Tips For Military Moms For Mother's Day
Tips For Military Moms For Mother’s Day
Military service members sacrifice much of their lives for their mission. Moms sacrifice a lot for their families. Moms of service members are a special breed often showing care and concern from afar. And worrying, always worrying.
These tips are for mothers of military service members, and they focus on managing the stress and anxiety that inevitably comes with mothering a child in a potentially dangerous profession.
LEARN ACCEPTANCE | Accept what is not within your control. Refocus on things that you can control and plan for and shift from focusing on those things that you cannot control like deployments. Focus on learning about your child’s branch of the service so that you can ask meaningful questions when you are able to speak with them. Plan for quality time activities when you are able to speak with or see them.
TALK ABOUT IT | Identify your supportive friends and family, and potential mentors that you can trust sharing your feelings with. You can share your pride in your child’s service, your concern for their safety, and everything in-between. Research local (and online) support groups of parents of service members to connect with.
TAKE CARE | … of yourself!!! Take care of your body with exercise, healthy eating habits, getting enough sleep, seeking medical care when needed, engaging in activities that bring peace and rest, and having fun! Feed your mind by learning something new, listening to music, reading, spending time in nature, practicing spirituality and/or religious activities, traveling, and getting involved in causes that are meaningful to you and provide purpose. Don’t be afraid to consult a licensed therapist if things get to be too much and interfere with your ability to function.
NOTE: The Cohen Clinic at Penn offers free mental health support for military members including parents of service members, and veterans!
CHECK IN WITH YOURSELF | Monitor your mind and check in with yourself and your thoughts.
Are you continually defaulting to the worse-case scenario? Is your thinking accurate, or is it based on fears or opinions? Is your current thinking helping you support your child? Consider adopting a more balanced perspective by engaging in positive self-talk, refraining from jumping to conclusions, and focusing on facts.
TRUST THE PROCESS | Your child is being trained how to best take care of themselves and keep themselves safe. Try to find comfort in that. Know your mental boundaries so you can be there for your child with love, support, and encouragement, but pull back if you cannot manage your feelings. Seel support when you need it.
As Mother’s Day approaches, you may be feeling fearful or uneasy about your child. This holiday may intensify those feelings. Remember that your child has entered a new phase in their lives - a phase with growth and challenges. Adjust to find a ‘new normal’ that feels right for you. This will be the best way to keep yourself and your child serving in the military safe, strong, and supported. And, the best way to maintain a loving relationship with them. If you have any other ideas to share, please leave a comment below.