Tag Archives: parent

How to cope during the holiday when a loved one is away.

Holidays are the most difficult time to have a loved one away from home.  Family  Traditions are built over the years, and is  what we have created  making our holidays special in our hearts. We have built in  holiday habits and they are  sometimes hard to change. Specially  when you are not the one wanting to change them. I learned during deployments And if you try to continue trying to keep your holiday the same as the past  you will be very disappointed. I found you will experience feelings of loss and sadness comparing what it was like in the past.

To make this time special for you and  everyone around you, I suggest you  first start with a mind change.  Be willing to change your traditional habits this holiday and create some new ones. This will be fun creating something new.

My grandchildren were use to celebrating their holiday with their mother and father. During deployment they were unable to see their parents. I knew this was hard for my granddaughters and my daughter deployed. So I thought lets make this a different time for all. I asked my granddaughters, “ How did they want to celebrate?”. They shared what they missed , but what they wanted to have. This helped them express their feelings and my feelings too!

It was fun making up new family traditions during deployment. The children got excited creating something new.

So be a kid again, explore  fun ways to celebrate. They will remember these times and it will be a new tradition for them.

How to support your child being a military parent


Fifteen years ago, our daughter was in her second year of college when she came home one day and said “ I am burned out of school. I don’t want to be a burden to you and Pop(our kids called my husband) so I have decided to join the Air Force.” We were stunned. I was thinking to myself “ARE YOU CRAZY?”We thought she was stressed out and confused. She reassured us that she had thought about this for many years and had not mentioned it to us, and she felt this was the time to do it.

As a parent what do you say? I could accept that my son would join the military, but my daughter? It was so hard for me to picture her in the military. As a child she had a hard time with anyone raising their voice to her! I asked myself, how would she get through basic training with all the yelling they do? funny thing, she did overcame this in basic training and grew into being a very strong person. Today she has five years away from putting in her 20 years in the Air Force, and will be promoted to Master Sergeant next year.

I would have never thought our daughter’s career would change my life. And  the pride I have for her for serving our  country.

Alan and I learned so much while she has been in the Air Force. When she was deployed to Afghanistan, we gave her our  complete  support. No one wants to be in a war, even those in the military. The military just want to protect us. I learned how our military and their families are willing to sacrifice their well being.

While she was deployed our entire family faced many challenges. When she needed us to become the guardians to her children, and  when she deployed,  we learned how to become parents, again.

We had no clue that those days raising our grandchildren would build an incredible bond with our daughter and granddaughters.

I learned how to support my daughters efforts by being there for her, and her children when they needed us most. I Learned how to understand how the military worked. How deployment effected our daughter, our granddaughters and ourselves. What I have learned, is that you can not stop learning, you face the challenges now matter what your age is.  And it is very rewarding.

God Bless those that want to protect our freedom and our Country, and their families supporting them.

Deployed Grandparents

I am a working empty nester grandmother that became a care giver to her granddaughters, when our USAF daughter was deployed to Afghanistan. The children had to adjust to a non military lifestyle and moving to our home in another state. My role changed from being a grandmother to an acting parent with all the responsibilities. Our daughter faced the separation and feeling of disconnection of her role as a mother. We faced many challenges, and gained a greater understanding of what military families face when their love ones are deployed. We did not know when our daughter returned, how challenging it would be to reconnect her to her children and her old lifestyle, even though she did not experience trauma. I have written a book soon to be published book “Deployed Grandparents being Parents”, my personal journey during this time. Hoping this will help others that are care giving children. Even though our daughter has returned we face the possibility of future deployments, so our journey will continue..

Debbie Nichols