Cadets are a special bunch - they're passionate about the defence forces, outdoor adventure and the little details that make being a part of cadets so special. I was a cadet mum for over 15 years and there are some simple truths that every cadet parent learns...
1. Two cadets in the family doesn't make it easier.
I had 2 cadets at home and while one was organised and always ready the other, who invariably had his unit meet on a different night, was rarely ready to go. I got used to having the iron at the ready so the uniform could be pressed last minute (or thinking ahead and getting it done early because I knew he'd forget, even when I nagged).
2. Plan Meals, Plan Early.
They'll need to eat early, eat hearty and have enough energy to do all that a cadet has to do. Often it meant the parents and siblings ate later but you have to be prepared for the extra effort so your cadets eat enough.
3. You'll get used to cadet and defence events
One of the great things about having a cadet at home is getting to be a part of special events like Anzac Day and the wider community. From the big parades to the small unit events, seeing your cadet march and honour their unit is a great source of pride.
4. Your car becomes a home away from home.
Get used to waiting in your car for your cadets. The radio became a close companion while I waited on nights for my cadet to finish up. Thank goodness for other cadet parents because they're company (and often advice) is going to come in handy!
5. Biv Prep is almost always last minute.
Without fail every time there was a biv I found myself in a supermarket or discount department store late at night getting those last few items that were missing from first aid kits and biv bags. It's the reason why Bilbybags came about - to save this last minute stress by having an all-inclusive solution that you can pre-order and have ready to go.
6. Watching your cadet grow is priceless
Watching your young cadet grow into a grounded, mature young person who can handle pressure, work in groups and dedicate themselves to their tasks with pride is something every cadet parent should enjoy. Listening to their stories, noticing how they change, and seeing the result that cadets inspire in their members is just awesome.