5 Essentials for Dealing with Deployment …Plus TroopSwap Giveaway!

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For military spouses, enduring a loved one’s deployment is an all too familiar challenge. The mission to keep things running smoothly at home is never simple, but help from other military spouses who’ve been there before makes it easier to stay positive and weather the inevitable storms. At TroopSwap and Troop ID, our sales force is composed of military spouses and veterans sourcing military discounts all around the country. We asked proud Army wife and TroopSwap Director of Community Outreach Jessica Davis for her strategies to keep it together when a loved one is deployed. Jessica’s husband last deployed for 15 months while he was still in the infantry. Here are her 5 best tips:

1. Put your big girl panties on. Seriously. You should not have to ask for help to enroll your kids in school or pay your bills. If you do not know how to do these things, find out before your husband leaves and you completely fall apart over simple life tasks.

2. Keep busy and active. It’s easy to hole yourself up in the house while your husband is away, but it’s very important for you, and your kids if you have them, to get out and stay occupied. Whether it’s a new yoga practice, fun hobby, or back to work, find something to invest yourself in while he’s deployed. Life doesn’t stop because a spouse is away, get out and have enriching experiences on your own!

3. Repeat to yourself over and over “No news is good news.” For those of us who had husbands on FOBs in the middle of nowhere and didn’t hear from them for weeks, this was very, very helpful. And, if you do get to Skype with your soldier all the time, don’t brag about it to those wives who are waiting to hear news!

4. Make sure you have a good girlfriend to break down to, because it will happen at least once. If that girlfriend is another military spouse, even better. I met one of my very dear friends when our husbands were going out on patrols together in Iraq. Her support helped me get through that deployment! And this one may be the most important tip: when you do break down, do not do it in front of your soldier! The last thing anyone needs is for him to be distracted on the battlefield. Also, it’s nice if you don’t do it in front of your children!

5. One final requirement to surviving deployment is a good sense of humor (and a stash of good wine!). To be married to a military member—and stay married—requires that you’re flexible and can roll with the changes. For military spouses,things change fast and often, and it’s absolutely essential that you remain positive and willing to look at the bright side.

What are your best tips to keep calm & carry on during deployments?

Jess 0312 (1)Jessica Davis is a proud Army wife and mother of two girls, aged 4 and 10. She has been Household 6 through one 6-month and one 15-month deployment when her husband served in Iraq. Jessica serves at TroopSwap’s Director of Community Outreach for the North Carolina market.

 

 

 

About TroopSwap and Troop ID

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Founded by two Army Rangers, our team is dedicated to working with reputable, military-friendly businesses to bring special deals and everyday discounts to verified active service members, veterans, and their families. TroopSwap provides hand-selected daily deals and military discounts for businesses near you. Troop ID is the first technology platform that verifies military or veteran status online, enabling top brands to securely deliver benefits and discounts to the military community through e-commerce. Troop ID’s Single Sign On allows members of the military community to access discounts, veteran skill training vouchers, and government benefits safely and securely online.

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32 comments

  1. Mindy Turnbough

    Take it one day at a time, one step at a time. Focus on how far you’ve come, not how far you still have to go. — those are my mantras. That way I focus on the now instead of looking to the future and trying to waste the days away until homecoming.

  2. I set short-term (one per month he was gone) and long-term (to be finalized by the time he redeployed) goals. It gave me a way to stay occupied and in the here-and-now, so I didn’t spend so much time in “What if” land. Some examples of short-term goals were: 1. Learn to cook risotto (done, and delicious!) 2. Dance once a week (I am an ATS bellydancer). Done! Plus the companionship of my fellow dancers helped keep me sane, and it got me out of the house. Bonus! 3. Get some of my required college courses out of the way. Done! I’m waiting on my invitation letter for the Occupational Therapy Assistant program in Pueblo now :) 4. Work on the house. I built our bed, which is a tall loft bed because our house is TINY and we don’t have enough closet space (so now there’s one under our bed). I also built the entertainment center for our flat-screen TV, made wooden dog crate covers so they don’t just look like big cages in the living room, and one of those clothes basket cabinets from Pinterest.
    My main long-term goals were to try to save money and to be in better shape when he got back than when he left.

    My cabinet comment reminded me of another thing I did: I made a Pinterest board called “Things to do with Ken” that we could both pin things on. When we would come across stuff we wanted to do when he got back, we would pin them to that board. Now we have a board full of fun things to try! It’s also fun to mark them as finished when we do them together.

  3. Ruth ewald

    Get into a routine and find a good support system whether it be your frg, friends or family. Keeping busy helps the time go by and people to talk to especially ones going through it to or have been through it are the best shoulders to lean on and cry on.

  4. Lisa

    It helped me to live off post and to have non-military friends. There were so many great things going on that I think I would have missed had I kept myself isolated. I still had the support of other wives if I needed it, but it allowed me to to separate myself from being consumed by the deployment. As hard as it is, you also have to ignore the wives who go on and on about how much they get to talk to their husbands. That is not the norm and in my experience, they are the wives who are very insecure. Before he deployed, my husband and I talked about our expectations for communication. I set mine pretty low (once a week) and I was pleasantly surprised at the times it was more than that.

  5. Laura D

    Oops… my advice would be to get involved in something & make friendships a priority. When someone offers to help, take advantage of their offer if you you need help. Don’t try to be super mom (or dad)

  6. erica

    I agree. It’s hard, but others go through it. Don’t whine about your spouse being gone, and don’t let your life stop because they are gone.

  7. Jenn Pineo

    Make sure you don’t stop living. See things, read books, watch movies…make sure that your life doesn’t stop just because they’re gone.

  8. After deployment number 3 I learned that keeping busy is the main thing…also learned that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, the minute he leaves….lol. It’s so important for wives to become self-sufficient in all things house, kids, cars, work, etc….It’s important for us to have an identity of our own and do things for ourselves. Get a massage, have a coffee by yourself, buy yourself something you’ve been wanting for a while. Talking with other mil spouses always helps because they can relate….don’t talk to non-mil spouses because it becomes upsetting when they say something that simply does not apply to this life. I kept busy with my 2 kids by working, going to school, doing activities, and not counting down!

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