Why Do Many Military Families Move During The Summer

PCSing during the summer
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PCSing season for many military families

PCS season is here!  If you live anywhere near a military base, you see trucks with crates moving about almost daily.  Summer is a busy PCS time for military families all around the world.  Why do military families love PCSing during the summer?

School is out!  It’s easier to transfer children during the summer months than smack dab in the middle of the school year or even worse, other times of the school year.  We’ve done two mid-year moves.  When we left Japan to Maryland, we moved right before Christmas, and when we moved from Maryland to Hawaii, we moved the day after Christmas.  Both turned out well for our girls, but it was hectic, and we were a bit nervous for them.

We arrived in Maryland jetlagged and culture shocked.  I mean, coming back to America and realizing the lack of customer service met us immediately at the airport.  I remember turning to my husband asking if we could go back to Japan.

We arrived at our hotel, got the kids and dogs settled and everyone went fast to sleep.  The next day we picked up our keys to our home and headed off to register the kids for school.  That’s right!  They started school two days after we arrived.  I had them start their new school on a Friday, one week before Christmas break.  This was my evaluation of their transition.

Two years later, we had to move to Hawaii with a departure of December 26.  The kids started school the 2nd and 3rd days back from winter break.  They were unable to start the first day back due to the school completing student information for them.

As their mother, I was nervous for them.  Our kids are tweens and teens. They aren’t little ones.  Kids have their clicks at this age, and I didn’t know where mine would fit in.  There was that fear for sure.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  That fear doesn’t go away with PCSing during the summer either.  However, a summer move does give the kids an opportunity to meet other kids their age in the neighborhood, events or at church.  It also gives you time as the parent to peep out other parents in your new neighborhood.  Yo, it’s ok for you do not become friends with your kids’ friend’s parents.  Trust me, as your child gets older and make their own friends, you may not mesh with their mom, or you may become great friends with the mom, but your kids do not get along.  It’s all good, I promise.

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We are PCSing during the summer and so happy to be back on a summer PCS rotation; not necessarily thrilled about leaving Hawaii(the kids are though). It will allow the girls an opportunity to decorate their rooms the way they want vs. me trying to hurry and have their space functional for them (yeah, it was never completed).

They will also have the opportunity to have some significant downtime vs. moving and immediately starting a new school with emotions running high.  Those emotions are more than just knowing they are going to a new school.  These are emotions from a home being packed up, moving to a new location, still trying to find that one special notebook or pencil that was packed, wanting to chat with old friends, wanting to make a new friend, wondering if anyone will say hi, adjusting to time zones, adjusting to language barriers, etc.

Another reason we love PCSing during the summer is not missing holidays.  During both of our Christmas moves, our things were already packed and en route to our next duty station.  We make it work, but we also want our home to be festive.

PCSing during the summer also allows for visiting family.  Yes, we make a vacation out of our moves.

So, as you see the trucks moving to and fro along the highway or in your neighborhood, know that a family totally flipped their wig trying to get things ready for the movers.  Maybe some tears because a little one had to leave a friend.  A mom (husband if the wife is active duty) cried tears of joys and sadness after leaving some crazies and saying see you later to friends.  A dad (woman if she active duty) trying to tune everyone out because everything that went wrong with the move is or will be his fault.  Yes, I blame DadJonz for ALL the mishaps, no matter what they are.

If you are military yourself, you already know these feelings, so be sure to remember as you get new neighbors….. Regardless if you’re active duty or not, if you see that truck with many crates pull up and out of state license plates, go out and introduce yourself and say hi.  Don’t linger unless you’re going to help.  Yo, we don’t have time to chat all day when those crates arrive.  But do offer a smile, we don’t bite.  And we do want to make friends.  Give us a few days to crack open those boxes and get our homes in order.  Then invite us over for a cold refreshing drink.

How many moves have you made?  Are you military?  Do share. We want to know.  And share a tip or two for sanity sake.  Stay tuned and follow me on my social media platforms for more stories about our move.

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  1. This is awesome information. I don’t know how I would handle so many as a teenager!

    1. They learn to go with the flow for sure.

  2. Interesting. I had no idea what PSCing was and that this was something that military families face. It’s cool that you offer a space especially for them.

    1. Yep. We PCS every couple of years. I love the change for sure.

  3. PCSing can be tough, but I prefer to move in the off season. Everyone and they mama moves during the summer and since I homeschool moving out of cycle works out for us. Planes aren’t crowded and with two preschoolers, that’s a blessing. LOL Best of luck at your new duty station! 🙂

    1. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAAHAHA… you said everyone and their mama. ROFL But you are so right.

  4. I’m not in the military, but I am an expat in Europe. I refer to summer as exodus season, because so many people move over the summer. School is usually the main reason why they choose this time.

    1. Summer moves help with the school transition for sure. And it gives me a moment to exhale and adjust to our new location. But as a military family, we roll with it.

  5. Well yoi taught me what PCSing was. Safe travels and may you arrive to your next destination safely. I have moved twice. Once from my hometown of Baltimore ,MD to Miami at the age of 23 with my then boyfriend,now husband. It was 1996..we just packed up oir cars, pit it on the auto train amd started oir adventure of life together. We then moved to NC , just 3 yrs ago. Definitely different as this time we were moving with a 3 1/2 yr old with us. We still had a light hearted attitude of us going off to a new adventure. I would imagine if we were to move again it would be stressful as our kid is in elementary school and getting used to her routine. But I tell her home is wherever we are. As long as we are together, we could live anywhere.

    1. Thank you Leslie. You are so right, home is where ever we are too. You will see a lot of military families with signs reading…Home is where the heart is.

  6. Thanks for sharing this info. I admire you military families. The service and the daily sacrifices you all make for us is appreciated. I can barely stand moving ever again and you all do it so often.

  7. Thank you for this. I had no idea what this was or meant. I have always wondered how military families moved around when required and its effect on kids.

    1. Each family is different for sure. Now that our kids are getting older we try to consider the school year for them. It works sometimes and sometimes it doesn’t. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. But the girls are pretty use to it.

  8. It all makes sense! My military neighbors just moved and I’m pretty sad about it.

  9. I had no idea. I learned something new today. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. I will be honest it seems like moving and being apart of a military family can be stressful. I know its part of the lifestyle but I think it is good to move in the summer because it gives a fresh start to a new school season.

  11. I had never even heard of that term but I cant imagine having to move so often. I hate moving with a passion so kudos to you

  12. What does PCS stand for? My aunt was married to someone in the military and they were stationed in Germany but I dont remember them moving that frequently. I love to travel, not sure I would enjoy the moves so much as a child. How do your children cope with the constant moving?

    1. PCS – permanent change of station. The kids enjoy it. We sort of look at it as an adventure and an opportunity to see the world and meet new people.

  13. I must admit during our military life I definitely preferred the summer for PCS moves. It was less hassle and we were able to turn it into a summer vacation adventure.

    1. Yes, that’s us too.

  14. Summer it’s just overall better, like you said, school’s over for the semester, better weather, more time in your hands, just better hands down.

  15. Amazing post! You look great. Looking forward to keep reading more about your adventures.

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