By Elaine Brye
Life as the mom of a service member can be mighty lonely. We learn to let go, land the helicopter, and cut the apron strings as our children leave for basic training. The cycle continues as they head to new duty stations and deployments. While we are so proud, we also feel very alone and out of touch.
As moms, we often lack the companionship of other moms who understand. Many times, we don’t live in a military community where other spouses and family members support each other. That isolation can amplify our fears as our children move into dangerous situations.
When the first of my four children joined the military in 2001, I thought I had all the preparation necessary to transition to becoming a military mom. I have grown up in the military, been in military training, and was married to a military service member. I was shocked when the enormity of sending my precious child into service hit me. As his brothers and sisters followed his lead, the sting of letting go and coping with their deployments was amplified times four.
I knew I needed to find a way to survive and hopefully thrive. Pride in their service as defenders of freedom is a huge motivator, but as time went on I began to build my deployment tool kit. In my search for positivity and strength I came across Army Mom Strong’s website and Facebook page. Her well-crafted memes and posts were inspirational. I knew I had found a kindred spirit in my search to assume my role of military mom with grace and fortitude.
As experienced military moms, Army Mom Strong and I faced a decision. Do we crumble in the fetal positon overwhelmed by the worries that are ever-present? Or do we learn to embrace the suck and work to become stronger and find joy in the journey? I had previously written Be Safe Love Mom: A Military Mom’s Stories of Courage, Comfort and Surviving Life on the Homefront to encourage military moms.
Army Mom Strong had over 93,000 followers on Facebook looking to her for inspiration and support. We wanted to create something moms could slip in their purse or grab when they needed a boost. Our book, The Heart of a Military Mom, is designed to do just that. We created a powerful, emotional and inspirational pictorial book of encouragement and support for military moms of all branches.
Through beautiful photos accompanied with inspirational quotes and personal stories from our military mom experiences, we provide a shot of courage and hope for moms who may need a boost. It is the perfect book for a mom who may be struggling as she listens to the news and worries about her son or daughter. It is also a great way to focus on what we need to do to become stronger. The tips and stories come from our years as military moms and how we have crafted a strategy to cope and thrive despite the stress of being a military mom.
We are all in this together as we keep the home front strong.