Single Mom in the USMC
I just want to say that no matter what, I am completely committed to my son. He is 14 months old now and I breastfed him for 11.5 months. It was hard sometimes, but I just made a point to be [a hot shot] when it came to training issues, that way they had no place to question me. My breaks to pump, well I compared them to all the smoke breaks everyone takes, and I used to smoke. All I am trying to say is it can be done. You just need to weigh what is most important to you and you will make it through. There are a lot of nights where the house work doesn’t get done, but my son knows he is loved more than anything in the whole world!!!
Single Mom in the USN
I have to admit that I am very disgusted at some of the comments that were put in here. I also understand that everyone is entitled to their opinions (some more ignorant than others), and that I, being Active duty in the Navy defend there rights to their opinions, and their ability to speak their opinions and beliefs out loud. You have 3 types of parents out there. You have parents that planned for their children. Went through financial budgeting classes, and baby classes to better prepare themselves for the thought of even bringing a little one into the world. And then you have parents, that may or may not be married, who bring a child into their world, who may be struggling but loves that child to the fullest extreme, and will push as hard and as far as they can go to give that child what they need. And then you have the parents that don’t deserve to be parents for many reasons, who have children or may not, and condemn other people for a life that they have no right to even judge. But, then again, this is the United States. We can say anything we want. Well, if that is the case, then this is what I say to those people that made comments in here about birth control and planning for your child. Grow up. If I could curse in here I would. I was vastly amused at the ignorance that was typed in here, and I even laughed. I am a single mother in the Navy. I was married, and I divorced, and now I have my little girl with me. So, let me get this straight? I am a bad person because I divorced and I am a single mother now? Some of you guys are incredible. And some of you wonder why you don’t have children? Sounds like bitterness to me. I work hard everyday, just like many of my other American citizens. I come home from work, and make my dinner, just like you and everyone else. Some of these comments, came from people that have never served. Hmmm… what’s that saying? “Speaking from shoes from which you’ve never walked in.” Love to hear your opinion, even though you’ve never been through it. Day care is expensive. It’s especially expensive to a single parent in the Navy as an E4. But, hey, everyone that brings a child into the world, has to be prepared. That’s what some of you are saying. I’m just wondering, who gave you the almighty hand to say what people should and should not do? Last time I checked, I prayed to God, and he wasn’t on this web page typing up nonsense. But, keep expressing yourself, you have the right to. I just wish some of you understood how incredibly ridiculous you sound.
My day starts off at 0530. I wake up, take a shower, pull my hair back and put on my uniform. If I didn’t make bottles for the daycare the night before, I usually prepare them before I wake up my nine month old son. After preparing bottles and breakfast, I wake my son up, feed him, change his diapers (sometimes twice) and get him ready for school. Before we leave for base, I make sure I have the bottle bag, gym bag, and homework in the car. As soon as I drop him off at the Daycare (CDC) I head for work. I work from 0700-1600 as the NCOIC of COMSEC Build. We support the JSTARS aircraft/mission. Three to four days out of the week I head off to the gym. I usually do 1 hour of exercise before picking up my son. And because I have so many reading assignments for my on-line classes, I read my textbook while I work out on the crosstrainer or bike. After I work out, I pick up my son, go home (unless it’s commissary day) and start the evening routine. I feed my son dinner, bathe him, play with him and place him in his crib by 8pm. After that I usually do homework on-line or clean something in my house. I usually make it to bed by 10am. And at 0530 the next day I do it all over again.
To the comments of being a single parent in the military.
