Month of the Military Child: My View

When you look at your life, the greatest happinesses are family happinesses.  
~Joyce Brothers

This month is “Month of the Military Child.” I hope to have some guest bloggers for you and know of one so far… if you’d like to guest blog, please let me know. I want to have the guest posts on Wednesdays.

I’m going to start off this series. I don’t have a military child (though I did for a day the other week before my IUI ended in a chemical pregnancy… more on that later). However, I have spent time thinking about what it will mean when we have a child and Huzzy goes back to sea. Huzzy started shore duty a year ago now and we thought we’d for sure have a kid by now so he could maximize his time with him/her on shore duty.

As it is, even if we were to get pregnant this cycle (which is not looking good at all), he’ll have just over a year before going back to sea. That’s much less time than what we wanted, but I can’t control it .

Photo from Seattle Times this weekend of families sending off loved ones on the USS Nimitz

Photo from Seattle Times this past weekend of families sending off loved ones on the USS Nimitz. This is an Operation Kid Comfort quilt.

There are several things I’d do for our kids when Huzzy went to sea, including Daddy dolls, videotaping Huzzy reading stories, etc. One of the things I came across… actually just yesterday… was a daddy/mommy quilt.

The quilt is actually a product of Operation Kid Comfort, part of the Armed Services YMCA. Children 6 and under are provided a quilt with photos of their service member and kids 7 and older get a pillow.  This is such an awesome offering and definitely something I’ll take advantage of if/when we finally have a kid.

I think another awesome thing about Operation Kid Comfort is that you can volunteer to put together the quilts. From reading their website, it looks as though all the pieces are shipped to you and all you need to do is put the pieces together. I don’t know how to do a quilt, but I may learn in the future so I can do something like this.

What types of things do you do for your kids when your spouse is deployed? If you don’t have kids yet, do you have any ideas on how you’d try to make deployments a bit easier?

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5 thoughts on “Month of the Military Child: My View

  1. Honestly, I’m lacking in the “doing special things” for my kids. My kids are young. We talk about daddy when he is gone, we look at pictures of him constantly, he had one recorded book from Hallmark that we read often. The only really special thing we do is anytime we’re near the water, we take a moment, look out (even if we’re just in the car driving to town) and say “Hi daddy! We love you and miss you! See you soon!” and blow kisses to him. When it gets down to about 10 days before he’s supposed to be home, we do a chain to count down the days (My kids are only 2 1/2 and 4 this time). It works for us. We don’t dwell on daddy being gone, we dwell on daddy coming home safely to us “soon”. Otherwise, we go on with our daily life as if he were home. Going to church, as many activities as possible they would enjoy, we play with friends, and when they need some “man” time, we take them to see a few friends who they look up to and enjoy spending time with. One of the pastor’s at our church is always up for hugging and cuddling the kids any time, even if their daddies aren’t gone (he will do it for all kids, not just military kids). His kids (3 girls, 1 boy) are also awesome to hang around, especially when daddy is gone…they just brighten up a day 🙂

    This time, we will be at the local YMCA more often. We will go swimming, they will get to play in the child watch area, I will take them walking around the track with me when I don’t have a class to do. I’m just keeping them busy and keeping their mind on the goal, rather than “Oh daddy’s not here.” The only thing I haven’t figured out yet is the bedtime schedule since daddy usually tucks in my daughter while I’m tucking in my son…that one could be fun for awhile…

  2. We could do the quilts together! Piecing them is easy and I can show you how:) It would be fun girl time!

    Also, now that we have Munchkin, I can’t imagine DH being gone. I always had respect for milspouses with kids but it has gone up several notches!

  3. We send “Battalion Buddy” care packages to the children of deployed service members. Recently, a friend and supporter of our charity wrote a song called “Carry My Love” about the sacrifices military families make: http://bit.ly/16lBERz — 100% of the proceeds from downloads of the song will be donated to help us send more care packages to deployed troops, veterans, wounded warriors, military children and emergency first responders.

  4. When Hubs was deployed and coming home right before Christmas, I took strips of red and green construction paper and added a link every day til he came home. We wrote one thing inside each day that we wanted Daddy to know, and had a cool decoration for when he came home. We have a Daddy doll and one of the Hallmark recordable storybooks. I think if I had known before we took the shore tour, I would have gotten FM one of the quilts before he left last time. We always make some kind of homecoming sign, and those are fun to do. I took the Captain to the park every single Saturday that he was gone, because weekends seemed long and sad but the weather was so nice; I think that helped me, too, and it was a special thing to look forward to. Otherwise, I tried to keep things as close to the same routine as possible, adding fun things in when I thought the Captain was getting really down (FM was too small last time). It keeps you on your toes: what worked one time might not work the next time.

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