Need help coping with being a single mom while my boyfriend is in boot camp!

Jennifer - posted on 04/20/2010 ( 25 moms have responded )

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I'm 19 years old and just had my first son 2 months ago. 4 days after he was born his daddy, my fiance, left for navy boot camp and I've been taking care of the baby all by myself since then. I really miss my fiance and tend to stress out a lot when the baby is crying and he isn't here to help me, it feels like he abandoned me when I needed him the most. Does anybody have any advice for how to cope with caring for the baby while the dad is thousands of miles away and you don't have very much contact?

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Julie - posted on 05/25/2010

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I was 17 when we had our son. He left for boot camp when I was 7 months pregnant. I used to cry because I felt like he abandoned me too. I didn't find out he was leaving until 3 days before, I don't think he wanted me to worry or something. But I worked through high school, and worked almost full-time to support myself and our baby. I always told myself that when he got back he would have full-time baby duty haha. Now our son is almost 2 years old and we are finally living together on base housing.

Christina - posted on 05/10/2010

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My husband left for Iraq a month after we got married! I was about 3 months prgnant! He didnt get to come home to see his 1st baby born! But he got to come home on leave for 2 weeks when the baby was 2 weeks old! Trust it was very hard having a newborn and having to do everything by yourself! I was 18 when i got married and had a baby! It was very very hard but it brought us closer together and made us stronger! If it wasnt for the baby helping me through that deployment it would have been much harder for me! You just have to stick with it and wait :) Good Luck

Stephanie - posted on 05/09/2010

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Been there done that! You can do it. I was 20 with my first one and she will turn 14 in August. My husband has deployed eight times so far. One time was when our third daughter was only one month old. You should get out with friends your family. Find time for yourself. It helped to go for walks with the kids. I would meet up with my friend for dinner every month. I also took up a hobby, keep busy, take some classes. Just enjoy that time with your baby they grow so fast. We just had a little boy that is 8 months so now we have four. Good luck and know that your not alone.

Angela - posted on 05/06/2010

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I know how you feel. My husband was deployed when I had my son (he came home for R & R for the birth plus a few days). It was very tough being thrown into mommyhood and being alone. I was afraid that I couldn't do it. What helped me was getting involved in a playgroup on base to meet other moms and get out of the house. I also had a goal of losing weight so I went for daily walks. It's also good to have a Mom friend or even your own mom to talk to and get advice from. Having someone to watch the baby for a few hours while you relax or go to the gym can make a big difference. Just try to stay busy and don't isolate yourself. Yes, at first it is a little scary. I remember being afraid of going out a lot with my son when he was really young. Like, afraid he would start crying and I wouldn't be able to get him to stop....just being anxious about everything. If you feel like that, remember that most of the people you see will be understanding cause they've been there too...it's not the end of the world. Anways, stay strong and he'll be home before you know it. Also, planning something special for when he comes home can be fun too. Hope this helps some.

Lea - posted on 05/05/2010

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Hey Jennifer,
As you can see, you are not alone. There are so many of us out there coping while our spouses are away...and it can be very hard and scary. You will get through this and you will be a stronger woman when he comes home. There are many websites, books, articles, and resources for military spouses.
Good luck...you'll be okay!

Wendy - posted on 05/02/2010

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I think the most important thing for you to know is that the feelings you are having are completely normal... and you are not alone in feeling abandoned. I was overwhelmed with all of the responsibility while trying to deal with my own grief and worry. It took me a couple of months to find my own feet and feel self-sufficient again. Talking things out with other women who have been in the same situation definitely helped me. I had to realize that my man being gone became my new "normal". I still missed him terribly, and wanted him home more than anything, but I started to let myself be, well...myself, again.
Not having contact, or being able to share the trials of the day was extremely hard for me, especially when he was dealing with different problems of his own. Hang in there, rely and talk to your best girlfriends...and maybe just try to enjoy your new boy...day by day.

Angela - posted on 05/02/2010

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I would also agree with Chelsey Hansen. There are time that babies are tired but just fight it so much that they need to cry it out. If you jump every time they fuss you will always be doing that and they wont learn how to calm themselves or be independent.