I am responding to this topic because I am product of a single parent in the military. My parents were both career military. They divorced when my twin sister and I were 14. I really was not affected by my parents divorce, or by living with my mom who continued to stay in the military. I know that it was really tough on her, to stay focus and pursue her career and balance the time with my sister and I. We had a lot of friends that helped out, and that help my sister and I to adjust easily to the situation. Since my mother was in a senior command position she was gone a lot. I remember while we were stationed in Texas I only saw my mother 5 weeks out of the 2 years, she was on the generals staff at the time. My sister and I had each other, but it was tough sometimes, because we wanted our mother. She missed a lot of soccer, dance, birthdays, and a couple Christmas while growing up. However, I realized, and I think my sister did too, that my mom loved us a lot, and she is serving her country so we can do the things we want to do. I know that is hard to believe that a 14 year old can grasp that, but my parents always sat us down and talked about upcoming missions or deployments, and made sure we were taken care of. Weather that be by a neighbor, a relative, a wife in the battalion. We also knew that if we acted up while she was gone that our buts would be grounded for the rest of our lives.
I guess my point is, now that I am 25 I am so appreciative of the experiences I had as an Army brat that even though my mom missed some birthdays and some important events at the time I would never make her feel guilty for letting her do her job. She was and is a great mom, and I respect her more now for having a career and retiring with a senior rank. She was able to do it, and I believe a lot of other women can do this too. I know it can get VERY overwhelming at times, but spend time with your kids, be involved with your kids, even if its only one day a week, make the time. Just don’t forget your family comes first, and educating your kids, and making them understand what your job is, and letting them know that YOU LOVE THEM. Thats my advice to all those parents who believe there kids are going to be affected by pursuing a career in the military. My sister and I graduated from college, we both are pursuing masters degrees, and we both have great careers and are married to military men. We were both in ROTC in college, but didn’t like getting up at 5:30 in the morning for PT, so we decided the military was not for us.
“Mom in the Military”
I just want to comment that I totally love being in the military. I was one of the fortunate one’s who did get out when I was pregnant and had the opportunity to rejoin a few months after my daughter was born, keeping the same rank. The only down side to the military is that it seems to be catering more and more to the civilians and dependents. Why is it that all family support programs are during the day when we are at work. I currently work in a women’s health center overseas where every 7 out of 10 women are pregnant. We have become I think the only mission essential clinic in the hospital. It is a little frustrating that all parenting and play groups are during the day when we are unable to participate. They never even seem to be during the lunch hour. Why is it that the daycare will charge us late fees, for being late to pick up our child when we are on duty 24/7. Limiting military, whether they are single or dual military to 10 hr limit a day is ridiculous, seeing that included in that ten hours is getting to work and back. I feel that unless you are in one way related to the military either dependent or retired you should not be employed on a military installation. Why are the rules different for them when we are employed by the same. Why do they get sick days just to call in and say that they don’t feel like coming in today. That effects the whole section, but when we have a sick child who has a 103 fever we are suppose to dish our child off to someone else to take care of. I was stationed at Wright Patterson, working in the pediatric clinic and everytime that i would get that dreaded phone call it was like WW3 . I once asked my supervisor who had a 3 yr old daughter if he would want his wife to take care of my sick child with his daughter at home. He replied “Hell No, you need to meet some people with out children.” I told him he obviously forgot where he was, seeing as how every family in the military has an average of 3 kids and those who don’t just don’t stay at home everyday.
I feel that the military needs to start taking care of it own people. They wonder why no one wants to join or stay in anymore, well get a clue!
