Care.com hosts series for Military Family Month
Every once in a while I look at my children and wonder if I am doing a good job as a parent. At their most vulnerable, they are sensitive and loving girls but while my husband is deployed, I often find myself at the end of my parenting rope. Will these months affect them? Will they remember my exasperation or my creative distractions like the kiss jar or daddy journal time? All parents have these moments -- I hope they do -- and thanks to the folks at care.com, there's a place to go to read about others enduring the same situation, glean a few tidbits of information, and ultimately do the best job possible!
I was lucky enough to write about some of the ways that I have turned my military lifestyle into a hopefully positive experience for my family! Enjoy ...
How do you feel being a military family has influenced your children's perspectives and experiences, if at all?
My two children are champion military kids. They are very understanding when it comes to their dad's frequent and extended absences and have become extremely independent as such. When it's time to move, as we do, they don't complain or whine about missing their friends as they know that wherever we land, we will be welcomed by fellow military families and since the USMC is so small, they have come to realize that we will also probably know someone at the next duty station.
How have your girls adapted so well to these transitions?
I have tried to instill a lot of independence in my children -- and I have done that through a variety of ways. At home, they have many chores ("way more than my friends, Mom!") including emptying the dishwasher, laundry folding, trash, etc. and they are not given an allowance for these chores - now whether you agree with that decision or not, I feel it has helped them understand the 'family' dynamic a bit more which helps them understand that we move because we are a family. We work together and pitch in because daddy is not home every night at 6 for dinner or to help put out the trash. And they surely cannot verbalize all this but they understand.