Ever find yourself in a situation where it seems like everyone around you knows everything about everything, while you’re looking around feeling lost? Of course you do. It happens to everyone — maybe even more often when you’re part of a military family that moves around a lot and everything is always new, right up to the time you have to leave and start over again.
Sure, there are some military spouses out there who have the ability to jump right into life as a new mom, new friend and new neighbor at a new military base, seeing it not as a challenge but as an opportunity to shine. But even so, the people around them likely still see them as “new”. Guest blogger Vicki DeLuzio shares some of her thoughts and insights below.
There are so many times in our lives, as moms, we can be classified as “the new mom”: The new mom with the new first baby. The new mom at the new military base. The new mom in the neighborhood. The new mom with the kindergartner. The new mom going back to work for the first time since having her kids.
Being the new mom, in whichever way your find yourself “new” again, can be exciting or harrowing. I remember having my first child. My husband was still stateside but considered deployed. I had a great connection with a few of the other wives in the group and they all knew the pregnancy had be fraught with complications. My husband was able to be there for the birth of our son (he made it back within MINUTES of the birth), but ten days later, he was headed back out. I was the new mom without her husband and totally lost. The close friends I had at the time weren’t married and didn’t have kids. I was lucky enough to reach out to old high school friend’s who had kids and knew the military life.
I’ve always been outgoing, and I try to strike up conversation with anyone. I occasionally (jokingly) say if I don’t have my glasses on when running, I could probably strike up a good conversation with a cactus. I do know, however, that not everyone is like I am.
We also ended up moving cross country, where we really knew no one. Once again, I was that mom who had to make some new friends. Having kids (or sometimes a dog) makes it so easy to strike up a conversation with another person.
I have noticed that sometimes us “veteran” moms go out of our way to get to know someone who may be a “new” mom and then, when they tell us their issue we shoo it away or we start to offer advice when they haven’t asked for it. When I talk with my mom friends, so often we get frustrated when people don’t validate our feelings, but instead try to fix things. I know when I’ve had a rough day with my kids, I just want my husband to say “I know honey, you’re a great mom. You’re doing a great job. Sometimes they drive us crazy. Tomorrow will be better.” The last thing I want is some suggestions on what I can do (even if it is reasonable!).
So find that new mom, whether she just had her first baby or her fifth. Invite her to your house or to the park and get to know her. Share stories about how you have struggled and what you have done to get past it, without pushing her to do the same. Hopefully she will hear your story and come up with a solution, or maybe she will ask you for advice.
We all need attention and love, especially as moms. We give and give and give all day, but having that attention from another mom who is fighting the same mom battles, is so very rewarding!
About Vicki DeLuzio:
Vicki is a mom of three kids five and under. She met her web designing (and Army Vet) husband through mutual friends. Wanting a change of pace, cheaper taxes and warmer temperatures from Connecticut, they sold their home and relocated across the country in Surprise, Arizona. Vicki now blogs about all the places they go with reviews about the amenities in Surprise. She is also a licensed Real Estate Agent and loves helping people find homes in the area.
Need more help making deployments easier for your kids? Get more parenting information and advice in our post, “Parenting Military Kids“.