“In Response to the Post ‘Single Parents in the Air Force’”
It amazes me that after working with 3 single parents in the military you feel that you are now an authority on “what single parents are like”. You also said that after working with 1 questionable single parent you “came to understand” that those 3 parents were the exception…………..do the math: 3 good compared to 1 bad………….looks to me like the 1 is the exception. I am really sorry that you had to suffer because of the hard times of a single parent in your section, but “come to understand” this: generalizing the way that you did in your posting is not only ignorant, but unfair as well. Someone’s choice to have a baby out of wedlock is not any of your business. Not at all. You are entitled to your opinion but you are not entitled to impose it on anyone else. Yes, there are single parents who can NOT handle being in the military AND raising their children. But they are the exceptions. They should be dealt with, and proper administrative action taken. Now lets do some more math. In a household where there are 2 parents, and a sitter could not be found, then 1 of those parents could stay home with the child……even if that meant missing work for that parent. If a parent in a 1 parent household doesn’t have a sitter that means that parent doesn’t go to work. THAT is why single parents have priority over couples. For your information single parents and dual military have the SAME priority on the childcare waiting list. Military married to civilians are the ones who have to wait a bit longer. I take my child on appointments when he needs to be seen by a doctor………..and yes I took him to get a passport………..I’m sorry, was I not supposed to bring him BACK to CONUS???? come on now……………..he needs a passport for that. Do you go to the doctor when you are ill? Has that NEVER caused you to miss work? Life is a bit easier for a single service member with no family when it comes to the actual load that you carry. Myself and others like me have to do a job and then raise a family, its not easy. I don’t ask for your sympathy or anyone else’s but a little bit of empathy would be great. You also had the audacity to mention how this woman was “barely in contact with the father of her child” post another letter and let us all know how that is any of your business?? My having a child out of wedlock has NOTHING to do with you, if I was out on the block on welfare using your taxes to pay my rent, maybe, but since I am a hard working military woman like yourself I deserve the same respect. And the implication that a child born out of wedlock is a “mistake” is another indicator of just how ignorant some people can be. NOT all single parents are like the one you describe in your letter. You need to be aware of that. And yes………………..you were babbling.
“Tips to Single Parents in the Military”
I have been a single parent while serving my country for the past 12 years. I am the proud mother of 3 children, one son age 14 and twin daughters, age 12. My husband and I divorced shortly after the twins were born. Well aware of the stereotype of single parents in the military, I was determined not to allow that to define me. All working parents make sacrifices to raise their children to the best of their ability at the same time and maintaining a certain quality of life. I must give credit of my success to the wonderful Family Child Care (FCC) providers who cared for my children throughout the years. However, it was not always possible to rely on Child Care programs. These programs can be very expensive or unavailable at remote locations. In one year, during one of my 3 overseas assignments, I paid over $7,000 in childcare expenses. My solution was to surrounded myself with friends who were also single parents. Within this circle of friends, we would take turns keeping each others children after normal duty hours/weekends to alleviate expenses and supplement our regular child care. When working late without notice, weekend or field duty, I always had someone available to call. We became one “big” extended family and life-long friends. This worked out great, for example, I went to the Battle Staff NCO Course for 6 weeks and I didn’t get out of class until 1900 to 2100 hrs. I arranged for another single parent to pick up my kids from the child care provider at 1700 and keep them until I got home. I then returned the favor when needed. Without the selfless providers and circle of friends I would have been unable to succeed in my career and my children would not enjoy the full life they live now. It was tough at times, but these people loved and cared for my children while I was TDY or deployed for weeks or months. Although I sacrificed time with my kids to fulfill my military career I knew my kids were safe and loved in these homes. It is not possible to “have it all” but you have to make the best of your own situation. I have a list of tips that I like to pass on to other single parent soldiers struggling to be successful:
1. Always PAY your Child Care provider FIRST. Without their support you can’t succeed. There will always be unexpected emergencies when you will need their services.
2. Find a Child Care provider that you trust, is reliable, and meets your needs. Early drop-off, late pick-up, long-term, etc. FCC providers worked best for me. The hours are more flexible and my kids were in a family oriented environment.
3. Never abuse Child Care services. Pick up your kids as soon as you get off work and keep them whenever you have a day off – Child Care providers need a break too.
4. Make it a point to meet other single parents willing to “take turns” instead of monetary payment for child care. Create an “extended family”.
5. Never use your status as a “single parent” as a crutch or an excuse to get out of work, assignments or deployments. Fulfilling all of your military obligations will ensure your success in the long-run and you will gain respect from your peers and superiors. I’ve had superiors who were surprised to learn that I was a single parent…I personally chose not to advertise this fact.
