Deployments are hard in general. However, the first time they deploy is the hardest. There are always many uncertainties and you’re not sure what to expect.
We asked Army Wife 101 readers what a milspouse enduring a first deployment should know and boy they had tips for days. Here’s what they said:
- “Expect the unexpected, everything seems to break during deployments so start saving before the deployment for those just incases. Remember to breathe and take it one day at a time.”
- “Write down things you want to talk about when your soldier calls home. I would get so excited to hear my husbands voice, I would find myself at a loss for words!! I started making a list of all things that were happening at home!!”
- “It’s okay to have a life while tour soldier is gone. Spend time with family, hang with your friends, treat yourself a mini getaway for a weekend. Your life doesn’t have to be put on hold just because your soldier is away.”
- “Link up with one or two other compatible wives in the unit…my deployment family we were each other’s lifelines! Serious weekly if not daily rotations at each other’s houses lol we spent holidays together if we couldn’t get home…anyone was sick we picked up their slack…if one of us needed mental break from our kids we scooped the kids up.”
- “You’re gonna fight. Remember the deployment is stressful for them just like it is for you only worse. Don’t ever say you have it worse. “
- “Don’t watch the news or listen to rumors in wives groups. “
- “Shake up your routine so it won’t seem like the same stuff, minus one person. Eat dinner at a different time and in a different part of the house.”
- Make a deployment bucket list and plan and do fun stuff.
- “If you don’t work outside the home, volunteer with an organization, on post or off. Most places you can make your own hours even if it is just a couple hours a week or month. I’m personally very picky about friends and with whom I share personal stuff. But I’ve met some amazing people throughout the years while volunteering. “
- “I celebrated every month as a flip the calendar day, 1 month down. My family and friends and co workers were in on it, and pretty soon everyone was with me on the counting down, the closer it got it seemed the bigger the celebrations got. Doesn’t make it easier for sure , but something to look forward to.”
- “Let yourself cry about it sometimes. I’m all for staying strong and busy but I’ll be honest- it’s hard to always be strong and busy (especially when you have kids to take care of). Sometime I just wanted to acknowledge that I missed my husband and wished he was home. I’d have a good solid cry and then I’d pull it together to carry on being strong and busy.”
- “If he gets “crabby” towards you don’t take it personal! Wait out any deployment fights until they get home and work on it face to face! They are stressed, your stressed, worried, ECT. And when they get home give everyone a few weeks to acclimate back into a normal routine again! “
- “No news is good news. Keep busy, don’t keep things from them, try to be as understanding as possible and try to end calls on good terms. Love them even when they are being unlovable.”
- “All of the pre-deployment fighting is normal and ok. The last week or two will be back to bliss.”
- “Get a savings account and save that extra money coming your way. if you can that is”.
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