We recently won an Entrepreneurial Grant for the publication of a brand new book containing stories by and for Military Moms.
We are now in the process of collecting stories for the military moms book (as well as for future additional books – go to Tell Us Your Story for more information about how to submit YOUR story.)
The Military Moms stories we have received so far are touching, inspiring and amazing! Here are just a few early excerpts:
He brought us to his storage unit where “the rest of his life” was packed tightly away in a 6x8x8 space and would remain waiting for his return in 15 months. The thought ‘if he returns’ entered my heart and head and I reprimanded myself, ‘DO NOT EVEN THNK THAT.’ But honestly, how do you not?
She told us, clearly speaking from her beauty pageant days, that toymakers could never make Barbie in a military outfit because the haughty doll may be able to walk all day in heels, but wouldn’t last an hour in combat boots. At the first medical exam, the military nurse asked if she was on birth control and informed her that any meds would now be issued by the military. “If the military wants you to have a baby, they will decide when the time is right.”
With intensity, I willed my eyes to penetrate the recruiter’s soul, squinting to add emphasis, a gesture he returned. My mind said, “Don’t fuck with me – this is my son,” while my mouth responded much more diplomatically to his explanation of the enlistment process. I felt my heart expand with pride and shrink with fear all at once. My son’s dream would be realized in 374 days.
He felt like a mountain. Hugging him was unlike hugging any other man I ever leaned against. I am slight, a willow. His arms could wrap completely around me and his hands almost reach his opposite shoulders. If I could stand like that forever, breathing nothing but his smoke forever, I would choose to do so. My husband’s hugs are comforting, warm and sincere. They are not mountainous.
A joyous scream, a maternal sob, and a long hug followed by a punch in the arm were the greetings bestowed on the Army Ranger, standing there in full uniform with the smug grin of a successful surprise. Beautiful morning trademarks of filtered sunshine and conversational birds seemed to intensify, as proof of hope turned reality settled in.
Are you a military mom or do you know someone who is?
We want to hear from you! In our experience with Just Ordinary Moms, heartfelt stories bind people together, creating a ‘sisterhood of motherhood.’ Military Moms need their stories to be told, and by doing so you will help others realize they are not alone on what can be a difficult journey. In addition, charitable contributions from sales of these books will go to to help military personnel and families.
All identities are protected and you don’t even have to a be a writer – we will interview you and professional editors will help craft a beautiful story that captures your experience and your voice. For now, just send us a quick note HERE and we will follow up with you.
About our first book: Just Ordinary Moms ~ True Stories by Moms for Moms
Just Ordinary Moms is a collection of sixteen stories (plus two poems) taken straight from real life, told by ‘ordinary’ moms with real lives. Plus, a final story, washed onto the beach sands of Cape Cod as the book was being finished, that will touch your heart forever.
“Real, raw, poignant and heartfelt. A must-read for every mom.”
“These moms nailed it!”
“I couldn’t help myself from laughing out loud.”
“I found myself turning back to it time and again, for the varied and honest stories. It felt less about their lives, than about mine: the ebbs and flows of mother-child relationships; the ever-changing family dynamics.”
“My book group had great discussions about the book. (Thanks for thought provoking questions at the end).”
“Finally, a reference (if you will) for Moms who felt alone in the art of mothering. Great book, as well, for new Moms to give perspective on the adventure they have just begun!”
“I read it on the way to the east coast, laughing and crying, and wanting to tell my mom all about it.”
“The book invites you to a safe place to reflect on being a mom.”
“I just want to curl up in bed with it.”
“I am ordering copies for my sisters and nieces.”
“Impossible not to love this book!”
Selected excerpts from Just Ordinary Moms:
From joyful moments…
I am deeply nestled into my time-worn, sturdy and indestructible, faded navy Coleman canvas chair, thinking about how it has held me, without complaint, for over 20 years, through 40 pound weight swings, spilled morning coffee and evening wine.
to universal fears…
I am in one of those deep and restful slumbers that elude me most nights when the shrill ring of the phone on the nightstand beside my head jolts me into a half-wakeful state. My eyes search for the red glow of the digital clock, and the numbers gradually come into focus as I shake off my sleep-induced coma. 2:15 a.m. Who’s hurt? Who died?
Was it possible Jack had moved out and was involved in a pregnancy? Was he living somewhere else with a pregnant companion? Had he dropped out of school, too? Parents never get any information from schools anymore, so how would I know?
They lift Chris’s thin, limp body onto the guerney and put him into the ambulance. I climb in behind. All I remember about the ambulance ride is continuously watching his little chest rise and fall.
and timeless truths…
Before we get to the labor part, a little bit about pregnancy. I was huge. I mean looking like a whale! My first son was due in June and I had gained 40 pounds. I really did not think I was eating that much, but I guess I was.
As I am beginning to make dinner, my Mommy radar kicks in. Before, there were the normal sounds of laughter and thumping and crashes coming from the playroom. Now, I hear nothing. Not a good sign when two little boys are playing. I run upstairs to investigate and see Corey standing over my closed and locked suitcase.
A dark cloud of fury filled the car as he packed himself in, an awkward kinetic sculpture of gangly, teenage limbs harnessed by an oversized backpack.
“I just missed my first grader’s bus,” I explained sheepishly to the woman who answered the phone. “What happens now?”
Like too many first times after going too far, there was no afterglow, no enfolding in warm arms and no whispers of love. I was bound to my poor daughter by identical mistakes.
I have a mother confession. Sometimes, I want to walk away from my life…
These stories - written by Moms, for Moms - will make you laugh, make you cry, and best of all – help you understand that whatever your story, you are not alone in the delightful yet treacherous journey that we all too often think of as ordinary – that extraordinary journey called ‘motherhood.’