6. In case of extended absence for military duty, ensure your kids know why you have to leave, how long you will be gone and when you will return. I used a calendar and had my kids “highlight” the days I would be gone. The FCC provider would have them draw an “X” in the block after each day passed. This way they could count how many days “until Mommy comes home”. Even very young children can understand this and it really helped all of us get through the absences.
7. Always remember “Mission First” - Do not abuse time-off from work because of your kids. All kids get sick, have routine doctor’s visits, and scheduled days off from school or school activities. Use your leave when you can and inform your superiors well in advance. I usually scheduled my leave according to the school calendar…usually Christmas holiday and Spring Break. I tried to schedule doctors appointments late in the afternoon, after normal duty-hours or during a lull in mission requirements. As a Senior NCO I have soldiers to lead and care for – soldiers deserve your leadership and time as well as your kids. If you cannot put your mission first, the military may not be your best career choice. You must seriously evaluate your particular circumstances. – A friend of mine had a child born with severe birth defects. He considered his circumstances, the Pros and Cons, and determined that he could not place the mission before his child so he left the military at his ETS. He had a better support system back in his hometown and was able to find work that allowed time for the proper care of his child.
8. Try not to feel Guilty about leaving your kids in the care of others while you work. This was my most difficult challenge. Most parents must work to provide for their families, so we all must sacrifice. I am a good NCO and my kids are well rounded individuals. We are not perfect, but who is?
SFC “MRT”, U.S. Army
“In Response to the Post, ‘Mothers in the Forces’”
Becoming a member of the armed services serves two points for single parents. The first is job stability. Nowhere else can you almost be guaranteed a job for a minimum of 4 years. Therefore, you have means to provide for you child or children. The second is knowing that, although your circumstances maybe different than those in the civilian sector, you are doing what is best for you and your children. It is not easy to be a parent, a single parent, or a single parent in the military. If she had to choose between being homeless, going on public assistance or taking a pay cut to provide housing, health insurance, and a better life for her child, what would she do? I believe she would make the same sacrifices many of the women who serve have. Although some women complain about not seeing their children as often, I see my daughter more now than I did when I was a civilian. I stayed home with my daughter for the first 7 months and I know the joy of experiencing first moments. The moments that any mom shares with her child cannot be taken away. Personally, I want my daughter to understand the values of independence and honor. She knows I love her and that’s all that really matters.
“In Response to the Post, ‘Mothers in the Forces’”
Apparently this lady has never been in the military because she doesn’t understand why we do what we do. I am a new mother of a 10 month old and yes, I have had trouble with daycare and it’s prices but I have found other routes to take. Yes, I love my child and she comes first but to give my child the things that she needs, I have to work. It so happens that my job right now is in the Navy and I am obligated to serve 5 years with no turning back. It is not like a regular job, when I have a baby then I quit my job. WHATEVER! I believe people have to look at the good things to, my child has free medical care, and in a home that can provide her the things that she needs because I have a stable job. I don’t like the fact that I will have to leave her soon for 6 months but I know that there will come a time that she will understand what I did and why I did it. So, until I can finish my time to the Navy, I am here and there is nothing I can do about it but to enjoy everything I can and provide the things for my child the best way that I can.
“Mothers in the Forces”
I have been reading all of the letters in this column and have found that a general complaint is a strenuous work schedule and trouble with your day-care systems. I guess what I have trouble with is understanding how you continue on with your military career through these conditions. I do hear how you claim to adore serving your country and it is something many of you have aspired to do for many years, but I feel that once you have children you have to put their needs first and that does not include raising a bunch of suitcases. I just don’t feel this is a stable enough environment for your children. I am also a mother and have had to make many changes to accommodate my choice of having a family. You people go on about how difficult it is on you but have you thought of how hard this is on them, they are just children. They did not have the luxury to choose this hectic and uncertain life you have chosen for them. Please do not feel that I am judging you, but, I just can’t help but feel that the children are the real martyrs. I know because I watched my son grow in so many positive ways by having only one serving parent. P.S. it also saves a lot on day-care and you will have the opportunity to raise you children how you want them to be raised.
