Mom's Corner

To the Mom who…

To the new mom

…who thinks she has no idea what she’s gotten herself into. That feels like you’ll never know what a full nights sleep is like ever again. That never knew what your heart is capable of loving. Who has given up her body to create a new tiny body and is feeling self conscious about it. The ones who have tried everything to get their baby to stop crying and has to put their baby down and walk away for a few minutes. Who even though she wants to close her eyes from being up tending to a fussy baby for hours, still lies awake to watch the rise and fall of their baby’s chest.

I know.

To the working mom

…who wakes up at 6am to shower, get ready (maybe), make breakfast for her kids, get them ready for school, and then off to daycare. Who wishes she spent more hours of the day with the tiny people she’s made from scratch, than with people who would replace her if she died tomorrow. Who clocks out, picks them up from two different locations, goes home, makes dinner, tidies up (ish… or doesn’t) the house, maybe gets to eat her food warm with her family, then bathes and puts the kids to bed before maybe having time for herself or her husband.

I know.

To the stay at home mom

…who wakes up to human alarm clocks just to make breakfast that they asked for but really didn’t want. Who cleans dirty faces, hands and diapers all day. The ones getting sick, then better, then sick again because the other kids catches it–so clearly you need to catch it again too, because it’s only fair. The ones who clean up 3 or 4 times, just for it to look like a tornado hit right before dad walks in. The ones getting all “felt up” by kids and toddlers all day and then at the end of the day crave adult attention and communication or even just some peace and quiet to try and do the things you tried to do all day but couldn’t.

I know.

To the military mom

…who would put their lives on the line for their country even if that means leaving their families behind just so they can live a better life. The ones who make sacrifice after sacrifice year after year to do what the military tells them when the military tells them with very little say. The ones who say goodbye to their little ones for months that feel like years with an ache in their heart only a mother would feel. Who go to the CDC on base during their lunch to see their babies–even if they’re sleeping–and lay/eat with them because you miss them.

I know.

To the military spouse mom

…who also sacrifices a lot to be with and without her family. Who knows the true meaning of “It takes a village“–because without that village you’d lose your mind. Who leaves the rest of her family to support her new family in all their endeavors to come. Yet wishes her parents/siblings could be around her kids more often. The ones that hold down the fort at home because sometimes it’s impossible to maintain a career anywhere because you know in just a few short years you’re going to have to leave that career/company behind because you’re moving overseas.

I know.

To the mom of a child with special needs

…who work overtime as a parent of even just one child because patience alone is hard to come by some days. Who are afraid to tackle certain everyday tasks in public in fear an episode or health issue may arise. Who secretly wishes someone would volunteer to help her even just so she can do some laundry, without fear of asking in hopes someone doesn’t question her abilities as a mom. The ones that cry for their child because this world is an ugly place and no matter what you do there’s no escaping it. That cry because they feel like they’ve done any and everything they possibly can and it still isn’t comforting their child.

As a mom to friends with special needs children who has been there for them on their “bad days“.

I know.

To the mom who has it all figured out

…good for you. Just kidding! I wish I were you because.

I do not know.

And to all the moms

…who feel under appreciated, stressed to the maximum capacity, drained, alone, stranded–even if you feel like it’s all in your mind. Who get so fed up at times–just to look at their innocent faces and realize no matter how bad the times–it is all so worth it.

Just remember there’s a village of us out there who have either been there, are passing through, or know someone who has.

And we know.

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Life change · Mom's Corner

Duty is calling, and I must go

I knew what I was signing up for when I got my first job as soon as I turned 16. Responsibility, income, a new role. But I always took pride in working for my money. I may not have managed it very well when I was younger (and I’m still sometimes an impulse buyer), but it was my money. It wasn’t full time by any means since I was still in high school, but after school duty was calling… so I went.

I joined the military on active duty at 19, had a kid by 22, and deployed by 23. My squadron told me I was deploying when my oldest was still new to this world at five months old, with six months to prepare for my upcoming deployment. After her first birthday, shortly after Christmas, just a few really short weeks later I was at the airport (deployment bags in hand and my daughter on my hip) and the woman on the intercom said it was the last call for boarding. My overseas duty was calling and as my heart shattered, I had to go.

