Imagine being in a new place, surrounded by people you don't know. Add that your husband is thousands of miles away, and you're about to give birth to your first child, alone. For many military families, this is a common reality. But don't think that they can't handle it, because they can.
It may be hard, but moms who are part of military families are incredibly strong. It's about "embracing the chaos" as Kelly Kavetski puts it. Kelly is a new mom, whose husband is currently deployed aboard the USS Normandy. This means she's both mom and dad to her 17 month old son, who is blissfully unaware of the hardships his mother is under.
Kelly met her husband after she graduated from college in Illinois, while he was stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Station, and she was working in Waukegan, not too far away. They lived there for a bit before he was transferred to San Diego, and he is now stationed in Norfolk, Virginia. Her husband is no stranger to this kind of life, as he's been in the Navy for 14 years. Kelly is a clinical dietician, in addition to being a new mom.
Family is an incredibly important part of the military, and it's nice to know that the military does take care of these families who are serving their country. FRG groups (Family Readiness Groups) can help keep military families going after deployment. Though FRGs aren't required, they are one of the best resources the military has for these incredible families, besides free counseling for parents and kids that are struggling to cope. Planning events and meeting new people through the FRGs forges close bonds, with people who understand exactly is going on, in a time that can feel extremely isolating.
From fun countdowns like a kiss a day (complete with chocolate kisses for each day that a family member is gone) to keeping kids as busy as possible, everyone who is involved in a military family knows what struggle and sacrifice really is.
As Mother's Day approaches, it's easy to get caught up in the fun and anticipation that usually surrounds this holiday. Brunch out for Mom's special day, beautiful flowers on the coffee table, and gifts to show Mom your sincere appreciation for her. In the military, it's no different, except it becomes more meaningful. For many families, holidays bring more meaning, along with trying to keep things as normal as they can be. All moms are important, but military moms really have a full plate.
Though it's incredibly difficult to be separated from her husband, Kelly says she feels incredibly fulfilled because every time her husband puts on his uniform, she knows that she is part of something that's bigger than her, allowing her to support her country and him.
Every mom deserves something special on Mother's Day, and military moms are no exception to that! They are tough and resourceful women. Though many may believe it, they are not damsels in distress. As Kelly says, it's amazing what happens when you have no choice but to be strong, both for yourself and your family.