Being a single mother in the military and in a unit that deploys about every 6 months to Saudi and got to the field for 2 weeks every month. I think units that deploy alot or do a lot og training should be reimburse for childcare. The average military personnel works a 12 hour day mon-friday. (I am including Pt) Not to mention the time you have to have your children @daycare to make it at work on time. I wish that all of us (single, married, and dual military couples) can put enough pressure on the right people so that we can have reimbursement for childcare and also make it mandatory that all military childcare centers provide 24/7 child care! As for the home based military care providers….. they should have the option of doing the 24/7. How does that sound everyone? I wonder how can I try to get that approved.
“In Response to the Post
‘Single Parents in the Air Force’”
I would like to start off and say that I agree with the other lady, you are mad and resentful against one person and you are using that to categorize a lot of people. Let’s set something straight really fast though. You have no right to tell a woman that she can or cannot have a child regardless of marital status. I have seen both sides of the fence and for your information I am also in the Air Force as a senior airman. I know a lot of woman that were happily married and decided to have children and for whatever reason they are now raising those children on their own. Sometimes you do need help and a little understanding but for the most part all of the single parents in the military are able to do both. When you have an illness then you go to the hospital to cure it. This is during duty hours, am I correct? So therefore you have had times that you have had to take away from the mission also. These were personal items that you had to deal with that you yourself needed time off to handle. I understand your frustration at working with someone incompetent but who are you to criticize and to say that her not doing her job was solely base upon her having a child. It was obvious that she had issues other than her child that she needed to have dealt with. About daycare, you ranted and raved abut the fact that she was given special priority on the waiting list, well guess what, so are dual military families. They are given the same priority as her. Should they too be punished in your eyes because they are both in the military. I had a son while being single and on active duty and you know what, it was hard. A lot of people have the same idea that you do, and looked down on me because I wasn’t married but unless you have walked in those shoes then I suggest that you don’t judge. A very famous person once said that “the who has the first sin then cast the first stone”. It is true. It sounds like supervision is being too lenient on her. You shouldn’t come into work late everyday and get away with it regardless if you have a child or not. But before you judge so harshly have you ever taken the time to talk to her. Not to chastise or criticize but too sincerely talk to her. Maybe you would have a better understanding of what she is going through. All the appointments that you talked about though are things that have to been done regardless if she was married or not. Even being married I have to do those kind of things too. Sounds to me like you need to sit down and have a long talk with your supervisor. Remember the chain of command, that’s what it is for and it starts with your supervision. I’ve gone on long enough but I would like to say one more thing. NEVER EVER call someone else’s child a mistake. You weren’t there so you don’t know. No child regardless of its parentage should be treated differently. The way you said that sounded to me as though you were saying because the mother wasn’t married then her child was less of a person. I have two children now. One I had while I was single and one I have had since being married.Do you really think one child is better that the other because of a piece of paper.
In Response to the Post
“Single Parents in the Air Force”
My, oh, my! You really need to open your eyes, honey! No offense, but I think that maybe you are a little annoyed and resentful for the wrong reasons. First of all, you said that the 3 single parents at your 1st base were the exception because they came to work on time, didn’t complain about going TDY and leaving the baby home, basically had it together, right? And that the female at your 2nd base was the example of the majority of the single parents in the military? I understand that this person was possibly abusing her rights or maybe using her baby as an excuse for being late and not wanting to go TDY, etc. Since you are the one going TDY and being responsible about coming to work on time I could see why you would be somewhat annoyed at the situation, but not necessarily at the single parent simply because she is a single parent. I think it would be wrong to assume that single parents make it harder on everyone else, including themselves, just because you happen to work with one who, as an individual, is irresponsible. You are using one bad apple as an example when you just mentioned 3 other single parents who were doing a fine job of juggling the single parent part and their military job! I think that putting a label on single parents because of one individual is wrong. In fact, it sounds like stereotype to me.
