Deployments suck. No other way to put it. But as a military family, we know it is an inevitable part of our lives. We are 5 months into my husband’s deployment with less than a month to go, so the final countdown for his arrival home has begun. WOOHOO! Reflecting back on this deployment it has truly been a whirlwind. A lot of the time I have been in survival mode. Taking care of a busy toddler alone while being pregnant has been no easy task. Some of the days fly by and are great making me feel like I got it going on and have figured this deployment stuff out! BUT other days I feel like the days are never going to end, my patience gets runs thin by a curious toddler, I run low on energy, and I just want to cry (thanks pregnancy hormones). So I decided to create a list of deployment survival tips that I have found helpful to get me through the hard days!
- Take breaks: When you are going through some hard days and need a break then take one! Whether it be a evening out with some girlfriends, getting your nails done, or even just strolling through target alone…just do it! You will feel much more refreshed afterwards. I am lucky enough to currently be stationed near family, so when I need those breaks we head over to the grandparent’s house. If you have no family near by then get a baby sitter, you deserve it!
- Find a support system: I have made some GREAT friends here that are so helpful and supportive. Most of the friends I have made at this duty station are fellow military spouses, so they understand what I am going through. Just spending some time each day or even every other day interacting with these friends while our kids play tremendously help with my well being. You can only talk trucks, trains, and all things kid for so long before you start to feel a bit crazy. Adult interaction is a must! Again, I am fortunate enough to have family close by to help me out too.
- Get into a routine: The first month is the hardest, no doubt! You have to change up your routine from the one you are used to having while your husband is around. You have to start doing everything by yourself and this can be difficult. I found that once I got a good routine going it made things a bit easier.
- Stay busy: Get out of the house and find things to do with your little one! This can be fun trips to a play place or museum to even just doing simple things such as running errands. I find that when we a busy doing stuff, I don’t have time to sulk in those deployment blues. Both my son and myself are happier when we get out and do things.
There you have it! My tips to surviving deployment with young children. Now I just gotta survive these last few weeks before my hubby returns and I can breathe easier again (but not really since I am just getting more pregnant by the day! Hah!). All in all we are super excited to have him home and our family complete again.