Television, movies, magazines and tabloids all take their fair share of shots at mothers in law. We are depicted as overbearing, nosey, interfering, unbearable and sometimes just plain old mean. I am blessed to be mother-in-law to a wonderful young woman who stole my son’s heart, married him and is now taking wonderful care of my first grandchild. She also is an Army wife and has been through deployments and PCSing to Germany.
We have a very close relationship that stems from mutual respect, love and healthy family boundaries. I was an Army wife myself once, so I have a little bit of an advantage on how to encourage her. Blue Star mothers-in-law have a very special job supporting the family. Below are a few suggestions on how you can support your soldier’s spouse.
In a time of war, stress is inescapable for military families.
There are also less visible stresses such as frequent PCSing and all that it entails — saying good-bye to friends, making new friends, new schools, new communities and sometimes even whole new cultures when we go overseas.
Stress is here to stay in military life. But you don’t have to succumb to the fallout of living in a stressful lifestyle. Here are some quick tips on how to let some stress go before it gets the best of you:
Take a slow deep breath and exhale slowly. Repeat five times. The practice of breathing deep is used in a lot of relaxation techniques because it works. The focus is removed from the stress source to the act of breathing. Also taking a deep breath gets more oxygen to the brain and induces a relaxing effect. See More
When it comes to popular film and depictions of war, accuracy is among the first casualties.
One of the most well-known examples is The Hurt Locker, which won the Best Picture Oscar for 2008. The main character, Staff Sgt. William James, seems to be constantly fighting the war in Iraq without backup, which many military observers say is among the most prominent inaccuracies in a war film to date. As any soldier who served in the Iraq war will tell you, there is safety in numbers. Bottom line: The Hurt Locker’s three-man team would just not happen.
The most common reason for using social media is keeping in touch with friends and family, according to the Pew Internet and American Life Project. Communication is an an ever-present need for service member and military families nationwide. The holiday season is a great time to give communications technology tools a try.
Here’s a look at four options that can help military families stay in touch: See More
When a member of your extended family is facing deployment or other military moves, it’s easy to feel like there is nothing you can do to help. That can be especially true for military families new to the experience. It might feel like you’re prying or annoying rather than helping.
Here are 5 smart ways to help out a loved one without overstepping your boundaries: See More
It is an honor to be a parent of a United States soldier, they volunteered to fight for our country and you should be very proud of them.
That being said, you, like most parents out there, probably have many emotional and mixed feelings about a current or upcoming deployment. It is easy to start feeling helpless when your son or daughter gets deployment orders. You may feel like there is nothing you can do.
We put together the best tips and advice on how to support your child while he or she is deployed. They deserve all the support they can get! See More
Caring for a disabled military veteran is never an easy task. It requires dedication, patience, and most of all, compassion. By allowing veterans to remain in the homes and communities they defended, family caregivers assume an irreplaceable role.
Recently, under the Caregivers and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act of 2010, additional VA benefits have been made available. For Family Caregivers who qualify, the VA is offering support through a program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers. See More
Everyone has their fears, even in the military. While the expectation may be to remain solid and strong, fear is a natural phenomenon and can actually be beneficial to our health. It’s when that fear causes you to become scared that it can become a detriment. Having fear and being scared are often considered the same thing, but there is a subtle difference.
Fear is about the emotion surrounding danger, pain or whatever else. Being scared is a sudden moment of alarm or worry, often without reason. When fear is left to simmer, it leads to being scared, which can result in debilitation and missed opportunities. But there’s no need to worry (or fear, at least in this instance). There are ways to address your fears without becoming scared.
Here’s 6 steps to face your fears and not become scared. See More
Signing enlistment papers can means entering a life of uncertainty. And while family members and loved ones don’t initial any official documents, they, too, can have unexpected roles to fill. One of those primary roles can be caregiver to a wounded veteran. It’s not an easy task and if the caregiver isn’t careful, they may put their own health at risk.
Caregiver Stress, also known as secondhand Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a danger and symptoms may include feeling overwhelmed, fatigued and irritable. It can also lead to weight gain or loss, poor sleeping habits and loss of interest in activity.