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A mum's perspective

Sarah7144

Midshipman
So my Submariner son has gone away again.

I'm very proud of him, and I know he loves his job, but it's difficult not being able to talk about it really with others. The navy do their best and there's a section for us on their 'submarine' portal, but we can't mention which boat, or names or ... anything (totally understandable) which is nerve wracking for newbies when they get a note from the admins and as one said, they're not sure what they can talk about!

I totally understand and I'm really very careful but just sometimes it would be great to have a chat with others where I'm not measuring every word. I've taken to 'following' on Twitter (or is it X?) Navy Lookout to find out more.

Anyway, this is more me just wanting to say it, and to all of you who served, or are serving or your family are, I'm in awe of what you do.

Signed

A mum who misses my (not so young) boy
 
My Mum was the same, even after 30 years on boats she still worried, not so much when I was on a surface ship as she got mailies,, my wife just said she didn't like to think about it when I was at sea.

Your not the first to wonder/agonise over what your son, and daughters these days, is up to (and on runs ashore you don't want to know ;))
 
Thank you, I guess for me, it's the whole being a mum, your kids are always your kids, however old they are and however much responsibility they have.

It must harder for a partner, especially if there are kids in the mix so credit to your wife. My son has a lovely girlfriend who is also Navy, so supportive, but it's the not being able to talk about it, and when I see families all gathered to welcome back the surface fleet, I do sometimes wish I could do the same.

Just felt it this afternoon.

Thanks for responding.
 
Hms Bristol got a families group together during the Falklands campaign so that families could share stuff and lean on each other for support. Could the submarine families do something similar?
 
For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the forum for wives/mums/gf's that had a link in the banner next to ARRSE , loads of support/chat on there.
 
Thank you, I guess for me, it's the whole being a mum, your kids are always your kids, however old they are and however much responsibility they have.

It must harder for a partner, especially if there are kids in the mix so credit to your wife. My son has a lovely girlfriend who is also Navy, so supportive, but it's the not being able to talk about it, and when I see families all gathered to welcome back the surface fleet, I do sometimes wish I could do the same.

Just felt it this afternoon.

Thanks for responding.
For what it's worth, in 33 years I can only remember families meeting us when we got back twice, first time I was single and my mum rang the boat as she had received a letter from the squadron telling her (and my dad obviously) when we were back but not where we'd been or done (cold war era so 'nuff said but the patrol had been extended, hence the letter), 2nd time I was married with children (I say children, one was already in the navy himself) and wife and other kid were on the jetty, but that was, again, because we'd been extended, ending up doing 6 months away instead of the programmed 3 months.

So you may get lucky :)
 
Thank you, I guess for me, it's the whole being a mum, your kids are always your kids, however old they are and however much responsibility they have.

It must harder for a partner, especially if there are kids in the mix so credit to your wife. My son has a lovely girlfriend who is also Navy, so supportive, but it's the not being able to talk about it, and when I see families all gathered to welcome back the surface fleet, I do sometimes wish I could do the same.

Just felt it this afternoon.

Thanks for responding.
I don't think you're alone as a submariner mum - and I don't know that you've got it any easier than a partner. Certainly my wife seemed more worried when our son was deployed than she ever has been while I've been away. I think having the kids at home and all the stress of being what is, effectively, a single parent for months on end helped keep mind occupied.

There are families groups out there; one you might want to look at (if you aren't already aware of it) is The Submarine Family. To quote their website -
"The Submarine Family (TSF)is a new organisation that forms part of the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity umbrella.

TSF has been created to unite the whole submarine community for the benefit of the whole family. Combining the values, beliefs and ethos of the Royal Navy Submarines Service, the Submariners association, Friends of the Submarine Museum and We Remember Submariners, they aim to provide a full wrap around support service for submariners, retired submariners, their families and all supporters to their cause."


They have lots of useful content on their website and are very much the official organisation for submarine families.
 
Thank you all, a private Facebook group has been suggested which I've asked to join.

I know to be very careful about what I say and post, it's more knowing that the people I talk to are in the same boat (!) and understand that just sometimes, you get that panic. Only a couple of friends have children who serve and they don't live nearby, although I've got great friends where I live, it's not something I talk about much with them, always rather cautious if I'm honest.

I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions, and will get stuck in, thank you.
 
Thank you all, a private Facebook group has been suggested which I've asked to join.

I know to be very careful about what I say and post, it's more knowing that the people I talk to are in the same boat (!) and understand that just sometimes, you get that panic. Only a couple of friends have children who serve and they don't live nearby, although I've got great friends where I live, it's not something I talk about much with them, always rather cautious if I'm honest.

I really appreciate all the comments and suggestions, and will get stuck in, thank you.
To be honest talking to friends who are not or have never been in the same boat, will never understand, the lack of communication and not knowing.
I a way it's the same with us, we learnt that there was no point in talking about the navy to civilians, they just didn't understand, and as alluded to by @WreckerL, when we spoke of runs ashore they just did not believe us.
Try not to worry, hard to achieve for a mother, he is probably having the time of his life, when I phoned home my parents said OK, what have you done or what do you need/want, as that was normally the only time I called, unless drunk?
 
I'm thinking he's on a V-boat, maybe even the one that's just got back ;) and he can't say too much. Form my part, in 23 years I was always too busy to phone home, but then it meant finding a phone-box and some change!

The idea of a FB TSF or 'others in the same boat' (SWIDT?) sounds like a good idea.

Don't worry!
 
I couldn't possibly say ;) ... hopefully I've passed your test on that!

Joking aside, it's just something that sits with me, that I can't talk about publicly but it's a background worry. This group has been very kind, and I've now found another one, so that's great.

I've given myself a good talking to, will crack on with work, and look forward to seeing him.
 
Hopefully he'll have given his kit a dhobey (wash) before he gets home, if not, enjoy the smell , it's something my wife and boys always commented on when I got home :p
 
I'm afraid as mum, you are now pretty low down the pecking order....... sad but true. Faslane is great in some aspects - dire in others. It all depends on him. There is SO much to do on the Base - if you want, then there is Glasgow, Edinburgh. Mates, booze, girls, booze etc - see where I'm going with this? I was born and raised in Helensburgh and sometimes didn't tell my mother if we'd got in!

ETA He won't know enough to be a security risk at this moment of his career, and he's probably told you what you can say, so just be proud and big him (and the rest of us elites!) up to all and sundry!
 
Hopefully he'll have given his kit a dhobey (wash) before he gets home, if not, enjoy the smell , it's something my wife and boys always commented on when I got home :p
Even if he dhobeys it once it will still have that submariner smell.
Arrive home, given a towel, all clothes and contents of grip, in washing machine. Take first shower, sent back to try again, washing machine sent round at least twice. Then the family would approach slowly?
 
I once came home from a wander round the sea, put door key in front door and entered, only to discover that mum and dad had actually moved house during my absence.
Now this happened when I was on a surface ship pre-submarine service. Knew it was going to happen, but mail delivery to ship via BFPO obviously didn't get the news to me in time. I had been away for quite a few months and letters were the only means of communications back in the stone age.
A bit of an awkward situation to say the least.
 

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