Mother's Day for Military Moms
By Sara Heidenheimer
Mother's Day is a bittersweet holiday for military moms who may not have their spouse at home to help coordinate that not-so-secret breakfast in bed and the "surprise" gifts. Or, you could be the military mom yourself, on a ship in the middle of the ocean or on a base half a world away.
If you are the significant other experiencing these challenges, how can you help plan a special day?
For the Spouse of a Deployed Service Member:
This is me, and my husband is amazing at planning ahead. (I am very lucky!) That’s the key, as well as calling upon friends and family to help.
- Friends and family can help the kids make cards or gifts in advance and hide them. Offer to babysit so mom can go running or to the spa, or just chill out with some much-needed personal time. Or invite the whole family over and share your own celebration.
- The Internet is a life-saver. Husbands: You can arrange well in advance to have flowers or gift cards sent for special days.
- Make sure to send a note or a card to let your spouse know you are thinking about her and how much you appreciate all she does as a mom. (This will be a big winner!)
For the Active Duty Military Mom
I know how hard it is being away from my kids (after the first two hours of blessed silence), and I know Mother’s Day will be tough for this mom. My deployed moms try to think of it as just another day. But there are ways to make it special.
- Set up a video chat if it is allowed where she is deployed. It will make her day to see the kids!
- Send a care package that includes goodies she can't normally get—fabulous lotion, tasty snacks, good books. Include gift cards for places like Amazon.com that ship to an APO/FPO address. Who wouldn’t love that kind of shopping spree?
- Send her drawings by the kids, cards, or even a mini-photo album of the silly things she has missed (the messy after-dinner table; the kids doing their homework; the muddy Little League uniform). These are all little pieces of home that she will cherish. In fact, get everyone involved. Flood her with cards and letters from neighbors, friends and family so she feels loved and appreciated on her special day.
The bottom line? No matter which of these moms you have in your life, just do what you can to show them they are loved and appreciated. It will mean more than you know and is totally worth the extra effort.
Find all of Easterseals services for military families and veterans here.