As you can tell by my pictures, I am a Military Mom. Both of my children have chosen the path of the military for differing reasons. And I am truly blessed, honored and proud of their decisions.
I am often asked…how do you do it? Do what?? Support my children no matter what? Believe that they have made the best choice for themselves?
But, I understand what you are asking at a deeper level…How can I have “let” my kids go into a profession that will lead them into war and uncertainty. Well, as any parent knows, our children don’t often make the choices that we would have loved them to make, and really, there are no certainties in life.
As a parent, we either choose to stand beside them or push against them. The more we push the harder they will push back. Not an easy lesson to learn as you raise your children but one you must learn to have a deep relationship that grows over the years.
I choose to stand beside them–it’s a much easier path.
So let’s talk about the underlying concern, the one you ask but don’t ask.
Staying Sane when They are deployed or stationed overseas:
Don’t Watch the news! I can’t express this enough. I was told early on to never watch the news and am I ever glad I listened! The media colors the news so they can sell air time or editorial space in a newspaper, unfortunately death and destruction are top on their list. Over the years, I have gotten many phone calls and inquires about something someone saw on CNN (constantly negative news). Gratefully, I can respond “nope, haven’t seen it and don’t want to” I know the protocol. If something should happen to my children, I will be notified by the military personnel not CNN or the local paper.
Stay Connected! I really don’t know what Military mom’s did it in years past. Waiting 6 weeks or more to get a letter from their children had to be tough. I am very fortunate to live in a time where the internet is everywhere. Thank God for facebook, yahoo messenger, skype and so many other avenues to keep connected with your loved ones. Just seeing something posted by them to a friend is enough to know that everything is alright. For those of you with smartphones, I suggest a BlackBerry because it has blackberry messenger already installed. So if your son or daughter has a blackberry, no matter where they are, you can send messages easily.
Live your own Life: Our job as parents was to raise them to allow them to go on to lead a fulfilling life of their own. Separation is hard but in order to allow them to grow into wonderful adults, we must let go. Find things to fill your life…new adventures, new friends, new opportunities, new hobbies…whatever you need to do to learn that you do have a life outside your children.
Have a Great Support System: Surround yourself with uplifting and positive people. Find those that you can connect and bond. During those difficult times, these are the ones you need in your life…not the gloom doomers. Remember, what you focus on you attract.
God Bless and Thank You for Your Support!