April is the Month of the Military Child.
The Month of the Military Child is a time to focus on and celebrate the contributions of military children and the unique needs of their lives. Military children are oh so resilient but it doesn’t mean this life isn’t tough on them! It is estimated that a military child will move six to nine times in their lives. So many children have had their parent miss their birthday, favorite holiday and sometimes even their birth. It can be so hard to understand and sometimes deal with constant change but I have always tried to celebrate this special life we live.
Here are some ways to celebrate and thrive:
The hardest part about moving is always leaving friends behind no matter what age. With time differences and busy schedules, it can always be hard to find a time to connect. Sharing letters and/or postcards is a great way to foster friendships and stay connected. So as you are road tripping or exploring you new neighborhood, grab a postcard and let your child add a special note or picture for their special friends. Keep that friendship alive long after you PCS.
Create a Photo Album or Scrapbook
With the ease of taking photos on our phones I find I never print photos any more. Services like Chatbooks (for $10 off your first order use code CAT-HRG7) and Shutterfly make it so easy to upload photos from your phone and print hardcopy books to highlight all your adventures. They are the perfect vessel for your little ones to look back at and see all that they did. It also the perfect way to document and catch your sailor up on that has happened while they were away. We also love to tuck a photobook in our sailors underway bag as a surprise for him as he is unpacking his rack.
Postive Post-It Notes
Sometimes it is easy to remember the harder moments, especially with a parent away. Why not celebrate the little accomplishments throughout deployment or an underway? Create a positive Post-It wall or fridge of you and your littles accomplishments! It can be as big as a homerun or as small as remembering to make their bed. The Post-Its give your little one and sailor something objective to look at when they get back and share in the everyday little moments they may have missed.
Explore Your Duty Station Together
As we all love to say for those listening in the back “ITS OK TO HAVE FUN WHILE YOUR SAILOR IS GONE!” Make the most of every duty station even if its not your favorite. Take a road trip, try a new restaurant, or book a weekend staycation. Celebrate the area around you! Trip Advisor, Yelp, All Trials, local Facebook groups, and previous The Submerged Life posts are all great resources for stepping out of your comfort zone or daily routine. I have always found the busier we were the fast deployment / underways would go.
How do you celebrate your children? Comment below!