Another point I would like to mention is that, being a parent myself, married couples who have children in the military still go to appointments for them and if your child is sick in the morning with the flu, chances are you will be taking them to the hospital, therefore arriving to work late. Things do happen that, as a responsible parent- single or not, need to be taken care of during work hours.
My friendly advise to you: if this single parent that you work with is taking advantage of others or using her child as an excuse to get out of work or whatever, talk to your supervisor about it or even try to talk to her if you think that would be a good idea. Let her know that there are single parents out there going on TDY’s and busting their butt to get to work on time even when things come up. If this isn’t a good idea then bring it up to whoever is covering for her when she feels like copping out. The person who might be the problem, besides her, is the one who is giving her special privileges when she shouldn’t be getting them. I happen to work at a place where we go TDY all the time too. In fact, it seems like it’s an on-going thing in our shop. Most of the people here do have children and still go TDY. On the other hand, they also have times where they do need assistance and those are the times when people like you should look at the situation- maybe give a little understanding too. Some day if you ever have a child of your own, single parent or not, you will understand. Still, like I said before, if this girl is the problem than don’t create a bad image for single parents because of her. Also, I would hate to look at having a child as a mistake.
Sincerely, Parent of one in New Mexico
“Single Parents in the Air Force”
I am a young female airman currently serving at my second Air Force base. At my first base, I worked with 2 single mothers and 1 single father. My particular job requires a lot of TDY’s and a lot of long hours. Well, these 3 people that I worked with at this particular base NEVER complained about having to find a child care provider. I never heard them complain about having to come into work early or going on 4 month TDY’s to the desert. When I came to my second base, I realized that these wonderful people that I used to work with were the exception.
When I arrived on station, I met a female that I would be working with. She had just found out that she was pregnant. She was unmarried and barely in contact with the father of her child. Needless to say, she was on her own. Well, those nine months were filled with nothing but house hunting, ob/gyn, and administrative appointments. She couldn’t do most of the work that my job requires. Okay, that’s fine, I could understand that. BUT, when the baby came I would come to understand all of the people that have ever complained about single parents in the military. First of all, her child was put into daycare immediately because she was a single parent which made her a higher priority. I found that to be very unfair to couples who had been on the daycare waiting list longer than her. Why should they be punished for her mistake? The airman would show up to work late and use excuses like, “the baby kept me up all night,” and the baby just didn’t want to get up this morning.” This airman would leave constantly for appointments. I’m talking not only doctor’s appointment’s, but appointments to get her baby a passport, appointments to get her baby a birth certificate, etc. It was endless. When it was time to deploy to a high threat area the other month, I was forced to go even though I went on the last one. I was told that it wouldn’t be fair to her because then she’d have to find child care. Is that my problem? Also, my job involves flying so our schedule is based on the flying schedule. Sometimes our flights are really early or really late. Therefore, we need a person to come in early or stay late during those times. Guess who always gets volunteered to pull these shifts? ME!!! It wouldn’t be fair to her to have to go find child care. That’s what I was told once again. Okay, I know that I’m babbling, but my point is that when people choose to have a baby out of wedlock, they are not only making things harder on themselves, but they are making things harder on everybody else. People need to think before they act and supervisors and command personnel need to make sure that military members like me are not being taken advantage of because of other people’s mistakes. Thank you.
