Life With The Lieutenant

Wife to a lieutenant. Mom to two adorable redheads. Packing boxes like a boss when the Army tells me to. Moving to Korea this summer to see what we can get into there.

jmr0006 is a winner of Top 25 Military Moms - 2013

What's a tip for celebrating a holiday or milestone with your kids when your partner isn't able to be there?

Focus on traditions and including your spouse in whichever ways you can- whether it's through photos, Skype sessions, or phone calls. Also, keeping busy during the holidays can help to ease the pain of missing your loved one; an Advent calendar or summer bucket list can keep your focus on living life to the fullest while your family member is gone. Don't forget to share the day-to-day monotony as well! During this past deployment, I took many pictures on my phone throughout the day, and before bed, would send my husband all the photos I had taken of the kids, with witty (or so I like to think) captions to make him smile. I've also been known to send a picture of two of a poop-splosion, just to keep things real.

What have you learned about parenting from living in different places?

You can't be a good parent if you don't take time for yourself. I struggled with wanting to "do it all" and never accepted help from well-meaning friends offering to watch my kids for me. AND I REGRET THAT (as does my sanity). Luckily, I realized the error of my ways during this past deployment and by the end, was regularly chucking my kids over the fence to my neighbor, who was always willing to watch and feed them while I attempted to regain my sanity. (Regain sanity = wine or shower or grocery shopping alone or wine)

What are your best tips for traveling with kids?

SNACKS. OMG SNACKS. (It's harder to whine when your mouth is stuffed full of Oreo minis.) And an iPad loaded with apps and things your child has never seen before helps too. If that's not an option, a run to the Dollar Tree for new and exciting toys can usually buy you some time. Be sure to sit next to other people with kids on the plane, if possible. They will either sympathize with you when yours act out, or their kids will make yours look like little angels (while also providing quality entertainment for your own children). Also, you really can't have too many baby wipes. (That's more of a life lesson there, than just a tip for travel. Just thought I would impart some of my hard-learned wisdom!)