Where To Start? How About The Beginning?

Last Updated on August 15, 2023

“I’m a Mom and an Army Wife. What’s your superpower?”

I don’t know who said it first- it wasn’t me- but I LOVE that quote. There are days when I feel like I live that quote.

Our Army Story

My husband joined the Army at 29 years old, so we are older than the average new recruits.

When he decided this was definitely what he wanted to do (this was a discussion for several years), we had 2 children and one more on the way. We are blessed with 3 boys.

Obviously, as we discussed the pros and cons of joining the Army and our children were highest on our list of concerns. Was this decision right for them? In our opinion, yes, it’s a fantastic opportunity for them.

Raising Kids in the Army

The next logical question was how I felt about raising Army Brats (big difference from brats ).

My soldier pointed out that he’d be gone quite often. Considering that he joined during wartime it’s not a matter of IF, but WHEN, he’ll deploy.

Add to that BCT (Basic Combat Training, also known as boot camp), AIT (Advanced Individual Training), FTX (Field Training Exercises), TDY (Temporary Duty), and of course the average workday (the Army doesn’t operate 9-5) and I was looking at a good amount of time single parenting.

The Army is his dream. We’ve been together quite some time and in all that time he’s wanted to join. That and the fact that we agreed this was a good decision for ALL of us, and there was no way I was saying “no” because I’d be flying solo occasionally.

Although I will make a confession to you – I was terrified. It’s not that I CAN’T single parent, it’s that I’ve never had to.

Would I fail miserably and scar our boys for life?

Would I soar and find that I’m a better parent, solo? (For the record, the answer to both of those is no.)

How would we all make the transition back and forth?

I didn’t mind stepping in and filling his shoes, but would I be willing to hand those shoes back to him when he got home? Despite my concerns (which I never confided to him), I jumped in with both feet and have never regretted it.

The Army Lifestyle for Families

Compared to the average family, Army families live a different lifestyle.

Our children tend to have concerns that the average child may not face.  Conversely, they have opportunities that other children typically don’t.

My 9-year-old spends a lot of time asking about Dad dying. It’s something that really weighs on his mind. My 5-year-old wants to know why we don’t celebrate holidays on the same days as other families.

Father’s Day did not land on the actual holiday this year, at least not for us. Valentine’s Day was packaged and mailed to him while he was still at AIT on February 14th.

My almost 2-year-old asks whenever he leaves the house “Where’s daddy?” which really means “Will he be home tonight?” Before you ask “Why would you choose this lifestyle for your children?” there are benefits.

My sons have climbed in, sat, and played with real-life Army equipment. This is of course a huge highlight for them.

They live in an area that I can honestly say would not have been my choice but has worked out for us. They have the opportunity to meet, and befriend, people from literally every walk of life.

Bigger than these tangibles is the fact that we are teaching them – in a very hands-on way – ideals that are important to us. Service to Country. Protecting those who are weaker than us. Less talk, more action. Sacrificing for the greater good.

You see, he is not the only one who sacrifices. Our boys do, as well.

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