Serving in your country’s military is a selfless career choice. It takes a great deal of hard work and dedication, as well as resilience from being away from home so often. You may wonder how you can parent while serving in the military, or as a military spouse. Serving in the military shouldn’t stop you from having children or living your life…
Whilst being a part of the military opens up a varied and fulfilling career path, it isn’t without its potential dangers. You can become injured and consequently disabled from your military service. This may leave you with questions like ‘can I seek compensation?’ or ‘is PTSD counted as a permanent VA disability?’ Click the link to find out more information.
Anyway, back to parenting – becoming a good parent isn’t necessarily about the job you have, but you may want to take some tips into consideration to help both you, your partner, and your child cope with changing situations.
Perfection Isn’t Necessary
No parent is perfect, whether military or not. You could end up making more mistakes by striving for utter perfection. Overcompensating when you’re home for the time you missed also isn’t a necessity. While spending time together is important, you don’t want to encourage your child into thinking they deserve a present simply because you aren’t there. Instead, do your best as, as long as your child’s needs are being met, it is enough.
You might not have your spouse around to help you raise your child all the time, or you might be leaving your partner to do the parenting. To combat parental loneliness, it can be beneficial to make friends at your base or location. These might be people who also have children, or who are due at the same time as your baby. Having friends can provide the support and reassurance in place of the missing partner, or help take the weight off if one parent suffers from disabilities.
Support Your Child’s Mental Health
Having one parent on deployment can be a risk factor for your child’s mental health. To prevent any problems, it is important that you open discourse with them to discuss any worries or emotions. You may also be able to find a support group from children of parents in the military, where they will be supported by professionals and among peers who can appreciate their situation.
Prepare Your Child
As your child grows, they will be more aware of your employment situation. They may end up feeling anxious if they never know when you would be leaving or coming home. Talking with your child about when their parent will be home, or when they will have to leave again, can help prepare them for the ever-changing situations. Military life isn’t constant, but your child can be taught about the lifestyle and how to accept it.
Recognize When You Need Support
Parenting can be extremely difficult. When you are parenting on your own while your spouse is deployed, it can be even harder, as well as lonely. You may also need to field questions regarding the other parent’s job and deployment. If you recognize the signs that you are struggling, there is no shame in asking friends, family, or medical professionals for help.
In time, your child may be able to appreciate your role and feel pride in what you do. Until that day comes, you can put things into place to support your family no matter where you are.