Sunday is Mother’s Day – normally a time for celebration. But it’s sometimes tough to celebrate when mom is home and the kids are serving overseas in the military. So here are some suggestions.
When it comes to tips on what not to say to a Marine mom, Cyd Deathe, co-founder the Tampa Area Marine Parents Association, has a list:
- Don’t say to a military mom, ‘Why did you let him join up?’ That’s one of Cyd’s biggest irritants because it totally dismisses that the child is an adult.
- Don’t ask ‘When are they coming home?’ Cyd says, “Most of the time we don’t know. We can only hope and the more you hear it and the more you want it and the more you say it it’s not good.”
- Don’t open a political discussion about the wars with the mother of a deployed military member because they cannot change the fact their child is deployed and possibly at risk.
- Do be sensitive. “I had one military mom who took her son’s dress blues to the dry cleaners,” Cyd said. “And attendant asked her if she was getting them ready for him to be buried in them.”
Cyd’s son is no longer in the Marines, but she still leads the parent support group that is open to all military parents. And she had some advice for parents of deployed service members:
- Give up the crying because it makes them weak.
- It’s not about you.
- Don’t tell them that you miss them, they know that already.
- Your job is to make them strong so they’re on point so they can do what they’ve got to do.
Earlier this week, Dorie Griggs offered 7 suggestions on ways to support a military mom and what to avoid.
You can listen to Dorie and Cyd tell their stories on WUSF.