I came back from said deployment, eager to see my daughter, and ready to be home. I was speed walking through the airport, passing the much needed restrooms, but I didn’t care I’d pee my pants if it came down to it. I was coming down the hallway and could hear the distant laughter of my daughter drawing nearer and nearer. My duty lifeline was calling in a sing-song of laughter…and faster than lightning, did I go.

Monday through Friday I work a 9-5 (it’s really an 8:30-5 but who’s tracking?). I work for someone who has made their dream a reality. I invest my time so I can reap the reward of a middle class paycheck to be able to help provide for my family. So Monday through Friday at 8:30 am as I pay someone else to help raise my children, I have a duty to fulfill… so I go.

I worked all week and looked forward to this weekend… until I realized I may no longer be active duty but I am still in the reserve and instead of enjoying the weekend with my family, its my military drill weekend and have to work it to be able to maintain a military career status and reap the many benefits that come along with it. I get to see all the faces of my military coworkers for two days bright and early at 6:30am, so I reluctantly roll out of bed at 4:30am after hitting snooze, get dressed into my uniform, hop in my car, and I go.

After working all week– and sometimes 12 days straight– and checking my phone constantly for updates on my kids, when my temporary duties are up, and I’ve fulfilled the needs of my jobs I sign out of my computer, gather my belongings and I clock out.

This past month or so has had me reflecting on all the things I do and all the hats I wear. Although I keep my ABU (military) hat on the dash of my car as a reminder that I serve my country for anyone in the range of my family and friends to the man who could care less about why I’m serving.  My duty as a mother is my most important and it is the hat I wear with most pride. It’s a never-ending job and requires most of any and all resources I can provide. Becoming a mother has changed the way I view my life and what I define as successful. I can be great in all other areas and “succeed”, but if I fail in this one particular aspect of my life, to me, I will have failed at all the others. I understand the need to provide, and as a family we have that. But while I am alive I am going to give my mom-duties, and my babies, my best me yet…

Because my duties babies are calling… and to them–without fail–I will always go.

Life change

Home was where the military sent us

This is going to be a hard post to write without crying, laughter and a whole lot of reminiscing…

“So where are you from?”…”Uhh what do you mean?“… “You know, where did you grow up?”… “Like where have I lived?“… “No, like where were you born?”… “Well that’s different than were I’ve lived.” … “Well where do you call ‘home’?”… “Does that mean where I lived the longest or where I wish I still lived?”

Where are you from? Is one of the most open ended questions you can ask a military brat. Because in the military, “home” goes from being a place to being people. The military is a revolving door. No one stays put for very long.

You hear of the military member, and the military spouse and unless you’re in the military, you don’t hear much of the military child. We are the behind the scenes of the military spouse who is behind the scenes of the military member.

My dad is an Air Force Retiree. He served 26 dedicated years to his maintenance career as a C-130 Crew Chief. We lived 5 different places in my lifetime on the Air Force’s terms. Where we had to go and how long we got to stay was something we had very little control over. Change is more than a verb- its a lifestyle in the military. You learn to adapt quickly.

In the 26 years he was in, I went to eight different schools. Pre-k and kindergarten are a given. But the three elementary schools, the middle school and the two high schools I went to were another story.

By the time we moved to Colorado I was meeting friends who had lived there their whole lives. Seeing the rooms they grew up in, with painted walls, recounting the memories there… I was green with envy. I’ve always wished I had a a physical place to call home, to reflect back on the house I grew up in.

Because us brats grow up making best friends that sometimes last a few months before they leave and we have to find new best friends. We go to schools to be the “New Kid” more times than we’d like, many times in a foreign country. We have cried too often while seeing off our newfound and “long term” friends at the airport terminals. We watch as it takes a toll on our parents’ relationships as we say goodbye yet again while moms and dads prepare to go on another deployment not knowing if this would be the last time we see them.

So we hug a little longer, cry a little more, and love a little harder than normal.

While it made me sad to think about when growing up– as an adult I am very thankful for the life experiences and the revolving door that is the military. I have met sooooo many amazing people, lived in a foreign country I am blessed to have lived for as long as we did, in a culture I am forever thankful to have known.

I have family in all corners of the world. Our homes are in the hearts of people sprinkled around the world.

There is so much more I could say about it all. But I will close with this. As brats, we are cultured, we are united by the military culture, we are the distant echo from an unheard cry, we have sacrificed, but we always bounce back because we are resilient.