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Son leaving for boot camp January 10,2011

My youngest child is leaving for boot camp, and I want to know how you all coped with seeing them off, even thinking about it makes me want to cry. How do you handle it. Not being able to talk to him for awhile freaks me out. How long will it will be til I hear from him wants he get there...can I write to him..So many questions.

Thanks all just needed to vent.

Views: 125

Comment by Connie ~Matt's Mom~ on November 22, 2010 at 11:38pm
You will be fine. Just enjoy today and try not to think about him leaving until the time. There will be plenty of time to cry after he has left. The first weeks of BC was worse for me than the day he left. It was three weeks before we heard from our son but you can starting writing letters from day he leaves and have them ready for when you receive his address. His recruiter could possibly have his address within 5 days of him leaving. You also may get a short "I am here" call when he arrives. Have him take his cell phone when he leaves and that will be mailed back to you several weeks after he arrives. He will be able to keep cell phone until they arrive at GL. And try to remember that the process he will be going through is to prepare him for the Navy life. They want the new recruits to focus on the Navy and to work as a team. He will be kept so busy to begin with that hopefully he will not miss his family as much as you will miss. The outcome will be worth it all. Good Luck!
Comment by Rays_mama on November 23, 2010 at 12:55am
I agree with everything in the above comment. My son left on November 3rd and I received the first "long" phone call last night. It was all of 8 minutes. I had a gut feeling he may call and I didn't go to church and sure enough he called when we would have normally been gone.

I would truly enjoy the last fews weeks before he leaves. Make a specil time to do something with him. Take sone new snapshot photos. If you have the resources - have him a "going away party". We did that and had a great tuen out. He was so touched to see all of the people that turned out to show their supoort to him.

I actually did ok the day he left. I actually suprised myself. This last week has been really hard for me nad I have cried so much - I don't see how there are any tears left in my body. I miss him terribly. I think it took about a week for me for the reality to hit me. They do get to make the "I'm here" call that last about 1 minute. My son left on the 3rd and I actually had a voice mail from him on the 6th but - I did not get it. Keep your phone within reach at all times. I was so depressed and felt like I let him down when I didn't get the call. It took about 3 weeks to get the first letter from him. I have wrote him every single day.

I don't think there is anyway a mama can prepare for this. It has been the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Just enjoy the time you have now. Make him his favorite meal. I promise... even though he gets the meal and you do all the work in the kitchen - it will be a reward for you a few weeks into bootcamp when he says he misses your cooking and and you know that you took the time and made the effort to make his favorite dishes. I will keep you in my prayers. The number one suggestion I have is ... turn to God and ask Him for the strength and courage for you and him while he is away. It is only because of giving it to God that I am doing ok. I know God is looking out for him and I have faith in that everyday.

God Bless you and your son!!
Regina
Comment by Denise-- Seabee Mom on November 23, 2010 at 12:10pm
Kathy start out with joining the boot camp moms group.

http://www.navyformoms.com/group/bootcampmoms

Another group that can really help you with lots of question is the new moms stop here
http://www.navyformoms.com/group/newmomsstophere

Tons of infomation. Once you get a gradution date (PIR) you will want to join that one too.
Comment by AJVNavyMom on November 23, 2010 at 7:01pm
I can hardly type through my tears. Great advise. Thank you all! I feel for you Kathy, my son leaves Jan 4th. I'm praying for you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving.
Comment by joansj proudGSM mom on November 23, 2010 at 10:07pm
Kathy my son left for boot camp yesterday and I can tell you that was the hardest thing I have ever had to do as a mom. I cried and I have been crying every since he left. Thanks to his recruiting officer, he took his cell phone with him so I was able to hear from him 3 times yesterday. Today has been the hardest not hearing from him, not seeing for myself that he is okay. I pray this will get easier because time usually takes care of things but in the couple of months before he left I tried to do as much as I could with him. Every where I went he and his younger brother were with me. Love your child and let him know that you will miss him because yesterday when he left he told me "you don't have to say it mom, I know and I am going to be fine." It isn't easy and I am wondering how I am going to get through this but somehow I know I will.
Comment by Anita MA Mom on November 24, 2010 at 12:50am
Kathy,
My son left on OCT 26 he will graduate BC on Dec 17th. I can't wait for that time, so I can see him in his uniform. I agree with everyone, spend some quality time with him before he leaves. If you can throw him a going away party, we did that and he had a great time. We were able to drive him to Nashville and we stayed in the same hotel as he did and went the next morning to the swearing in ceremony. I am not sure where your sailor will leave from , but that really helped me with his leaving. I felt like I was a part of everything. We couldn't go to the airport but said our good byes at the Navy office in Nashville. It was sooo hard but I held my composure for him, I didn't break down in front of him as bad as I wanted to. He texted us when he got on the plane headed for Chicago and called when he landed. Then he did the quick call when he got to the base. We have been VERY LUCKY and have gotten to talk to him EVERY WEEK. They are promised the one call at 3 weeks but we have gotten more. Usually on Sat around 1-3 pm comes up as Pay Phone. We did have some letters ready to go, I got his address and his box of things at one week. The time has really flown by to me! I hope this helps . Keep us updated. Many Prayers your way my friend..
Comment by Lynne on November 24, 2010 at 1:49am
How well I remember where you are. When my son told me he was joining the Navy I thought my life was truly over. I cried and I cried until I thought I could cry no more. With each day that passed, as the time came closer for him to leave my anxiety increased and I felt as if myheart was breaking. I had been on Navy For Moms and had absorbed a lot of information. I knew in my head that the choice he was making was good, but it didn't ease the sadness in my heart. Th day he left, I stood at the door, pasted that smile on my face and waved good bye and then when he was out of sight, I put my head in hands and began to cry. He was my only child and I thought how will I ever survive.

