A blog from Army&You’s spring 2022 edition by Frankie @florrieandco_

I knew moving nearly 120 miles wouldn’t come easy as this meant leaving everything I had ever known – my family, friends and the hometown I’d grown up in.

But after previously spending our weekends commuting to see each other, except when my husband was on exercise or deployment, making the move was the next exciting chapter in our relationship. And so we settled in to our first military quarter together and, shortly after, we became a family of three and welcomed our beautiful baby girl into the world. After having our daughter I knew returning to work would be difficult. Not living close to family and the extortionate cost of childcare meant it just wasn’t feasible. After my maternity pay was up, we then went down to a one person household income, which became a struggle for us as a family. For a while, I was at a loss for what I could do, or how I could help contribute towards our family. I came up with the idea to start my own business (florrieandco), combining my two favourite things – crafting and home decor. I couldn’t be happier!

I was aware of the challenges that may come with marrying a soldier, but I don’t think anything can quite prepare you for the change of lifestyle, until it becomes your new normal. For me it’s always the not knowing. The not knowing when he may deploy again. When you’ll next be solo parenting again. Where you’ll be living in a year’s time.

But, along with the not knowings come the positives, like a whole new sense of independence, new experiences and places to see. The feeling of joy seeing them for the first time when they’re back from deployment. And of course the overwhelming feeling of being proud.