If being able to express your emotions here helps you be more calm with your sailor recruit when he/she calls, then please by all means feel free to express yourself here. It is an open forum. I would suggest however that anyone who is overwrought take a step back, take a deep breath and find ways to get through the rough part now before that important call from your recruit comes in. The recruits are probably experiencing an endeavor that is beyond anything they have ever done in their young lives. They are probably lonely, terrified, confused, may feel inferior, may feel inadequate, hoping they won't fail (so they won't be sent home), hoping they would fail (so they would be sent home), ambivalent about their decision and much more..... all this in the company of many equally baffled young men and women with no sleep and someone yelling in your face all day long.
You, moms don't have to apologize for being emotional. It is OK. Whether the child is 17, 23 or 27 as a mom (or dad), there will always be a part of you that will worry. Some of us worry less, some more. Some of us keep it in check better than others. That is OK.When you recruit calls, ask him to describe something that he liked about BC. Ask him about the positives. Remind him that you have read in your trusty N4M site that the first 2 weeks is just the most god awful thing on the planet. If he has made it through a week, say "Look you are half way through the very worst part, it's going to get better from this point on." I read many statements like, "I know this is the best thing for him. I am so proud of him." Come on moms, you know your child, you know what you need to say to give him encouragement, to help him confirm within himself that he has made the right choice. You want to smell his clothes to feel closer to him again, that is fine; but do not tell your recruit that right now - they wouldn't know how to wrap their minds around that vision (I am assuming here that you have not done that before). Between us moms, we understand the need.
New moms, this is just a gentle reminder that you have to put on a good face, be encouraging when he cries on the phone (and wails that he wants to come home), be supportive, be positive. He needs to know that you can let him go (and will always be there for him/her). YOU MUST NEVER LET HIM KNOW THAT YOU HAVE A BROKEN HEART AND WOULD LOVE TO HAVE HIM HOME SLEEPING IN HIS OLD BED.
I have used masculine gender for simplicity.
Some suggestions for getting through this:
- Do not neglect you family. Some of you mention having younger kids who are also having a hard time dealing with older brother/sister leaving the family for the first time. Spend extra time with the remaining kids at home. They need it.
- Do not neglect your spouse/significant other. Share you experience. Find a new outlet for your loneliness. You husband will try to be strong - remember he too is probably missing your recruit and some just won't talk about it. You may have to pull it out of them.
- Do not neglect yourself. This is the time to think of the next chapter in your life. If you are going to be an emptynester, start evaluating your life (in hindsight and going forward), rearrange you house, get those papers in order, find a part time job, start a scrapebook, learn a new craft (quilting, sewing, playing an instrument) .. anything
- Develop standard "responses" as you go through being a part of the military family, you will encounter stupid comments from people - develop phrases that you can use to divert the topic, answer in such a way to discourage further discussion.
- Find other Navy moms in your lcoal area - for a meet and greet, coffee, lunch. It will make you more sane.
- If you are getting too involved with this site and think you have gotten addicted - don't turn on the computer every spare moment - turn it on just several times a day with time limits.
- Stick with the reason why this site exist - to give support or get support for those involved in the Navy. This means if the subject matter starts to wonder outside of why you are here, take a step back. You don't have to read about every detail about everyone else. You are naturally going to become good friends with a few on this site. And this is good. But you don't have to be involved with everyone and everyone's business. A few tend to disclose way too much about their personal lives. Remember your recruit may be reading this, so be discreet.
- Be open minded when you read responses to your blogs, in your discussions. I truly do not believe any one here is trying to be mean. I know a few of us (I include myself here) tend to be more methodical in nature and are borne problem solvers. We are more at home when presented with a problem because we can roll our sleeves up and find the solution and get the job done. Others are more emotionally based and are more feel better when they can share their frustrations, hurts, joys with others. That is OK too. The bottom line is life is in reality emotionally based - just in varying degrees. I firmly believe that we can all benefit from each others differences.
- New moms, you have an obligation to be pro-active in becoming informed. The experience moms who are here on a day in and day out bases are just moms like you with disappointments, hurts, problems of their own. Please take a few minutes to acknowledge their contributions, their giving of their time, energy, knowledge and efforts. When we post a link or a suggestion, please take the time to follow up (whether this is a question posted by you or someone else). If you just surf the discussion groups and the blogs you will gain a truckload of information. It really is all here.
- Please come back and pay it forward. This is a volunteer site. It exist because of unpaid volunteers who have devoted long hours here. Some of us are winding down and transitioning to a more passive role in the background. My sailor commitment ends next month - I have been given orders to cease and desist - LOL well, I'll have to sneak in my computer session on N4Ms.
P.S. I have sons, 27 and 23 - I have been through this ups and downs a few times. Trust me, ladies.