Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
Most of my memories of 9/11 focus on the day and the immediate aftermath. Some have formed after the fact, spurred by things like visiting the World Trade Center site. But this year, I am thinking back to this time last year, when I had a chance to correspond with a number of military wives and learn more about how their lives have been influenced by 9/11. In fact, I had an opportunity to publish a guest blog post by military wife and mom Laura @ semperfimomma, in which she talked about her own experiences, both pre- and post 9/11.
This year, I’d like to link to Laura’s website, where you can read about how she is preparing her kids for their dad’s deployment with a very creative idea – using a puzzle with a picture of dad to help the kids keep track of the time he is deployed so they can anticipate when he will return. Each puzzle piece will represent a certain amount of time being deployed (e.g., 1 week), and each time a puzzle piece is added, dad’s arrival back home will be that much closer – culminating of course with a final piece of the puzzle signaling his return.
Best wishes to Laura and her family for a happy reunion.
Categories: Behavior, Health, Parenting, Red-Hot Parenting, Relationships, Stories | Tags: 9/11, deployment, kids of deployed soldiers, military families, military wives, Semper Fi Momma
Thursday, September 8th, 2011
Over the past few months we’ve had an ongoing discussion about the challenges facing family members — both non-deployed spouses
— when a parent is deployed. Today featured blogger Laura @ semperfimomma
offers some great suggestions for those of us who want to support military families:
Supporting a military wife and her family while her husband is deployed is easier than most think. My top 5 ways to support are as such:
1. Just be a friend. An ear. Usually, a husband comes home from work. The couple will chat about their day, or any current events going on in their lives. Often when they go to bed at night they lay there and talk about whatever is on their minds. This is time for a wife to vent, talk about something exciting, or share some new news. Either way, this outlet for conversation is now gone. Being a friend and giving a military wife simple, adult conversation is one of the most important things you can do to show support.
2. Lend a hand. In the simplest ways, mind you, as they are usually the ones that make the biggest impact. Taking a baked dish over saves a friend on prep time. If all she has to do is pop it in the oven you’ve afforded her some extra time with her kids, or possibly a little sanity by not having to rush around trying to throw something together while her children are squawking at her like baby birds.
3. Share neighborhood tips and info. If you see a military family just moving into your neighborhood, pass along some tips that you all know about the area. Like which places have the best deals, or what the closest places are and how to get to them. Personally, I’m directionally impaired, so this advice is extremely valuable to me.
4. Share a sitter. Have a babysitter? Maybe there is one that you and a few neighbors would recommend? Again, extremely valuable advice to share. Even under normal circumstance we all like to enjoy a little break: some ‘me’ time. However, it can easily be put off just for the sake of not having a sitter and not knowing where to look for one who is trustworthy.
5. Offer simple yard management
. And I mean simple. Little things like pulling trash cans in from the curb, or helping to rake leaves. This may seem fairly minor, but it really is the little things that make a big difference. A friend of mine
, who lives in a civilian neighborhood, said her neighbors were such a blessing to her while her husband was deployed
, and one of the reasons was the little yard work they did for her to help her out.
Thank you, Laura!
Saturday, September 3rd, 2011
As the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches, everyone who experienced this event is flooded with recollections of that day, its aftermath, and our current thoughts and feelings about it. By virtue of my prior posts about the lives of military families — including the challenges of being a non-deployed parent and being a child with a deployed parent — I have had a unique opportunity to listen to the voices of military wives. I have found that we all share a mission of bringing awareness to the sacrifices made by those who serve in the armed forces and their families. To that end, I am honored to feature in this post a blogger — Laura @ semperfimomma — who writes eloquently about the life of a military wife and mom.
I asked Laura to share her reflections on 9/11. Here they are:
When we hit our 11 year anniversary, my husband and I both agreed that the time had flown by so fast and it almost felt like yesterday we were married. Looking back and thinking about the attacks on September 11th, 10 years ago, feels a lifetime away to me. On a family fishing trip, I remember standing there staring at the television watching the second plane crash. I was in total disbelief. I thought to myself, “Life is never going to be the same.”
The ironic part is that to talk to anyone now, I don’t feel like my life is very different. Like I was then and now, I’m a military wife. We, just like our husbands, adapt and overcome all the obstacles and challenges in our lives. It’s what we do, not just as military wives but as women and mothers as well. We’re human. We evolve. And so do our children. Most of them don’t know any different of a life. Having their fathers gone for 6 months or more at a time is ‘normal’ to them, though that doesn’t make the absence any easier to bear.
This week Laura featured thoughts on 9/11 by three military wives on her blog — I encourage you to click here to read these moving pieces.
I’m very grateful for the chance I have had to start a dialogue with a number of military wives. My next post will focus on tips that Laura @semperfimomma offers us to help support military families as they take on their daily challenges.