I ended up not going to get a free Christmas tree from base yesterday. I was all ready: Eric had even switched out the car seat for me the night before, so I could take the truck. I thought that I’d drive right up and the baby would be able to wait in the truck while I grabbed my tree. But this morning my husband called me to say the line was crazy, and it was still an hour before the event began! It was also raining out. I wouldn’t be able to park anywhere nearby and my stroller doesn't have an awning. I didn't want my daughter to get soaked for a Christmas tree. Actually, after Eric’s first call, I was going to go anyway. But then he called back and told me that he found out about a place that sells trees for a good price. Oh well.
Another thing I’ve been waiting for: About a month ago, I called the Financial Readiness and Assistance Department at my husband’s base to find out what services were available. Come to find out I can get “Financial Counseling and Debt Liquidation Services,” but I have to attend a group intake session before they’ll set me up with an individual counselor. That session is offered once a week, at 8:15 a.m., and I’m not allowed to take my 18-month-old with me. So I set out to find child care, but this is extremely difficult when you don't know anyone in the area, the need for care is at 7:15 a.m., and your husband’s schedule does not allow for any flexibility in hours.
I thought that when my husband and I were reunited, things would be easier for me: I’d have the services of the base and hands-on help with my daughter. But that hasn’t been the case. It’s actually been more difficult. My husband is not in the position to call in to work so his wife can go to an intake. Most of the time, it’s like I’m still caring for my daughter by myself. This is the sacrifice a military family makes. It is not just my family, but most military families.
There is a childcare service on base, so I called them. They informed me that I had to register my child in advance, and provide her medical records. So I called my daughter’s pediatrician, and they said that I needed to request the records in writing. That was over three weeks ago and I still haven’t received them.
For now, I am at the mercy of my circumstances and I am waiting for the medical records or childcare. I’ve also left a message for the manager of the program regarding the possibility of an exception regarding standard protocol and rules. But I estimate that I won’t be able to get to an intake until the end of December or at worst beginning of January.