Don’t you just wish there were some “Deployment Fairy” that would swoop in and take care of all the B.S. associated with flying solo during deployment?
Someone who would sneak in at night and have all the laundry finished, or leave gift certificates for childcare or spa visits under your pillow?
I’m sure we’ve all wished that at one time or another. Shoot, I’d settle for an armed guard posted on my porch to keep Murphy’s Law from beating down my damn door.
The point is, it’s insanely stressful trying to be two people at once. Sure, we could probably manage for a few days here or a few days there, but at some point, we’re gonna have to drop our pack. While there’s no real-life “Deployment Fairy” out there (and if you seriously know of one, please hook a sister up!), there are ways to make our lives easier during times of separation. The trick is, you have to ALLOW yourself the chance to have it a bit easier. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
We all love our kids…like a lot….like SOOOOO much (am I overcompensating here?) But sometimes, we just need a little time to ourselves. Time that doesn’t involve the Disney Channel, playdates, diapers or sentences that have less than 3 words. We need that. If we don’t get it we’ll go bonkers… (I speak from experience here).
So whether it’s hourly drop-off care at your installation CDC, a mother’s helper that will come around and hang with the kids for a few hours a week or a full-blown nanny….GET YOUR CHILDCARE ON! Seriously, you won’t be worth a damn to your kids if you don’t take care of YOU from time to time.
Now I’m not saying you should hire a full time maid, but it wouldn’t hurt to price one out if you could budget for it. Actually, I think you SHOULD budget for it. How often will be determined on what you can afford. Even if it’s once a month, wouldn’t it be amazing to come home from work, school or those amazing PTO meetings and find your house spic and span? You could spend the rest of the evening doing whatever you want! Or at least now have time catch up on all the other stuff you may be slacking on (which is ALSO totally fine btw!) Seriously….look into it. Like yesterday.
Most of us spend vacations visiting family when our service members take leave. While that’s totally cool, we’ve all wished or said out loud (or screamed from the rooftops) that we just want a REAL vacation.
I say GO FOR IT. Sure, you could wait until post-deployment leave, but why wait? Why not do both? I’m not saying you should go to Disney or Europe while your honey is deployed, but there’s nothing saying you can’t take a weekend out of town! Whether you pack up the kids and road-trip it or go it alone sans kiddos….PLAN IT. BUDGET for it. MAKE it happen. We all need to fall off the grid every now and again. Make it a fellow Mil-Fam affair and split the cost with another spouse too! Sometimes we just need to get in the car and DRIVE.
These are just a few suggestions to make your life easier during deployment or other separations. I’m sure you’re raising your eyebrow right now and thinking “Is this chick NUTS?” NO…I’m UNAPOLOGETIC. I am unapologetic because my time and my energy and my life is worth more than waiting around for something to happen over a span of 6+ months.
So be unapologetic. It may not be easy, but it’s doable. Hack this deployment and at least ONE time, just DO YOU.