas didn't have enough cops in the area and it was starting to be a problem.

Horror #5
Due to the security and maintenance, we are micromanaged on lawn care and height, extra vehicles/trailers/boats/campers and just about anything else you can imagine. This does keep the neighborhood nice looking....but when you go on vacation or have a deployed husband it can complicate things.

Joy #6
Talk about a community of stay-at-home moms. No need to explain yourself in a base neighborhood. The numbers are usually pretty even on the working moms are outnumbered. What do you do is not the first question you are asked in a new situation.

Horror #6
Being a stay-at-home mom does not make you a good parent. You see way too many moms that don't keep themselves busy at something so they become busy bodies and hurtful to others in order to entertain themselves. The concentration is larger than you see in a normal neighborhood. You see way too many kids that aren't parented even though mom is home.

Oh, I could go on, but I won't do that to ya'll. This is long enough as it is. I just needed the opportunity to put down in writing what is GOOD about living in this house. I've got two years on this lease so I need to get happy about it! LOL!

Hoping all my friends live in diverse neighborhoods with all ages of adults and children. I do miss having the grandparent aged families around!


  1. In the last year, my building has changed to the single mom building. No lie. Some are good. Some are bad. But we all get what it is like to be the only parent all the time. So, to a small degree I guess I see some of what you are saying. Great job looking for the good! Too bad there is so much bad to counterbalance it! Miss you.

  2. I have been enjoying your posts! Just not a lot of time to comment...

    We miss you and MM very much!

  3. I don't mean to laugh but this post made me giggle, we live on base as you know and everything you said was right on point LOL

  4. I don't miss base housing, except for the built in "people who understand". Luckily for me, the last two neighborhoods we have lived in were about half military, even though they were not base housing. That is thing about living close to base - most the people are military anyway!

  5. oh you absolutely nailed base housing! We can't imagine living on base again, but sometimes miss some things.

    Then again.... nah, we don't miss anything LOL