All posts,  Emotional Wellness,  Military Lifestyle Advice

Military Family: Silent Emotions of Parenting Alone

As a military spouse we learn to suck it up. We learn to wait to express our feelings until no one is around, and we learn to hold it together for the sake of others. Often it’s our “silent emotions” that allow us to deal with life as a military family.

Last week one of my best battle buddies had to take her daughter to college….Alone. As military spouses so often we must handle the “big moments” without our better half. This time, her soldierman was at NTC preparing for an upcoming deployment and while I could be there to chat on the phone throughout the trip, it wasn’t the same as having her husband by her side as their oldest stepped out into the world on her own for the first time.

After getting a good night sleep, she shared this “letter” she wrote and I thought it was a perfect reflection of how many of us feel when we have to “roll on”, be strong and get through the “big moments” alone.

This letter goes out to all of the moms who are taking their babies to school while their soldier is away, know that you are in our hearts and that you are never alone…Here is her letter:

To Whom it may Concern:

Saturday, I dropped my oldest off at college. I had to do this by myself, due to my husband’s commitment to our Nation.

I wanted to cry and never let go, but as a veteran Army wife with many deployments, I pulled my resources and skills I have learned over the years and realized I had a 20 hour drive ahead of me. I became mission focused to ensure that my youngest daughter and I made it home. I pushed all emotion aside and put my big girl panties on and started the drive. I thank you Army for this resource.

As I saw Ft Bliss beneath us coming down the mountain, I knew we were safe. The few tears started, but being the Mom, I knew I had to hold them back. I am the strong one, the one that holds it together when my husband is gone. Thank you Army for this resource. We made it home and knew all was ok, I finally slept (which I hadn’t due to the long drive). Thank you Army for this, being able to get things done without thought of personal health.

And then I woke up this morning and it hit. My baby girl is gone! With my kids safely in bed and no one around, I had my moment, and the tears didn’t stop! Thank you Army for making me a closet crier. For those who may not understand, this “technique” is nothing new for us Army wives.We have done this cycle many times, some more than others, the only difference is that usually it’s not our children but our spouses.

The Army gives you so many things and so many resources, but at the same time it takes. It takes away your ability to show emotion. It takes away the right as a Mom to cry for your baby girl. It takes away the right to cry for your husband, as he leaves for war. Because you know that once you start so will he and he must know, he needs to know, that you will be fine and can handle this!Just know children and spouses, that if you do not see the tears you would expect, it’s not because we don’t love you or because we will not miss you, but that we (Mom’s and wives) have our own mission, and that is to be strong and often that means that we will never let you see us cry!Thank you Army for giving me a strength that only you can give!

Sincerely,
A Mom and Army Wife

~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at TheDirectionDiva.com

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