So, it’s your hubby’s first deployment and you are a little nervous and unsure as to what to expect. Don’t worry, that was me just over a year ago! I’ve only endured one deployment so far and I’m aware that as time progresses, you learn more. I will just share some tips that I’ve learned from my first time around. Some of these tips don’t only apply to your first deployment but, since I’ve only experienced one, this is what I have to share. Hope you enjoy!
- Keep Yourself Busy. You might hear this a lot but you really need to find something to keep yourself busy whether it’s a job, a new hobby, a play date, friends date – whatever. Stay busy! Finish a project you always wanted to do but never had the time to finish until now. If you have kids, take them on play dates with your friends or go on weekly/daily walks to the park. If you don’t have one already, get a job so that you have a routine. If you don’t need the money, this will be great because you’ll know you’re only doing it for the enjoyment. This could also be a good time to focus on your studies if you’ve always wanted to go back to school.
- Remain at Your Duty Station or Move Back Home. Many people contemplate whether they should stay living at the duty station they’re at or pack up and move back home with family/friends. Whatever your decision is, don’t let anyone condemn you for the choice you make. Only you and your spouse know what is best for your lives and quite frankly there are pros and cons about each one. I myself decided to move back home with my parents. My husband and I had just moved in together before he found out he was leaving for deployment in 2 months! We literally had nothing in our house yet, I didn’t have a job and I didn’t know anyone in the area. To stay meant we had to quickly buy furniture and set up our house and I had to find a job all while preparing for a deployment which would have caused a greater deal of stress. It was easier for me to move back home with the pack of clothes that I had. My old boss offered me a job for my 9 months back home and we were actually able to save a lot more money. Also, I was closer to family and friends which leads me to my next point ….
- Surround Yourself With Friends and Family. It might be easy to want to stay curled up alone in your bed every day until your hubby comes back but, trust me, this will only make you feel worse and the days will drag on. Surround yourself with family and friends even if it’s just a couple of your very best friends. With your spouse being gone, you have plenty of time to spend with them that you probably wouldn’t have had before. Make plans on the weekends and have dinner with your parents. They will be grateful for spending time with you and you will notice time flying by because you’re keeping your mind off the deployment.
- Send Your Spouse Plenty of Care Packages. Get creative. You don’t have to spend too much money on it. Just being able to receive something from home and know that someone is thinking of them will put a smile on your soldier’s face – I guarantee it. Send him things that remind him of home such as snacks, homemade cookies or other things he might need while he is out there. It all depends on where your spouse is deployed at. My husband was able to get most things he needed from a nearby PX so I would usually send him home baked cookies because that is something I knew he couldn’t get anywhere. You can also get creative by sending themed boxes such as Valentine’s Day, Christmas or St. Patrick’s day and decorate the box inside and out accordingly. Just browse Pinterest for inspiration. There are a lot of great ideas out there!
So there are my 4 basic tips that I have to share. On top of those, just keep in mind that you are not the only one. You may be feeling alone during these times but your spouse most likely feels the same way as well, whether they admit it or not. You both are experiencing a time of loneliness being separated from each other but you just have to endure the season for it’ll soon pass. There are also other military spouses going through the same thing as you. If you can, try to connect with them and encourage each other. Also, your base should have a lot of resources to help you out with whatever you need – take advantage of them. If you guys have any other tips to share, I would love to hear them. Leave them in the comments so others can see as well.
Until next time,