October 28, 2011

when daddy deploys...

military families do it every day.
kids endure it.
mom's muddle through it.
families stand tall because of it.

deployment.

ain't always an easy road.
in fact, 
it pretty much stinks in a lot of ways.
but this is no pity party.
in fact,
quite the opposite.

 this is  my way of rooting for the home team
which is why i've compiled a
 humble how-to
on making the 
most of 
military deployments
(according to little ol' me)

1.  know going in,
there are going to be roadblocks.
arm your friends, your family and your handymen.
they will be called upon 
at any ungodly hour 
on any day.  
murphey's law.
as soon as hubs pulls out, 
fridge will break, 
toilet will need repair
and you'll get a flat.
plan on it.
but know who to call.
and you can do this!

2.  busy is good.
stack the calendar.


plan stuff, 
be places,
have things to do.
yes.
you will get tired of running around, 
being here and there
but let's face it.  
busy is good.  

another day down, baby...

3.  say yes to help.
sometimes i forget that i don't wear a cape 
and have super powers to do it all: 
 manage the family, deal with all the emotions that go with 
single-parenthood-by-deployment,
being the mom, dad, counselor, nurse, taxi driver, tutor, cook, do i need to go on?
when friends offer up help...just say yes.  
whatever it is: dinner together, a quick coffee on the run, 
an encouraging phone call.
allow your friends to fill you up.  
you are both better for it.

4.  celebrate the little things.
whether it's weekly, monthly or daily
celebrate how far you've come.

 'kisses from daddy':
stash enough hershey kisses in a jar 
(enough for each family 
member for each day daddy is gone).
eat one kiss a day, every day counting down 
his big return watching the jar get fewer and fewer.
ode to the dadster ala chocolate!
who doesn't love that?
celebrate your anniversary:
 treat the fam (or yourself) to a special 'outing' 
on the once-a-month
anniversary declaring 'another month down'.
starbucks?
mcdonalds?
golden corral?  
your choice...but celebrate.
we once made a paper change marking each day daddy would be gone
(yes, that sucker wrapped around the entire
downstairs twice, i think).


we decorated special rings marking the halfway point 
as well as each month anniversary.
those were the special days, 
making sure we commemorated properly.


regardless of how you do it, celebrate
every calendar milestone you accomplish.
you are his team,
keeping it real back home.
5. surround yourself with good
 good peeps: 
seek out the friend who isn't going 
to let you sit in your own muck too long.
the one who's going to tell you
how strong you are and how you can and will do this,
then pour you a glass of wine and let you vent.
 good habits:
eat well.
we all know the convenience of mickey dee's
but not every day. 
okay?  
promise?

good sleep:
go to bed early.
we need to be on our toes
to handle what comes next.

good habits:
exercise.
find the time.
it will prove you well.

we can do this, peeps.  
this is the stuff our country was founded on.  
and one thing i know for sure. 
we are stronger than we think. 
with God behind us,
we are invinsible.

our guys are counting on us.

now this next part is for all you
non-military out there.

i know you mean well. 
very well.

i'm going to let you in on a wee secret.
here are the things said (however well meaning) that don't
always bode well
while we are in the thick of things.

"deployment?  again?
oh, you must be used to it by now."
nope.
never.
we never get used to it.
much like childbirth.
just because we've experienced it, 
doesn't mean 
we are used to it.

another doozy, 
probably not going to go over well...
" gosh.  4 months already?  
wow.  that's going fast"

not so much.
believe me, 
we are counting down each day,
sometimes each minute.

you get the drill.
just put your sensitive hat on.
we can be very fragile
so go in gentle.

we are strong but not perfect.
best thing about deployment, however,
homecoming.

more on that later.

any thoughts on this subject?
experience?
please share.

9 comments:

  1. Hi Wendy, I really appreciated your post today. After seeing a dear friend go through her brand new husband's deployment this post struck a chord with me. Your positive outlook and can-do attitude are so inspiring. I wish you and the girls as easy of a time as possible. Let us know if you ever get back to the neighb! We are still here holding down the fort and would love to meet up for a coffee or something if you need some pals in the hood.
    Good luck!
    xo
    Sarah
    PS thank you for your so kind comments on my blog! I have been such a blog slacker.....argh.

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  2. I don't know how you do it Wendy.
    Military wives, spouses, are made of some tough stuff.
    And what great lessons you are teaching your girls.
    I love the Hershey kiss idea. So sweet.
    God Bless and I will be praying for his safe retrun.
    Love from,
    Greta

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  3. What a great post for all of those in that position right now. My brother is military, but has yet to be deployed...just the way it's worked out thus far, but we know many who have served over seas. I love the Hershey kiss idea, as well as the paper chains...both great ways to keep the kids involved.
    God Bless each and everyone one of our service men and women serving here and abroad.

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