Chelsey - posted on 05/02/2010

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If the baby is crying and you cannot get him to stop, just put him in his crib, walk out of the room, and relax for a few minutes. The baby may still be crying, but you can take a minute or two to breathe, then once you're calm again, you can walk back there and try and figure out why the baby is crying. If there is no reason after you've gone through all the possibilities, then I recommend just letting him lay in his crib and cry. It may sound cruel, but it is rather good for the baby to cry a bit, it builds up their lungs and gives them a good workout. Many times, my oldest would cry for about 20 minutes and then fall asleep. I am also a Navy wife and my husband goes out on submarines, so I can empathize with the little contact. It is hard, but you can do it!

Kim - posted on 05/02/2010

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It can be so frustrating and overwhelming at times and all the mommies & wives who say keep busy are right on. It's essential you find something you enjoy doing to occupy your time. I like to scrapbook. Keeps my mind busy, I feel like I've accomplished something and daddy has memories to enjoy when he gets home. Exercise is important, keep those endorphines up so you don't feel depressed. I also joined a yahoo moms support group and a MOPS (mother's of preschoolers) group at a local church. They meet once or twice a month and its good to get out of the house w/o any kids. Take time for yourself whenever you can, I know it can be difficult with a newborn. Also, just enjoy this time with your new baby. They are only so little for so long and you dont want to look back and realize that you were too preoccupied with your hubby being gone to really savor these precious moments. Between myself and my husband, I have a 16 year old, 8 and 7 year old step kids, our 17mo old daugther AND one on the way due litteraly any day now. He has been deployed since January, he will come home for 2 weeks soon then go back and finish his tour so I will be a single mom with 5 kids at home for another few months. One day at a time. Good luck and congrats on the new addition!

Jeanne - posted on 04/30/2010

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I agree so much with the advice to get out and walk. Fresh air and a change of scenery are so good for you and the baby. And accepting offers of help and support from family...this is what you are lacking when dad is not there. Rest assured, he wishes he could be there, too. Sharing information and pictures via phone or internet with your fiance will help you two to feel connected despite the distance. If there's a base nearby, look for a spouse support group there for some comraderie!

Kristen - posted on 04/30/2010

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Hang in there! Hopefully you are close to family for now, so you can get extra help/relief! I can almost guarantee this won't be the last separation--it's a military thing. If you can hang in there, I think the military is a great opportunity. We've been in for 12 years and you can't beat the benefits (education opportunities, housing, pension, health care, job security, etc).

Angela - posted on 04/30/2010

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I would have to agree with everyone that said keep busy. Get your son and your self in a routine filled with a lot of activities. that's what worked for me and my two daughters ( ages 8 and 10 at the time) The more down time you have to miss him the harder it makes the time pass. Trust me, two months in baisc will go by fast, but it is the hardest one to deal with since its the first one. Stay strong, military wives have to be or they don't make it. I would also suggest reading a book called Married to the Military by Meredith leyva. My sister who is married to a Navy seal gave it to me before my husband joined the Navy and I found it very helpful in trying to understand the unknown. Do you know what his rate will be?

Kaytie - posted on 04/29/2010

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My fiancé deployed a month before I had our little girl... and he didn't meet her until she was almost eight months old. Honestly, the first few months were the worst. After about three months it initially started to become easier, just make sure you have a good support system and you take every chance you can to relax don't let yourself become overwhelmed with everything good luck to you and yours!

Becky - posted on 04/29/2010

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Hang in there. my husband just left monday for army bct. We have three kids. We will get thru this and so will you and your soon. Good Luck and stay strong

Jessica - posted on 04/28/2010

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hey im in a similar boat!! im 20 and just had my daughter two months ago. my husband leaves in four days for deployment and im stressed out of my mind. i also have a two year old step daughter that i get part of the week. i dont really have some solid advice cuz im just starting it but i just want you to know your not alone in this!!! ps it ok to cry!! if you want to talk more im on facebook and my email is jesselynn3@gmail.com

Janette - posted on 04/27/2010

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Go to www.meetup.com and see if there are any stay at home mom clubs in your area or any kind of parenting club. I moved to St Louis and looked and found two awesome ones that meet up at parks, and other things and have mom's nights out and all sorts. Just having the option to go somewhere is great. Give it a try!!! You might find a group with new borns that get together and let the babies sleep in their carseats while you have a cup of coffee and chat!!!

19 is young to be left on your own so be proud you are doing great!!

