How would you like to wake up one morning and have your entire lifestyle change?
That is what happened to me. My husband and I were empty nesters having the time of our life; kids were grown, doing what we wanted to do. Then our United States Air Force single parent daughter deployed to Afghanistan and we became the guardians to her two school age daughters.
We had to adjust to a completely different lifestyle and being a parent again, along with worrying about our daughter’s safety.
My story begins when I pick up my granddaughters in Arizona and move them to our home in California. We enroll them in school; learn how to be a parent in today’s society. I share how to adjust to sudden lifestyle change, military deployment, mixed emotions of missing my old life style, challenges of reuniting the family back to prior deployment, and my struggles of transforming back to being a grandmother again.
“This was the biggest challenge in my life but the most rewarding”. – Debbie Nichols
When my daughter returned from her tour of duty I felt a need to reach out to military families facing deployment. The military prepares the spouses for deployment, but not the civilian guardians. Presently there is no information for guardians and I wanted to share my experiences and ways to make the deployment experience a positive one.
According to the 2008 US Census there over 4.5 million grandparents raising their grandchildren and the number is rising. There were two million military children that experienced their parents deployment and 250,000 military children went to a guardian to live.
Recently, I have had several friends become permanent guardians to their grandchildren, having to readjust their entire life style. Having that experience of sudden change and changing my empty nester lifestyle I felt I could help. Transitioning and adjusting to their new life can be very difficult. You didn’t sign up for this job, but your love drives you to take this huge responsibility. It is the most challenging, yet rewarding time of your life.
If you or someone you love is going through a sudden lifestyle change, you must read my story.