The Ross Family

The blog following the life of an Air Force wife and mommy to 2 young kids. All about life as a stay at home mom with little ones, deployments, military life in general, and some Midwestern travel!

Rachel 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?

My kiddos are still pretty young but for major holidays Daddy's going to miss we usually celebrate ahead of time. One year when he missed Christmas we declared a day in November "Early Christmas" and made it super special for the kids. That way Daddy got to see them open presents and share in some of the holiday joy.

For milestones we really rely on Skype as much as possible. He got to Skype with us on my son's first birthday, for ultrasounds that I had, and for other holidays and family events. I also tell my children that although Daddy may not be here, he wishes more than anything he could be and even though he's not physically here they can talk to him on the computer like he is! Having others to celebrate holidays with also helps with the pangs of loneliness. Whether that be your family or your military family, just being around others during holidays really helps both you and your children!

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

I've learned that your military friends become your family and help out when you need it the most. When you live in so many different areas the likelihood that you have family nearby is very slim so you have to rely on your military family in good times and in bad.

As far as parenting skills go, we've been lucky that we haven't had to move yet with kids. If we did though, I would try and keep their routines and their lives as consistent as possible. I believe that children thrive off of schedules and I would just try and keep things as normal as possible!

What are your best tips for traveling with kids?

BE PREPARED!! Haha! When we travel with our kids I make a list usually a week in advance of what all I need to pack and what all I need to do before we leave. I always buy a ton of snacks (usually somewhat healthy ones with a few fun ones thrown in the mix). I also pack an activity bag with a few new books and small toys for each child. Sometimes I even wrap them to make it extra fun. We also try and stop every 2-3 hours so the kids can get out and stretch their legs. And if worse comes to worse, we pop a dvd in the car's dvd player and that usually entertains them for awhile! Just go into trips with low expectations, a lot of patience, and maybe some wine to open when you get there! :)