My Mommyology

Learning from Motherhood.

#TrailingSpouseStories: The Trailing Spouse Twilight Zone


Welcome to the very last #TrailingSpouseStories blog crawl. This last time, we all give our final words about the entire trailing spouse journey.   Scroll down to view the other Trailing Spouse’s stories.  I dedicate this post to a member of my extended family, who is, was and will again be — the ultimate Trailing Spouse!  You know who you are! 😉


The last few months have been a little crazy, to say the least.  I feel like I’ve been swallowed up in some parallel “trailing spouse” universe and suddenly my time isn’t my own.  Well, it is, isn’t it (But then again with two kids, it never really was, right?) 😉  Hence, the trailing spouse’s version of a twilight zone.

I started this trailing spouse journey in 2008, and there began the self-taught lessons of surviving home away from home and parenting away from home.  You’d think that seven years later, someone like me would’ve gotten the hang of it already.

Apparently not!

In the last few months, I’ve learned and experienced some things I’d never experienced in my trailing spouse life.

A big part of it is the shift from becoming perennial renters, to home owners.  It was a big, long, drawn-out, time-consuming decision and process, but strangely enough, it’s moving forward.  From the paperwork to Escrow (say what?!) and all the concerns in between, it made me realize that I didn’t know all that much about building a home away from home after all.

Case in point. Eh-what?!

Case in point. Eh-what?!

I missed the comfort of having the suki’s to call, or people who knew who to call, and the quality custom furniture from Two Tots.  I feel like all I’ve done is crowd source every step of the way.  Thankfully, my friends here have not disowned me yet from all my questions and requests for referrals.

Suddenly, my husband and I are on dates to furniture stores, or paint shops, and appliance centers.  It’s interesting to see how different our tastes are, and how we manage to agree on things after hours and sleepless nights on end.

One of many decision points. Hayayay! (Which would you choose?)

One of many decision points. Hayayay! (Which would you choose?)


Somehow, what I said the minute we walked in the store suddenly makes sense to him three hours later — after a whole process of discussion and back and forth “what ifs” and options.  I tell ya, I’m thankful for my Mindprint scans, and Coach Pia’s Discover Your Core Weekend, as these are what’s getting me through it all.  But really, this exercise in putting a home together should be a prerequisite to marriage next to the Pre-CANA.

On the bright side, the house looks like it’s coming together nicely, and from what I’ve seen, it’s every bit of what I imagined my house would be (at least I know I have good taste. ;)).

I am quite excited for this kitchen!

I am quite excited for this kitchen!

This home snowballed into so many other changes, such as a new school for Sam.  You’d think — she just moved into that other school last year right?!  But, such is the way the school district works.  We tried to find a school in our current area, but there just wasn’t any on the market.  This little girl of mine has changed schools approximately 5 times in 7 years.  I know kids are resilient — and Sam puts up a smile and makes all the friends — but I don’t think any more movement should test just how resilient she is.  Somehow, we need to start planting these roots.  It’s all the more   And I feel the pressure to try to keep things as normal and as familiar as possible.

Typical of her, she gets an award after one week in a new school. And yes, I still worry about her.

Typical of her, she gets an award after one week in a new school. And yes, I still worry about her.

Now with all of this going on, our morning drive to two schools takes up a whole hour (we’re living in the new house yet so I still have to drive a way, on top of the extra early hour I need to get their breakfast and lunches ready), and by the time I get back home, I’m spent.  My husband says I should go back to sleep, but with the adrenaline rush and the hustle it requires to get them out of bed, into their clothes and into the car EVERY. SINGLE. MORNING. —  I ask, how can you really?!

And somewhere in between, our water got shut off the whole day without prior notice, I got pulled over (and had to contest my ticket!), summoned for Jury Duty (which I also had to decline), rear-ended and sandwiched between two cars, and at the end of it all, I had to wait until my husband was home and the kids were in bed before I could drive myself to the E.R. to get myself checked out.  I think the last bit took the cake for me — where I was thankfully I wasn’t more hurt, but at the same time, I couldn’t believe the entire situation.  All I need were some medium-strength pills, and I was able to function again.