“Feedback to ‘Military Parenthood’ “
I am currently a single mother in the air force of a two year old. I feel as though the air force has really helped me raise my child. My son goes to daycare about nine hours a day. It gives me a break and it also gives him a break and a chance to interact and learn from other children. Contrary to what you said most daycare centers on at least air force bases help you teach your children things. I am being helped to potty train him and he has motivation because he sees other kids going to the bathroom so he wants to go to. I get a very detailed list everyday with everything he did that day when I go to pick him up.It includes when he slept, when and what he ate, what he did as far as playing and as learning. I believe it is good for him to be able to interact with children his own age. I have been away from my son for several months this year (about three) and I missed him but you know what, he didn’t forget who I was and actually it was a well needed break. I am able to go to college with the military paying 75% plus get the pell grant and take two classes a semester. I am almost done with my associates degree now and most of my military training has been applied to my collage as credits. Even when you wait tables you have to leave your daughter and at least this way you can be building your and her futures. The time in basic goes by quickly because of all the things you have to do and learn. I can honestly say that being in the air force as a single mother has done me a lot of good. No other job is going to worry if you have a place to stay and food to eat and is going to help you in those sticky situations. I think that going to talk to an air force recruiter (I’m biased) would do you really well.
A response to the question, What’s It Like Being a Single Parent in the Military?
It is very hard as a two stripper to deal with my son and the military way of life. Daycare at my particular base is not very exercise friendly. When you are surrounded by married military members who have never had to take care of a child on their own, it is very hard to get understanding from them when the daycare calls and says your child is sick and you have to pick him up. For me there is no spouse to drop him off to and say, “honey stay with him.” I work two jobs and go to school because a household needs two incomes and there is only one body to do it. If I want a chance in the military then I have to start my off duty education so eventually I will make enough as to where I do not have to take on a second job. Housing is very hard too. In an area where the cost of living is high and the pay isn’t, it’s either live in an area I can’t go out at night in or sacrifice other things to pay a very expensive rent. I always wonder why priority isn’t given to young airmen with families on the base housing list. Because if I hadn’t gotten pregnant, there is no way I would have been allowed to move off base because of the financial strain. But the moment I became pregnant I had to make arrangements for a place for me and the baby to stay because I couldn’t live in the dorms. Maybe the idea is that my financial strain has gone away. It hasn’t. In fact it got worse because now there are two mouths to feed off the same income I had in the dorms. Only this time everything is not free. Maybe one day the “higher ups” will realize why the younger generation is no longer interested in serving their country. Instead of guessing, they will just ask us. Help me while I am helping myself and you will have a dedicated person for the rest of your life. Just a little compassion and understanding is all that is needed to get someone who will be dedicated forever. I have always had high regards for the military all my life and this was the dream I had. To be able to serve my country. Now it looks like I will have to give that dream up because I can’t afford the rent anymore. Maybe one day this country will realize that some of the greatest “would be leaders” got out because they couldn’t afford the rent either.
A response to the question, What’s It Like Being a Single Parent in the Military?
Well for starters it’s not easy but nobody ever said life would be easy. I have been very fortunate I am going on four years in the Navy and only had to leave my daughter once for three months to attend school. Fortunately she stayed with her father part of the time and my mother the rest. But now that I am stationed in Arlington, VA., I have nobody. All my family is at least 12 hours away. Being a single mom makes for a long day. My next door neighbor was joking with me the other day. I had just drove home to Michigan to get my household goods that I had in storage. He made a comment because I drove a Ryder truck from home to Virginia with my two year old and said that “I should have done it in uniform so that he could have recommended me for a Navy Achievement Medal.” I never thought I would be able to balance the two and I looked up to all the men and women in the military that are single-parents and in the military it’s not easy.
What’s it like being a single-parent in the military? What do you do with your children when you have to deploy or go on a long TDY?
I was very fortunate to find a great babysitter on post who would keep my toddler while I was sent to the field or go on TDY. The sitter’s husband was in the Army and knew all about the inconveniences. I think that’s the way to go. When my son became sick (to be hospitalized) while I was gone the sitter had the knowledge and where-withall to contact the right people to get me pulled out of the field. My NCOs were quite committed to taking care of family first fortunately.