This post is sponsored by The Breastfeeding Shop
Everything was smooth as silk. I had a great group of solid friends, a fun workout routine, and I finally felt settled. Of course it was time to PCS! Which meant that I needed to leave my parenting tribe behind, too. Getting to the next place, I knew no one. It was a completely new world and system. I felt lost and alone.
Finding Your Parent Tribe Post-PCS
It takes a village to raise a child, or so they say. I think most of that village is really there to support the parents. For military families, it’s important to jump right into building up your parent tribe as soon as possible post-PCS.
Use these easy tips to make finding your next group of mom-and-dad buddies easier!
As you are house hunting, it can pay to do some light recon before you decide on a place. Drive around the neighborhood and keep a sharp eye out for signs of children. That’s exactly what we did on our last move.
We didn’t have a lot of options, but the deciding factors for us were signs of toddlers and preschoolers on the cul de sac. You should look for toys that seem like they match your child’s general interests.
Scouting our potential neighborhoods paid off for us big time. There are four kids who have birthdays within a year of our oldest child!
Finding potential neighborhood playmates for your child can help create a built-in group of parent friends, too.
Moving into a neighborhood with kids doesn’t guarantee immediate friendships. You’ve got to put yourself out there!
Military families are usually pretty good about making new families feel welcome. If someone shows up with a welcome treat, make sure you get their name and contact information. It could be handy for setting up playdates later.
If you see neighbors in passing, greet them warmly and explain that you’ve just moved in. You could even ask about where all the kids play nearby or about meeting outside after school.
Connecting with our new neighbors was crucial when I came down with a nasty bug. They were happy to step in and host playdates for my child while I recovered!
Find Your Groups
Whether you live on or off base, finding a few groups can be crucial to your sanity and parenting support network. Luckily, there are tons of great communities covering many interest areas. You just need to find them!
Use your group(s) from your current duty station to build connections in your next hometown. Many communities have a presence across locations, and sometimes between service branches.
Another option is to join the spouse or family social media pages for your next duty station. You could post a question about group(s) in your interest area(s).
Whatever your interest, there is sure to be at least one great group or community ready to welcome you with open arms!
When it clicks, it just clicks. You don’t need to walk away from your current parent tribe just because of a PCS.
With social media and the endless ways to connect online, you can practically take all your best friends with you. And you never know, they might just end up living right next door at a future duty station.
How do you build your parent tribe post-PCS? Share your tips and tricks in the comments!
Meg Flanagan, the author, is a busy military spouse and mother of two young children.