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On My Own and Losing Heart

10 Apr
deployment family picture

We are told that tough choices need to be made. We are told that training and equipment are so costly that salaries need to be cut. We are told that less pay equals better discipline. But we are also told that families matter, that Marines can’t do their jobs without support on the home-front.

Well I am the home-front and I have been carrying the load for a long time. I have been strong and resilient. I have been disciplined and compassionate. I have done everything required of me, and more. But I am tired and I am now also disheartened.

Please Don’t Leave Meeeeee!

25 Mar
military family challenge coins

Drop off at preschool was a time that both my son and I used to dread. Despite him knowing his teacher, having kids that he liked in his class, doing activities that he enjoyed and told me about enthusiastically when I picked him up, and us talking over breakfast and the drive to school about all the cool stuff he would be doing that day, he still broke down sobbing when it was his turn to go into the classroom. Everyday we were the last ones in the hallway – me kneeling down next to him trying to extricate myself from his simian/constrictor like grip around my neck, giving him hugs and kisses and kissing hands, telling him that I loved him and couldn’t wait to hear about his adventures, and finally his teacher leading him into the classroom. And everyday his voice followed me down the hall breaking my heart “Mommy please don’t leave meeeeee!”

A Military Spouse’s Tool Box

14 Mar

When my husband and I first started dating, I fixed his plumbing… A pipe under his kitchen sink broke while I was visiting him during a school break. When he went to work, I went to the local hardware store and got a few replacement parts. I had assumed that my Marine boyfriend would have the basic tools that I needed to do the job, so when I got back to the apartment I looked around. Not finding what I needed, I called him at the office to ask where they might be. He and I and the battery staff got a pretty good chuckle when his Gunnery Sergeant on the other end shouted out “Hey Sir, it’s your girlfriend. She needs a hacksaw and wrench!”

Our Family Tree – in preschool art and pictures

14 Mar

A few weeks ago my son came home from preschool with a fall tree. It was a made from his hand/arm print as the trunk and branches, and fingerprints as leaves. Cute idea! I put it up on the clothes line that displays his art, and we enjoyed the color and decoration for a little while. I took it down the other day to make room for the winter themed stuff that was coming home, but when my son started asking about family connections I decided to utilize his tree as part of the lesson.

Running the distance together – a lesson in family goal setting

10 Feb
military family goal setting

…Today my daughter is 11 and Daddy has been away for over 7 of her years. Pictures and discussion of what Daddy is doing remain a wonderful tool to remind us of each other but at this age, and with the amount of separation we have faced, we have had to develop new methods of staying connected. But the adoption of any new method can be overwhelming because we all have perspectives, ideas, time constraints, etc. so getting onto the same page first is critical.

Family goal setting has become a practice that we have learned to embrace. When we are successful at this not only are we able to achieve something we want, but the practice of first determining what exactly we want opens lines of communication and helps us to listen and understand each other, which is ultimately what we really need to stay connected….

Beyond the book – Reading as a bonding experience

04 Jan
military child resilience

Reading with children is so much more than just saying the words on the page. Asking questions about what the child sees and pointing out details on the page help a simple story to become a real bonding experience. American Hero Books®: My Daddy is a Marine and American Hero Books®: My Mommy is a Marine feature many details that allow the Marine parent to engage the child beyond the book.

When you are reading to your child take the time to point out some of these features and talk about them in context to your personal experience. For example show your child your uniforms, or point out your medals and discuss what you did to earn them. Talk about life in the field, or on ship, or in garrison. You can even take a field trip on base and count how many EGAs you spot. And it’s always a riot to see who can “bark” the loudest! Make reading this book an experience that your child will remember regardless of how many miles or months may separate you. And if you do have to be apart remember to send home pictures to be added into the book, so that the story is always current and that your child sees that you are always in his/her life.

Using American Hero Books

28 Oct
military child resilience

American Hero Books were created for infant-preschool age children. The images and text depict Service Members doing things common to a regular day, AND the specialty formatting allows pictures to be inserted over those printed in the books so the child can “see” their own parent at work. The books are constructed from sturdy laminated board so that kids can hold, play with, and interact with them safely, and each page has an acetate sheet over the pictures so pictures stay safe from even too much kissing!

Though created for young children our books were designed to grow with the child. Below are some book features that you can use to help your children get the most out of American Hero Books no matter what their ages:

Operation Create Your Own Path: Your Yeoman

29 Jul
Create Your Own Path

This article was written as part of the Military Spouse Business Association’s Operation Create Your Own Path. This month long event features different military spouse business owners and uses military spouse bloggers to interview and write on these amazing business people. Read the rest of the series at www.milspousebiz.org/blog to learn about some really cool […]