Army and A Mom....

Katie - posted on 02/22/2009 ( 1 mom has responded )

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Hi. My name is Katie. Im in the army and also a mother to irish twins (kids born within a year of each other) I'm doin it alone since I am in the middle of going through a divorce right now and my kids father is in New York stationed at ft. drum and Im in texas at Ft. Hood. Its so hard doin it all by myself it kills me having to wake up my kids at 0445 am to take them to the babysitters so i can go to pt and then not picking them up until almost 6. *sigh* but I have to cause Im trying to support them by mydself....I dont even wanna think about leaving them for deployment.





If there is anyone out there who is going through the same thing or knows what i can do to help the situation please....I feel so lost sometimes cause I dont feel like im being a good mom...ya know?

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Heather - posted on 03/25/2009

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Katie, I'm not a single mom, but I am in the Army. I have three kids and my husband has been deployed twice. So, I have played a single mom and it's hard!



You are being a good mom. I know that it is so difficult to spend so much time during your day away from your kids. But, you are being a responsible mother and providing them with what a roof over their heads, food on the table, and a loving, self-sustaining mother who isn't afraid of hard work. That will be such a great lesson for them as they grow up.



Some people get out of the Army because they think it will make things easier. In some cases, it might do that, but not all. It depends on what kind of job you can get in the civilian sector, how many hours you would still have to work, how much money you would make, whether you would have family help, and other things that could make a difference if you decided to get out. But, remember that all working parents spend a lot of time away from their children during the day.



Consider this: where else except in the Army can you expect to get at least one long weekend each month, where else can you expect to get 30 days of paid vacation each year, where else can you get health care for free, and where else could you go to your boss and say that your child is sick and you have to leave and the boss says that you should go to your child? The Army units I've been in know when parent-teacher conferences are for all of the local schools and automatically give time off for Soldiers to attend those. Civilian jobs require you to use your vacation time or sick time to go to stuff like that, not to mention the myriad of medical appointments that you and your children will have.



Remember that your kids are your focus. When you are with them, even if it's only for 45 minutes to go get their shots, make it count. Bring a game to play, read to them, give them lots of hugs and kisses. In the evening, focus on just them and have fun! When they go to bed, you can do what you need to do around the house, or let it wait until the weekend. It will wait, trust me. If your house is messy, but you and your kids had a great evening, then the vacuuming and picking up the piles of papers can wait. On the weekend, let the kids be with you or help you with things you do around the house. Not only are you still spending time together, but you are teaching them how to run a household. No home economics class will teach them that the way you can. Plan one or two special activities with them like a trip to the park or the zoo, but don't try to cram too much entertainment in. They just want to be with you. When they nap, do something for yourself. Don't be afraid to find a reliable babysitter to come over some weekend evening after the kids are in bed, so that you can go out and unwind with friends since having some time to do fun things for yourself will make you a better mom.



Also, if you can swing it, you might consider visiting them during your lunch break. They will love to see you and what better way to spend that time? Whatever you might have done at your last duty station or while still married might not be the best use of your time now. They are only small once, so do what you can to maximize your time with them. Even though it is very hard and very tiring, many moms have done it before you. If they can do it, so can you. Start thinking that way and find ways to make it happen.



Thanks for your service!

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