Sound familiar. Well, somehow I managed to find my way to Navy for Moms again and to groups like Boot Camp for Moms where Jessica and her crew began to lift my spirits. My PIR group became my home away from home. We had 13 divisions and we shared everything. We cried together, laughed together ( yep we really did laugh), worried together, prayed together, and encouraged each other. When one was done there were others to pick them up and keep them going. We never gave up and we never gave in.

In our PIR group we created our own little family. These women, including moms, wives, girl friends, and fiancees with a few dads and hubby's thrown in all had a common bond. We knew we had to learn what it meant to be Navy strong for our recruits. We came to understand that boot camp is just the beginning in a life decision to serve our country. If they can do that, then we could learn to encourage instead of complain, to strengthen instead of groan, and laugh instead of fear. It took time, thats why we called PIR group...boot camp for moms....you have now begun the journey. Good Luck, God bless and I will see YOU in your PIR group or Boot Camp for moms!!

You will find the answers to your questions in groups like New Moms Stop Here or Boot Camp for Moms but in general, your son will have the opportunity to call you when he gets to boot camp. This call will be very short and usually simply consists of I am here. I am fine. I will call you in about 3 weeks. The next communication is a "kid in the box". When he gets to boot camp, he will box up his things and send them home. This usually arrives in about a week. The next communication is a form letter. This contains information about his ship and division. It will contain his address and his graduation date. This arrives in about 10 to 14 days. There is much more information about this in the groups I mentioned. Welcome to Navy for Moms. We are glaed you are here!!
Comment by Proud Mom on November 24, 2010 at 8:18pm
OMG, You sound like I did. Let me tell you, these people on this site know what they are talking about. If you have any questions, this is the place to ask. My son left 7 weeks a go. Next week he graduates. I can't tell you how many times I cried before he even left. I took him to all his favorite places to eat, spent as much time with him as I could, and did whatever he wanted. We got the short phone call " Iam here, love you, bye " then didn't hear from him for 3 weeks. When I did get the first phone call, I missed it. But I got the second and he was fine. I found out today that he is a SAILOR now. You will cry, and worry. You should because you are his mother. He will be fine, and you will make it through. Write him, write him, write him, write him. I can't tell you enough time to write. That is what gets him through the rough times. Send encouragement cards, letters, and have friends write. I work at a school and had a class write. He loved it. Write, write and write. Good Luck to you. Let me know how things are.
Comment by Anabel on November 24, 2010 at 11:17pm
Hi Kathy,
I just want to start by saying this web site was a true blessing to me when my son left over a year ago. Like so many moms, I was constantly on here for support. I really don't log on the site like I used to, but I just happened to tonight to look for Christmas ideas. I saw your post and decided to write because it reminded me so much of me when my son left.
I'm not going to try to sugarcoat it, it is extremely hard when they leave. I cried everyday for weeks when he first told us he wanted to join the Navy, but when he left I cried even more. I would walk by his room and cry, someone would mention his name and I would cry. The worst was grocery shopping after he left. I would always call him while I was walking down the aisles and ask him if there was anything he wanted before he left. Yes, I would even tear up in the grocery store!
I agree with all the previous comments. Even though my son told me it didn't matter if I wrote often, I did. At the end of each letter, I would write a quote about leadership, encouragement of something like that.
To make a long story short, my son has been in the Navy for over a year now and even though I still miss him a lot, I don't cry like I used to. My fear for him and the unknown has, for the most part, turned into pride and admiration. He has changed so much since he started and the person he has become is not the person he would be if he hadn't joined.
Good luck to you, your son and your family. Log onto this web site as much as you can and build some personal connections. It will help you more than you can imagine.
Comment by JessicaB-Sailor Mom on November 26, 2010 at 5:45pm
The first couple of weeks will be VERY hard. But, then the letters and occasional call start and you start to feel better.

It is hard to "let go" when you have been in charge of your son/dtr for 18 or so years. It's hard on everyone, wives, gf's, etc.

Your rct will be well taken care of. The first couple of weeks will be hard for him as well. It is very important that he not worry about anything at home. Let him know starting now that you will be fine as well as everyone else. Many rcts fret over home and are afaid that mom, wife, gf won't be able to function w/o him but he needs to know that you will be fine. This is HIS time.

Let him know that the first couple of weeks will be very hard...no letters will be delivered to him (you won't get a real letter either for aobut 2-3 weeks) The first 40 hours or so will be no sleep or food for him...this is to get everyone on the same schedule. He will be kept so busy he most likely won't really notice till he goes to bed.

He needs to eat and rest well before he gets on the bus to RTC. He'll be issued food vouchers at the airport and the USO usually has sandwiches/snacks.

Go to your page and scroll down to read messages on your comment wall. I've left you a greeting message with links and other info that will be helpful to the both of you. Also join this group http://www.navyformoms.com/group/leavinforbootcampinjanuary here you'll connect with other N4M's whose rcts leave in Jan as well as get more info...knowledge is power. The more you and he know the better prepared you'll both be.

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