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10 Things to Know About Military Moms

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Ever wondered what it is like to be a military mom? Relocating and long periods being separated from your partner are only the start. Learn more from these military moms who share their experiences with us.

Military Birth Plans Require Serious Technology

a tablet and phone sitting on a laptop

When I was putting together my hospital bag, I made sure I brought two extra laptop batteries, and my handy device that gave my computer 3G capabilities in the event that the hospital’s wi-fi was useless. I needed a charged laptop and solid connection so that my husband could experience the birth of his first born. He saw me strain while pushing, he heard our baby’s first cry, and he was able to thank the nurses when they congratulated him on becoming a father. When husbands are deployed, military moms’ birth plans are about much more than whether or not to get an epidural.

2. Our Fighter Plane Fears Are Not Like Yours

a military jet flying in the sky

The flyover of jet planes at a sporting event is an amazing sight. But when they’re flying over your house while your kid is napping? Less spectacular – it’s more like a sonic boom that happens 15-20 times a day. Military moms live in fear of these jets interrupting naptime—and our precious alone time!

3. Garage Sales Are Our Saviors

a garage sale

Want to know the real secret to military living? Garage sales. When you move so frequently, it’s amazing how much you are willing to get rid of for the sole reason of not having to pack it. Trust me, there’s never enough closet space.

4. We Have an Innate Fear of Dropped Calls

a pregnant woman receiving an ultrasound from a doctor

The first time my husband deployed and phoned me from Afghanistan, I was 20, new to the military lifestyle, and had barely been sleeping as to not miss the call. So, when three minutes in to our very emotional conversation the call dropped, I very nearly had a panic attack. If technology interferes with our precious phone time, we usually have no idea when or if our spouses can call back, and it’s generally was impossible for us to reach them.

5. We Pay Outrageous Cable Bills

a person changing the channel on a tv

My husband’s list of priorities includes: 1) Daughter, 2) Sports/Me. So, we had to purchase the massive, ridiculously expensive package that includes live coverage of anything that could possibly be deemed a sport. When I try to budget and the thought of cancelling it crosses my mind, I know I can’t do it to a man who has missed three football seasons because of deployments.

6. We Carry Loads of Grandparent Guilt

a granddad sitting with his granddaughter

With frequent moves, often to farther and farther destinations, building in quality time with grandparents is next to impossible. Care packages, lots of phone calls, and creative ways to share the bigger moments (like Christmas morning webcams) help, but it’s a struggle to try and grow our kids’ grandparent relationships across hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of miles.

7. We’ve Got Mad Painting Skills

a couple lying on a sofa looking at a blue painted wall

Paint the living room. Paint it back white. Move. Paint the nursery. Paint it back white. Move. Paint the living room. Paint the nursery. Paint it back white. We have it down to a science. Big white boxes that are the hallmark of military housing, so painting (and repainting) make these boxes feel like home.

8. There’s No More “Are We There Yet?”

a road sign in the countyside

Visiting family, while one of the most anticipated events of the year, can also be the most dreaded when you have tiny tots, small pets, and hours of road ahead of you. But, once you make the trip a few dozen times, you learn what works, what doesn’t work, and eventually, an eight-hour trip across three states doesn’t seem like an ordeal anymore. Military families are road warriors.

9. There’s No Such Thing as Vacation Planning

a fairground lighted up

The first thing a military spouse asks when making vacation reservations is, “Do you offer insurance?” and “When can you cancel without losing your deposit?” You never know when the husband will walk in the door and say, “Leave got cancelled; sorry honey.” That’s also why you never tell the kids when a vacation is approaching until the paperwork has officially been signed by every last required superior. There’s nothing worse than seeing those big eyes fill with tears when they hear they won’t be spending five fun-filled days with Mickey after all.

10. The Words “We Need to Talk” Can Only Mean One Thing

two people carrying moving boxes

I can remember where I was all three times my husband told me he was going to be deploying, and each time was almost identical. Eyes filling with tears, my heart dropping into the pit of my stomach. Each time he began the conversation the same way, walking in the door with a look of dread on his face, and taking my hand. With the last one, my other hand immediately went to my six-month-pregnant stomach and began patting it, telling our sweet girl that everything was going to be okay. Many military moms have similar experiences; we just never know when the next deployment will come, and unfortunately the military can’t plan around our family lives.

 
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