I have been traveling the entire year, once a month to Arizona which is about 6 hour drive from my home in order to care give my granddaughters, so my son in law can attend his National Guard weekend. My daughter is serving a one year military assignment overseas away from her family.
It’s a strange situation because I have to step into and out of a grandma mom role.It takes my granddaughters two days to adjust to my ways of caring for them. And it takes me that time also to get into the parenting role. Care giving is so different from raising your own children.
1. You have to think twice of every decision you make. How will this effect my son in law, the children and my daughter during my visit and when I go home.
2. You also have to think about the child’s feelings. They have special emotional stressors that can be triggered due to their situation they are experiencing. Schools and our communities are unaware of the challenges military children face. Studies have confirmed that military connected children are impacted by separation. Sometimes children will over react over something very trivial.
3. I have to adjust my work schedule around my granddaughters school, after school activities and school vactions. Since I am not retired I have to really focus on my time management. I have had to focus on my life staying in balance, knowing what I can and can not do. I have placed my life on hold, but it is well worth this time. It can be an emotional pull, wanting your old life, wishing things were different, put knowing God has a plan and letting go.
4. I have to take in consideration how the children need to stay connected to their mother. Reminding them of sharing every event they can take for granted.
5. I need to keep in mind I too have emotional times, recognizing I miss my daughter, feeling my daughter’s separatation from her children. This I think is the hardest part for me. I pray often for strength and guidance to provide me the right the support our family needs.
The hardest part of commuting is leaving my granddaughters. Even though I am leaving them in good hands, I feel like I am abandoning them. I usually cry in car driving back home. I know I must go home and want to, but want to stay with my granddaughters at the same time.
I try to focus on when my daughter returns and she is with her family. We count the days when our daughter will return and it will be very soon.