With God's direction, how to provide the love and support your soldier needs.
Posted in , Sep 2, 2014
I really suspect that the things I’m sharing today hold true, no matter which branch of the military your son or daughter calls home. But I can only lay claim to personal experience with being a Marine mom.
1. Dates and times for visits home are general targets, not promises. One of the first things I learned was that military precision doesn’t really apply in time-driven situations. This isn’t something your child can control, so be patient. He’s more frustrated by this than you’ll ever be.
2. Having a child in the military is a lot like being pregnant. Everyone you meet has a story, and they’re not usually positive. Smile, nod and don’t listen.
3. When your soldier is in a bad mood, be patient. I guarantee you he’s had a bad day, or even a bad week. As moms we’re a safe place to let it out.
4. Get ready for the military lingo that will creep into your conversations. Your civilian friends may raise their eyebrows, but other military moms understand.
5. Accept and love his friends. Sometimes they’ll come home with him during the holidays. Other times they’ll tag along when you visit him. I know you miss him and want time with him, but these buddies are lonely too. Be generous and include them when he asks.
6. Keep your cell phone with you at all times. So when he does get a chance to call, don’t miss out. (And remember #1 above when it comes to phone calls as well.)
7. Remember you’re not the only woman in his life, especially if he’s married. It’s hard to share, but trust me on this, you’ll never regret being generous with the time he wants to spend with his wife, fiancé or girlfriend.
8. Write a lot of letters. I know we live in the age of digital communication, but it’s hard to carry a text message into the field. For military men and women, especially on deployment, those letters mean the world.
9. If you’re going to survive your child’s service in the military, filter everything that happens through an attitude of patience. As a military mom, we are forced to confront the truth that we have absolutely no control. We can’t keep our children safe, and even when we see disaster coming there’s nothing we can do.
10. Most important of all, be ready to become a warrior yourself–a prayer warrior. You are entering a war of epic proportions, and your role isn’t minor.
I’ve discovered being a Marine Corps mom is a balancing act. But with God’s direction, we can provide the support and love our soldier needs. I’d love to know what you’d add to this list. Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section below.