Being a parent has its share of chaos. Of course when your spouse is around to help out things become just a bit sweeter. But imagine living many days, weeks, months, and even years without your spouse. Sometimes not knowing if he would come back. What do you do then? How do you cope?
Military moms really are SuperMoms. To have to learn complete independence and gain strength like you never knew you had. Accepting and understanding so that the rest of us can have a safe country to live in.
Here are some answers to questions about life in the military for a mom. In addition to being the Military Mom Blogger of 2013, Lora, from My Camo Kids shares the challenges and rewards of being in the military.
What makes your blog special and different from the rest.
My Camo Kids is unique I think because through my stories people who are not military gain a better understanding of how military families are just like their own! We are not super-heroes we are simply a regular family with hopes and dreams, highs and lows, goals and plans for the future. We just learn to be a little more flexible with each other and with our timetables because we know the obligation to our country always comes first!
What are the biggest challenges you have about being a Military Mom?
The biggest challenge being a Military Mom is spending a significant amount of time without your spouse to support you. You have to learn to be very independent, to multi-task to the max, to meet the needs of your children as both Mom AND Dad for long periods of time. You get to know yourself very well, both your strengths and your weaknesses, and it can be a pretty intense learning experience to parent through the stress of deployment! One thing I have found that I struggle with, and that I know many of my military mom friends struggle with, is asking for and accepting help. Whether it’s asking someone to mow your lawn, or letting a friend watch your kids for a couple of hours, we are notoriously stubborn when it comes to admitting we need other people! The truth is, when people say “I don’t know how you do it!” my response is honestly “I don’t know either!”
I would say to anyone who knows a military spouse forget about saying “Let me know if you need anything!” cause they Will. Never. Ask. Instead try the more direct approach like “I’d love to have your kids over to play for a couple hours this week, what day works best?” We actually aren’t Super-Moms, we are just Moms living in extraordinary circumstances and making the best of it. Your friendship and support will mean the world to us while we navigate through this crazy-military-life!
What do you feel is the most rewarding thing about being a Military Mom?
It is easy to focus on the negative aspects of what military families go through, but there are so many wonderful things about it as well!
I think watching how my children have grown up with a greater understanding of the world around them has been the most rewarding part of being a military mom. They have spent much of their young lives sacrificing the most precious thing a child has to give: Time with their father. Deployments are indescribably difficult on young kids. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to explain for the 100th night in a row that No, Daddy will not be home. Not tonight, or the next night, or the next. However, our children will always know there are things worth fighting for, they respect that someone must defend our great nation, and they realize that selfless service is and admirable and noble calling. I think in this time where so many young people especially feel entitled and demand instant gratification that being in a military family teaches our kids to live life on a deeper level, with a commitment to something greater than ourselves.
Another very rewarding thing is the fact that all this moving around has made our kids great people-persons! They face adversity with the strength and knowledge that they can overcome great challenges. They are all fantastic at making new friends and adjusting to new experiences, and I think these skills will serve them well for the rest of their lives.
What challenges do you have with being a blogger and being a Military Mom?
I think there are always the challenges of finding time to do anything you enjoy, and for me that is finding time to write. As a military mom the most important time for me to write is when my husband is away, because there is so much he is missing and I want him to feel a part of those experiences. Yet at the same time, when he is gone it is also when I am the busiest and most stressed!
It is also hard to find the right balance between sharing the struggles we face as a military family and worrying about having it come across the wrong way. We love being an Army family, even when it’s challenging, and I always want people to know that we value what the Army has given to us as well. But it is still really, really hard. Like Really. Extremely. Hard. With that in mind I hope that my posts about being a military mom come across as informative and truthful, without sounding like I’m complaining. And sometimes it can be a fine line.
How do you balance your role as a blogger and parent?
I don’t find this difficult at all, honestly. I began blogging primarily for my husband when he was away, and I continue because I think it is a great way to keep our family’s story for our kids. I hope that when they are older it is something they can look back on and really treasure! I have not blogged for money or as a business, but to make and keep connections. Connecting civilian and military, connecting with other adoptive families, connecting with families who’s experiences are different from my own, connecting my kids to their past, present and future. Blogging is just another part of being a parent for me!
What do you like best about blogging in general?
I would have to say again what I said above: Blogging, for me, is about connections. It is about coming to understand something you did not before, or helping others to understand you and what you are going through. The more we share our experiences the more we realize our differences are not as great as our similarities. This is the real value in blogging to me!