Hello! My name is Kate. Let me introduce you to our family! My husband, Greg, has been in the Army as an active duty soldier for about 4 1/2 years. We have five “military brats”, Gregory 10, Connor 6, Nathan 4, and twins Michele and Owen 19 months. My husband is currently 5 months into a year short tour to South Korea. This tour is our family’s second experience with daddy being away. The first time was to Afghanistan almost 4 years ago. My husband was home from basic for three months before he left for the sandbox. When he deployed, it gave me a first hand knowledge of just how hard it can be for me and for my children.
Three Years Later…
Here we are three years later, 5 months into a short tour and even though we have our hard days we are doing it together and getting through day by day. I try so hard to help my kids through the nights of missing daddy and provide the best care I can keeping us all super busy to pass the time. However it never prepared me for what my 6 year old said to me last Monday. It was a crazy busy Monday. I came home from picking up the kids from school, started helping with homework. We had cold cereal for dinner that night because I was just to exhausted and stressed to cook. I felt so guilty for not having a hot meal for them. I got the twins up to bed and decided to allow the older boys to watch cartoons with me a little later and have a popcorn movie night before bedtime.
Connor (6) came over and sat down with me and we started talking about how school went. He told me of a secret Mother’s Day craft he was working on! He was quiet for a few minutes. Then he said that a fellow student told him that their mom was a single mom because they don’t have a daddy. Before I could try and think about how to explain to him that sometimes families are built differently he asked me a question. Mom? Are you a single mama because my daddy is in Korea? Because I know you love me and you do a good job. I love you mama. I miss daddy. I cried. And I cried some more. He asked me what was wrong. I said that I miss daddy too.
A Kid’s Perspective
He brought me a whole new perspective on how my kids perceive our crazy military life. I knew that my husbands short tour was going to be hard for us. Everyday I see the struggles my children go through. I feel stressed to the max some days. I feel like I’m not going to make it until bedtime some nights. My kids don’t see the messes. They don’t care what they had for dinner. They see their mama working hard for them. They see me doing it alone. And they miss their daddy. They see me doing a good job where sometimes I feel like I am failing. I tried to prepare for the struggles of a long separation, but I never thought about how they perceive me while daddy is away. They make me proud to be their mama!