Thanks to Lychelle, blogger and fellow Navy wife, for today’s post! There’s at least one item on this list that I had NO IDEA was a thing! I may just have to buy it because… Oh. Em. Gee. Game changer. Enjoy Lychelle’s piece!
When my husband is deployed, I am not helpless by any means. In fact, when he is home, I make an effort to not only watch him do things around the house but also help with as much as I can in order to learn how to do some things that I may have to do on my own at some point. That being said, there are a few household must-haves that definitely make deployment easier for me. These are things that never would have even occurred to me before going through a deployment but I definitely wish I had had some this last go ‘round.
Did someone say “coffee”?
First and foremost, my Keurig! I love coffee, like a lot, but making a full pot of coffee every day is too much, even for me. I was wasting a lot of coffee and let’s be honest, it never tastes as good when you try to make half a pot. I received a Keurig, as a gift from my mom, about halfway through deployment and it changed my life. No more wasting that liquid energy, no more waiting on my coffee on those crazy mornings when I’m totally outnumbered and exhausted. It has been amazing.
Get a little flexible!
The one thing that I probably used most during deployment is my flexible jar opener. It is basically a hollow, cone shaped piece of silicone that fits over every jar I’ve ever needed to open and it gives me the grip that my weak little hands just don’t have. I use this little lifesaver multiple times a day to open things from beer bottles to children’s cold medicine and beyond. No more stabbing the “children’s cough and cold” with a knife at 3 AM just to soothe my sick kiddo (not speaking from personal experience or anything!)!
Because it’s not fun to rummage through the garage or shed.
I am no stranger to tools and I kind of pride myself on the fact that I can use most tools just about as well as my super handy husband. That being said, I definitely do not have the countless drawers in his toolboxes memorized as well as he does…not even close. I keep my handy-dandy electric screwdriver charged and in the house so I don’t have to waste time rummaging through “tool land”. It has multiple attachments and it super easy to use. It has definitely come in handy more times than I can count.
Step on up!
If you are vertically challenged, like myself, then a step stool is a huge must have for everyday life and especially deployment. My husband built just a little rectangular step stool for our son to use in the bathroom a couple years ago but I swear I use it just as much as he does, if not more. Grabbing a step stool is much easier than lugging a chair around and these days you can find so many different kinds that even fold up for easy storage. I assure you, you’ll use it more than you expect during deployment.
Because sometimes deployment sucks.
I’m just going to come out with it: a handheld bug vacuum! Yes! It is a real thing and yes, it is currently in my online shopping cart! I was unaware that such a thing existed until today when I asked my fellow milspouses what household must haves they find invaluable during deployment. There are a ton of different types and brands on Ebay and Amazon and if there was ever a time to use Prime, it is now! I am a strong, independent woman but I. Don’t. Do. Bugs. Huge shout-out to whoever invented this literal lifesaver!
For those moments you’re totally screwed.
I am not much of a wine drinker but many of my friends are and a few of them were pretty adamant that having a good, quality corkscrew during deployment was must have. If you have weak hands like myself and usually have your spouse open your wine for you, then I suggest an electric corkscrew. Whether you prefer manual or electric, just make sure it’s a well-made corkscrew because taking the kids to Walmart at 10 PM to buy a new one isn’t a great look.
It’s only weird if you name it…
Last, but certainly not least, the body pillow. Getting used to sleeping alone was a huge adjustment for me. I love sleeping next to my husband, as I’m sure most of you do. A big empty bed is sometimes extremely hard to fall asleep in. Almost as hard as falling asleep in a big bed full of toddlers, just sayin’! Having a body pillow on my hubby’s side was a huge help for me. I didn’t even cuddle it most of the time, it was just nice to not have his side empty.
Deployment is just plain hard, even if you’re used to it. I will never claim to be a “professional” Navy wife and I am always open to suggestions to make deployment easier. I’m sure that if I polled a much larger group of military spouses, I would come up with a never-ending list of must-haves, but these are the ones I can personally vouch for. That being said, what would you tell a new spouse to pick up before their first deployment?
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Lychelle Hollback is a military wife and stay at home mom to two wonderful boys, ages 2 and 5. She was born and raised in Wisconsin but now resides in South Eastern Virginia, where her husband is stationed with the Navy. Along with writing, she is passionate about music, singing specifically. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, attending play dates and field trips for her boys and writing blogs about what she knows best; being a mom and a wife.