Deployment is scary for many reasons. It’s the great unknown. There’s the time away from someone you love dearly. There’s the solo-parenting part (if you’re a parent). The upheaval of your family’s schedule and the way you communicate with each other. There’s the emotional component to it, too.
So if there’s any way to make life a little easier during deployment, I’m all about it.
I reached out to the Jo, My Gosh! community for their advice, solutions, and hacks that make deployment less difficult. Learn from their experiences and then, share your own in the comments!
1. Be strategic about your talk time.
“For us, a game changer was to separate logistical and romantic calls or Skype dates. I felt very overwhelmed as a new milspouse having to deal with the household, finances, vehicles, repairs, and maintenance all on my own and because I still wanted it to be a team effort, still wanted to have his input, I tried to cram both the logistical stuff and the ‘I miss you so much, I love you’ into our short calls. It made us both a bit restless/anxious and changed the tone of our talks. At one point, we decided to separate them. I would collect all my logistical questions, hassles and worries and write them down to save them for the logistical talk. Once a week we would schedule a Skype to go over these logistical [things]. Then, at a separate moment (never together or directly after each other) we would have a fun date or romantic date, where we play a game (answer relationship questions) together, or watch a documentary at the same time and discuss it afterward, or just have sweet chats. Absolute game changer.” -March
2. Count up
“Count up the days till he [or she] returns, counting up instead of down.” -Toni
3. Schedule me-time.
“It’s easy to get burnt out during deployment. I schedule time in my day, even if it’s five minutes, to center myself. It makes me a better wife and mom.” -Jess
4. Make life easier with on-demand services.
“With my husband’s deployment being 400+ days, Amazon Prime helps me get the diapers, wipes, birthdays, Christmas, Halloween things & saves me time from running to several different stores.” -Jessica
5. Don’t make care packages.
“Buy online and ship APO/FPO. You don’t have to pay for shipping twice, and you don’t have to add making a care package to your to-do list.” -Candy
Here’s a huge list of businesses that ship APO/FPO/DPO. If you still want to send a care package but you don’t want to make it, make sure check out Troopster, a business founded by a Navy sailor that sends hand-crafted care packages to military members at home and abroad.
6. Splurge where it matters.
“Our chain (a Kroger one) allows for online shopping and easy pickup. I don’t even get out of my vehicle and can still use coupons and card redemption. I spend a lot in gas to get to base, and it can be a lot of effort to get to a grocery store sometimes, compounded with deployment impulse buys (ice cream, chocolate, etc), this helps me control purchases and takes one less stress off my back. A lot of other mom friends love it with young toddlers or babies because their napping kiddos just stay in the car and in under 5 minutes they are in and out.” -Kim
7. Get creative with celebrations.
“My husband is forward deployed and with that comes a lot of missed things like holidays, birthdays, our puppies growing up, etc. Last year he missed the holidays and his birthday so we celebrated early. We picked a day the month before to celebrate Christmas and his birthday and I sent him with little gifts to open like a DVD box set for Christmas and a box full of Reese’s for his birthday.” -Taylor
8. Use your resources.
“Deployment today is not like deployment even five years ago. Check out bloggers, social media, and other websites to connect wtih people who are experiencing the same things you are.” -Katie
9. Use paper plates.
“Use the damn paper plates. Don’t feel bad about it.” -Chelsea