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When I joined the Navy 20-some years ago, my mom wasn't thrilled, but was at least somewhat supportive.Now that my sons are joining (older son is in DEP and younger son is applying for NROTC), she's freaked out. She has called, texted and emailed her displeasure. My older son needed some paperwork at MEPS that he left at her house (he lived with her 300 miles from our home for a year while he attended junior college classes) and she refused to get it for him unless he promised to not take a job that might require that he kill someone. (I didn't bring up the fact that it might happen in ANY job, in self-defense.)

My mom watched my brother's best friend self-destruct while in the Navy a few years ago. Much of it was his own fault, not paying attention to what he needed to do, and part was the Navy screwing up his paperwork so that he was in holding for 6 months while the Navy worked the problem out. By the time the Navy got it together, he had turned into an alcoholic, had a horrible attitude and was separated with an other-than-honorable discharge. She decided it was all the Navy's fault.

I think there is also the factor that there is a war with two active fronts (or is it two wars?) going on right now, when I was in we had Glasnost - the end of the Cold War.

So my mom is freaked out, if I even mention my son's activities in DEP, or his joining, she freaks out. When I mentioned that my younger son was applying for NROTC she freaked again and hung up on me with "You KNOW how much I hate the military." Her health is not good, which probably has a lot to do with her emotional stability regarding this issue. As I said, she didn't used to be like this. She is hurting herself AND my sons at this point. The boys know about her, ahem, quirks, but this upsets everyone.

Has anyone dealt with this kind of situation? How do you balance "grandma's love" with "grandma is freaked out"?

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She's not all that old, she's only 62. She can't use her age as an excuse for her behavior. This is part of who she is, I guess. She's always been emotionally very weak, us pushing back (even just telling her to chill out when dealing with the boys) would probably not make her stop, but go into a massive emotional tailspin ending with a crash.
Listen to what everyone is saying...they are so right. She is emotionally blackmailing you, trying to control you with her ways. My mother is the same way...told my daughter go ahead and join the Navy, I'll probably be dead by the time you get out. Now, she won't even talk to my daughter when she does come home to visit. It is very sad, but it is of her own creation...not yours!
She's trying to blackmail you. I'm older than her so I can say this. She'll keep telling you to jump and every time you ask how high she'll have won. It's very sad that through her own foolishness she's going to alienate her grandchildren. Your boys need to do what they have planned to do and accept the fact that while their grandma loves them, she's not totally in her right mind and needs to be forgiven.......and her tantrums ignored. The more you let her see she's getting to you, the more she'll keep it up. You have to very calmly tell her to butt out.
Are you kidding me? If I listened to unsupportive relatives, I would still be living with mommy and daddy....
I know this life is mine to live and I never thought about what other people thought since they are not the
ones paying my bills, supporting me financially, etc.
Plunge forward in life and let them think what they want.
If I seriously listened to negativity, I would be no where.
I always lead a life with this great thought in mind "What's the worst thing that could happen?"
It is time to grow up and go forward.
The fact of the matter is your sons need your support first and foremost. I would stand up to my mother and say.....Mom this is their choice if you have nothing nice to say and can't show support say nothing at all. If she is negative with the them they need to do the same. I'm scared everyday for my sailor who is currently deployed, that is no excuse to tear them down by being negative. When ever he tells me something scary I say you will be awsome and we will get through it. Everyone has the right to their opinions but they don't have a right to force them at every turn. When my mom who is also emotionally week says things negative I tell her mom we are not going to go there. That's all it takes cause she knows I mean it and I will remove myself from her and her emotional baggage. Distance some times makes one stop and think. I for one would like to say thanks to your boys for making the choice to serve. Wishing you and your sons the best.
PS I think it's called tough love and it can apply to parents as well as our kids.
"Why did you let M. join the Navy?" I'll always remember that call from my mother in law. And yet the same comment from her daughter, my sister in law. I guess because my dad was career Navy and I was raised in a Navy town, it was my fault. Personally, I blame David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs and Navy Academy grad.

my first thought was "do they know the same kid I do?"...and then I said the same thing over and over "we raise our children to make their own decisions and choices about their lives and we don't get to complain (too much) when they do so."

I am your mother's age and I have the same memories and fears related to them of the Viet Nam war and so many who didn't come home or came home so screwed up it affects their lives today. I am also the mom of a Navy greenside corpsman who was in the sand last year. I hate war with all my being, but I respect my son's choice for his life. And I'm very proud of him and all of those with whom he serves.

Point out to your mother, one more time, that neither of you can make these choices for your sons, they have made them for themselves and now it's time to respect their first real adult decision and just be proud of them. Cry in the shower, not on their shoulders.

Tell her to come here, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, all are here, not just moms.
Jeanna, I am proud of you for sticking to your guns. My daughter is excited about joining the Navy but her father is not so supportive.. We had a disagreement about this over the weekend because he thinks she should wait 6 months to make a decision. He has been very controlling and doesn't want to let go. I on the other hand am excited for her (and also scared) but am supporting her decsion all the way.
When do you go to boot camp? Please keep in touch and let me know how things are going for you!
Sorry I am new to Navyformoms...I forgot to check back in on this thread. I leave for bootcamp next May, unless the Officer Program accepts my package I put in for October, in which case I won't know for months when I'm leaving. Excited for either. It's a really tough decision to decide to serve. Don't know think I could have stuck with my guns had I been 18, thats why it's important for the younger ones to have their loved ones support. When I made my decision I was so stressed over telling my Mom, and my SO (who's a Marine) said even his parents were against his decision initially. Ask his Mother now and she thinks its the best thing that ever happened. Things will turn around if your daughter is hardened in her resolve. She has to know you two are not going with her, so SHE must be sure can handle this on her own because she will have to when she reports for boot.
Since everyone else has dispensed the advise, all I'm going to say is Navy families here are now YOUR family, and we are proud of and support your recruit.
I kind of have been going through the same thing with my nephew. Last year I talked to him about wheather or not he was going to re enlist. He wasn't sure at that time. Then he emailed me and asked me for my opinion. I told him to look around at the job situation and how does he really feel about being in the Navy. I told him I would support what ever he did. In Feb. of this year he told me that he decided to extend for another 2 more years. Which in total for him would be 4 years. I told him how proud I was of him. I called my parents later that week and told them the good news. My mom was MAD at me. She said " how could you be so stupid" ? I think my nephew staying in the navy is the best thing for him. He is really a smart young man. But living in Ventura California gave him no direction. He was going to college but couldn't decided what he wanted to do. I am so proud of him. It seems like I am the only one that gives him the support. My sister went balistic when he first enlisted. In fact she went off on the recruiter. Not a good thing. She doesn't talk about him being in the Navy, Me?? I love to talk about my wonderful nephew who is serving his country.
Ooh-Rah! I agree. Our sailor was working in a non-safe area of the big city. I worried more about him then than I do now. I realize this could change at the drop of a hat.
Great advice everyone is giving you. Just remember you just joined your new Navy Family and we are all here to support you & any military child you have!! You thank them all for me and you for standing behind them. Good luck to the one applying to NROTC, I have one of them too and one spec op.

Take care. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!!


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