Basty - posted on 04/27/2010

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I'm so sorry to hear that, and i can go around the bushes and talk and talk but i will be honest. I know it feels terribly bad, but you need to get all the strength you need for you and your baby's daddy because you are the one who will keep this family together. He will start deploying and doing all kinds of different things and you will have to give your baby and him the support. It will make you stronger,and independent from inside out. trust me...,...good luck and congratulations on your new baby. have a wonderful Mother's day and enjoy
keep it together

Janice - posted on 04/26/2010

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You need to take one day at a time. Keep yourself busy and just think of how proud he will make you and his sun when he's back home. My fiancee left for 14 weeks, two days after my birthday, leaving me and our 2 1/2 year old and our 3 months old baby. It is very hard i know, and when it does get to much with the crying, just walk out of the room take a few minutes to yourself and say i can do this, then get back on with things. You can do this! another thing write to him about anything just so you still have the communication still there.

Jenny - posted on 04/25/2010

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Get out and walk! That was the best thing that helped me when my husband left. My son was only 2 weeks old at the time and I found that on top of stressing out I was feeling stuck in the house. Walking has helpd James get used to being in his car seat, gets us both much needed fresh air, and actually the fresh air makes him take better naps (which I love!). There are so many more benefits to just getting out and walking too such as a better outlook on life and it helps with the postpartum depression and just helps you feel better mentally, emotionally, and physically. Chin up! You can do this! Have faith in your fiancee, your little one, and above all else, have faith in yourself!

Cori - posted on 04/24/2010

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Hey Hun. I completely understand what your going through, mu husband left to boot camp when our son was 5 months old, it was really hard going from being with him to becoming a single parent, Basically what you have to do to get your mind off of it, hire a baby sitter and go out once every couple of weeks with your friends or family... or whenever you feel frustrated, I know how it feels, My husband was gone for six months, came home for 2 weeks, has been gone for 2 weeks home for 2 weeks then out on deployment for another 6 months, it is very hard to be a military wife, but it is his job to report to work everyday, and it is your job to support him and your child and to take care of your life. Hang in there and I hope everything works out for you. God bless.

Jennifer - posted on 04/21/2010

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Thanks for all the advice. I have family that can watch the baby for me and I visit my mother in law once a week to get out of the house, but the baby hates the car seat so its hard going places, i have to put him to sleep first. Most of my time out is usually when i'm picking up my younger brothers from school, but I'll try to get out more now and make time for my self. Thanks for all the advice!

Kim - posted on 04/21/2010

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We all have been there at one point or another. Best advice I can give is what Corrine told you, get out of the house, do something try and try to keep yourself busy also try to take "me time" when and if you can. Caring for a child or children in my case by yourself can easily tear you apart or stress you out. Also helpful is trying to keep a good routine. And remember although its hard on you it is also probably just as hard if not harder on him.

Angela - posted on 04/20/2010

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I have two boys right now, a near 7 year old and a 3 month old. My husband is deployed to Afghanistan and left when our baby was 5 days old....so I can relate. What I find helpful is keeping busy-and making a good routine. Your baby will keep you busy, but establishing a good routine will help with comfort. If you work that will seem like a vacation...if not and you will be staying at home, plan frequent walks and visiting friends. Exercise relieves stress. Start a garden...but I believe that the key to fight loneliness and stress is to keep busy with a structured schedule.

Iris - posted on 04/20/2010

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When he joined the Navy you knew you'd have to go through times like these. I find the best thing to do is just to keep busy. I know your son is helping you do that, I'm sure. My daughter had no problems keeping me busy either. Just make sure you don't sit at home all day miserable. Do some of the things you used to do in the past when you wanted to get out of the house. The more you can take your mind off of how lonely you feel, the better. Surround yourself with good friends and family and you'll make it. Don't forget to give yourself some YOU time. You're going to drive yourself crazy if you don't. My husband will be coming home FINALLY after having been gone almost 7 months. It gets hard and you feel like your santiy is slipping away from you some days but don't worry, this too shall pass.

Corinne - posted on 04/20/2010

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we all go through it! my husband deployed when our daughter was 8 months old! shes going through the terrible two stage now and im ready to pull my hair out! best thing is to get out of the house!! my friends and i make a playdate one day a week...we swim, go to play centers, etc... i also make it a point to have "me time" at LEAST once a month! i try to get it whenever i can and mny mother in law is a big help in that area!! you NEED it!! hire a sitter if you dont have family or friends around willing to help! it will get easier for a little while and then...as it nears the time for him to return its going to get stressful again! keep your mind occupied! its not his fault and you have to remind yourself EVERYday!! gl to you and congrats!

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