If you would like to read the previous two parts to this series you can find them here:
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It’s hard to talk about something that most military wives try to forget. The loneliness, the empty side of the bed. The chaos and quietness of the holidays, missed birthday’s, crying children missing their parent at bedtime, and every other moment during the day. Having your phone always charged and always on, just in case they get to call home.
Every deployment is different. Deployments have certainly improved over the years thanks to technology, but one thing hasn’t changed. It still sucks and there still will be an absence felt at home till they return. This is a time that will force young ladies into women of great courage. You are certainly not alone in this, many spouses have gone through this and it certainly becomes a sisterhood. Yes there are husbands that go through this too, I’ve met a couple over the years and either way you are a part of this club now and we are all here to help you just like how we need help at times too.
Things you can do to make it easier:
- Go to any and all Unit functions either put on by the FRO or base, just go.
It will not only help pass the time but also put you into contact with other spouses going through the same thing. If you have children, it will be good for them to play with other children who are missing their parent too. They will often have crafts for the kids to do to send off to the parent deployed.
- Get a USPS online account, you can order the flat rate boxes, customs forms, and make shipping labels all online and even set it up for them to come pick up the care packages for you to send out to spare you a trip out, which was a lifesaver with my gaggle of kids.
- This one might sound silly, but that clean laundry you might not want to fold, just put it on the empty side of the bed. Might sound odd but can be comforting to wake up in the middle of the night and still see that lump there. Sometimes even a pile of laundry there can be easier to handle than it being completely empty.
- Some women have a hard time sleeping the first few nights, or even sleeping in the dark alone at all. It’s something most don’t even realize till the time comes. If you need help sleeping, ask for help. Go to your Doctor if you require a medication. Diffusing oils can help along with some warm calming tea at bedtime.
- You are not an island, this one was hard for me to get over the first time around, it’s important to know that you can ask for help. Back when you were preparing and made a list of people you can count on for help, remember it and make sure it is on hand when needed. Lord knows I called on them for help more than once. Which leads me to the other most obnoxious part of deployments.
The Murphy’s Law of Deployment, if it can go wrong it will while he is gone. It tends to go hand in hand with Embrace the Suck. Refer to your list of helpers, seriously keep it on hand. This goes back to not being afraid to ask for help when you need it.
What makes me even qualified to talk about this? I know I’ve said it before, but I have been through it too. Had a baby while he was deployed. Had to kill a lizard that snuck into the house. Take care of my children alone being both parents and constantly wearing your big girl panties because you simply have no choice. Breaking bones, on our last deployment I managed to break my toe three days before my husband got home, you better believe it I still wore those heels at homecoming. I learned new hobbies, binge watched a few show series when the kids were in bed. And also made plenty of memories with good friends that I made during those times. It’s not always bad, or sad. But keeping yourself busy and surrounded y people who care certainly helps.
This will only be a few months, and it will pass. Sometimes like a kidney stone, but it will always pass.
The next part will be all about the homecoming, what to expect and what to be prepared for. Along with another military favorite saying, hurry up and wait. You can find that post here.