Today many people are celebrating at least one of three holidays: Remembrance Day (in the Commonwealth), Armistice Day (in France and Belgium), and Veteran’s Day (in the United States). I guess for everyone else… it’s still Friday! We thought it’d be appropriate to mark the day on Offbeat Mama by revisiting a few of our favorite military-related posts.
Family network makes deployed parenting possible
This post is from May 2010, and in it Kacey talks about how her village of family members have helped she and her daughter get through her deployment:
As a single mom, I’m incredibly blessed to have an amazing family network. When I got my orders, my father volunteered to care for my daughter while I was deployed. This was ideal for so many reasons. We already shared a house with my dad, so this meant that my daughter didn’t have to move or change schools. Her routine changed, certainly, but we were able to minimize that as much as possible, thanks to my father and his own amazing network of friends and co-workers.
His job normally entails quite a bit of travel, but his boss was able to keep him local for the most part. He is dating a wonderful woman, who loves to spend time playing with my child. My sister and her husband and kids live nearby, too. They are also always more than happy to bring my daughter into their family circle, surrounding her with love while Mommy is far away.
Coming to terms with our new identity as a military family
In this post from September 2010, Kait talked about how a military career was the last thing she and her husband were expecting, but that it also became necessary for their family:
I married a bartender. I married a goofy, bearded, garage band kid. In May he left for Air Force basic training … He signed up so that we were positive that our daughter’s education would be paid for. After years of not being able to afford diapers, and him having to literally eat ketchup packets at work so that he could afford food for Scarlet and I, we decided as a family that something needed to happen.
She also shared what the impact of her husband’s absence due to deployment was like on their then-three-year-old daughter:
When he left Scarlet still insisted that we buy the kind of milk he drank and I had to pour him a glass every single morning, and then dump it and wash it out while she napped. It was hard on her. That’s actually a giant understatement. She was so confused, and almost bitter at first. She felt abandoned, and that killed me. I had to explain time and time again that he was doing this for us and not to us.
Surprising discoveries I’ve made in my life as an offbeat military wife
In her piece from June 2011, E.A. Pop talked about decorating her base house and the unexpected need for more offbeat parents in the military:
I have also realized that the military NEEDS offbeat moms (and others) to become involved, because a majority of changes come from within (and to an extent with issues dictated by Congressional law — but that is another topic entirely). There are also career-orientated volunteer opportunities such as a rape-crisis counselor, working at JAG (aka Legal department), and so forth.
She also talked about worrying about being judged by other military families:
Some of the people I’ve met do fit into the stereotypes — conservative and liberal. There are also so many people who don’t. Like you’ll find anywhere, just about anyone can provide hours worth of conversations and amazing book recommendations. It also doesn’t matter what color your hair is or how many tattoos you have when your spouse deploys — deployments suck for everyone. In the end it is nice to have a group of people who understand the military aspect of your life to bitch with over coffee or wine.
To everyone involved in offbeat military families: thanks for your time, service, sacrifices, and the awesome villages you create.