I had to negotiate the medication too, because the doctor was giving me an extra strength tablet but said that I wouldn’t be able to drive for a while.  I surprised even myself when I didn’t hesitate and said I couldn’t have that.  I needed something else that would keep me to be mobile.  The kids after all have to be brought to school (among other things!).  Life couldn’t stop because I was “injured”.  Trust me when I say it’s not about self-pity, it was just the natural inclination — to make sure everything runs like clockwork.  It’s funny what an independent autonomous life does away from the usual family support and household help.  Coddled, lucky or driven to survive?  The perspective shifts.

Yes, Mercury was in retrograde for me for quite a while.

Except, because I was on medication, I couldn't have wine. Go figure.

Except, because I was on medication, I couldn’t have wine. Go figure.

And with all of that going on and more, that one statement still rings true:  that the only thing constant in life is change.  And this whole journey as a trailing spouse just forces you into adulthood, and continues to push the boundaries of your comfort zone.  There may never be a dull moment, but there’s always a new one.  The last few months have proven just that.  There is some normalcy to the day-to-day routines, and yet there is none.  It’s never really “bad”, it’s always just new, and unfamiliar.  And don’t get me wrong, there’s always a lot of good mixed in there too.

One thing’s for sure, the trailing spouse life is never boring.  It’s always full of a wide range of emotions and experiences.

Hopefully when all of the above is settled and chalked up to things of the past, there will be more light at the end of the tunnel, greener grass to play on, and more z’s for this tired mother.


Clara of The Expat Partner’s Survival Guide shares how she Returns Back to Trailing Spouse-dom in the move from the UK to South Africa.

Tala of Tala Ocampo takes a look back into finding her tribe through The year of #TrailingSpouseStories.

Didi of D for Delicious tells more about The Happy Ending of the Trailing Spouse Fairy Tale.

Yuliya of Tiny Expats shares why the trailing spouse life is a challenge and Why It’s Great to Share Stories with Fellow Trailing Spouses.

Liz of Secrets of a Trailing Spouse reflects as her Time as a Trailing Spouse Comes to an End.

Author: mymommyology

I am the mom that I am because of my two wonderful little girls. They teach me everyday.


  1. This is so true! When you don’t have your normal support networks, you have to dig deep inside yourself instead. Our mornings are also pretty hellish – two suncreamed children, two packd lunches, a swim kit, a football kit – all out the door by 6.45am every morning, The only saving grace is they go on the school bus so I don’t have to get dressed too!

  2. Two words: Buhay America!

    You had to just drive yourself to the ER AFTER everything and everyone else is taken care of because there’s no one else to take care of yourself (I know there’s the husband and the kids, but you get the drift.)

    Thank you for joining the crawl. Honored that you took time out of your very, very busy schedule

    I will email you separately about thoughts on your new project. The kitchen looks AMAZING! *dreamy far away look*

    • Buhay America indeed!

      As for the E.R., I did have friends who were telling me that they would’ve helped me in a heartbeat, but it was on me too — I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone else who had kids and a family. I figured that if I could function then I could manage. But yes, the tolerance for these things has definitely gone up!

      Thank you for having me! And I’m sorry it took me forever to get the post up.

      Will wait for your email! (And yes, quite excited for that pet project of mine!)

  3. I can’t believe your ER story! But the bright side is the lovely kitchen haha!!!! Super happy for you guys. So the house must be a sign that you’re planting roots yes? And Sam is such a trooper! Girl scout kasi, laging handa! Yeah! Haha. I actually felt sad we left Luna’s old school in SG. It was such a lovely community and she already had her set of friends and it’s like a home away from home really. Then when we got here in her new school and she says she loves going to school and asks why she doesn’t go to school on weekends and holidays. Plus I’m also learning a lot from how they teach and what they do in school. It hit me that this is one of the reasons why we are here. The opportunity to be somewhere greater or better than before. So maybe the new school system will at the end of the day be better for Sam and Jamie and you guys too! Keep us posted and can’t wait for a home tour!!!!

    • Thanks! I know you guys move around a lot too! I would love to give you a definitive YES on the planting roots part… crossing my fingers coz I’m pouring everything that I am into this house (and you know how it is!). Come and visit soon!

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