Yesterday a Twitter friend asked me how she should prepare for her husband’s first deployment. I wanted to give her more then a few tips so I solicited the advice of some of my Army Wife 101 readers to compile a top 10 list for military spouses preparing for upcoming deployments.
You can read a previous list of things you can do to prepare for a deployment here.
1. Do Not Watch The News
While I am a news junkie many spouses do agree that watching the news will worry you more then you already are.
2. Make Sure Documents and Policy Information Is In Order
Langley C. suggests making sure beneficiaries are correct. In addition I suggest to make sure all policies have correct information and while you may not want to discuss wills and things of that nature , this is the time to do it. I always suggest a Power of Attorney because you will need one.
3. No expectations
One spouse suggest letting go of expectations. Don’t expect the same things that happened during a previous deployment or a friends deployment to happen during an upcoming one. Every deployment is different .
4. Have Husband Record Some Of The Things He Normally Does
One spouse suggest having your husband record some of the things he normally does that you don’t. This would include something like using the snow blower, checking oil , or any of those other manly things.
Another spouse suggested setting up milestones. Such as ” 1/4 of the way through this will be having this, half way through we will go on this trip, 3/4 daddy comes home for R&R and so on.
6. We Leave Daddy…Daddy Doesn’t Leave Us
Leanne W. states ” The best advice I can give is for the families. My children and I ALWAYS drop my husband off at the office the day of deployment. We hug and kiss and then leave him. Anyways, after speaking with different child therapist, I have been told that by us starting this tradition 4 deployments ago, that it is healthier in their minds. What I mean by this….. We leave “daddy” is what they are thinking. “Daddy” didn’t leave them. It is crazy, but other friends of ours that always stay and watch them leave have more issues with the kids. Its all a mental thing. The therapist I have spoken with relate deployment separation for kids equal to that of divorce when one parent leaves. Just my 2 cents!”
7. Spend Your Days Leading Up To The Deployment Normally
Brittney D suggests “To prepare for a deployment not while he is gone….spend every day like normal, don’t think about it and dwell on it. It’s gonna happen so take that day when it comes. Do things you love, take pictures and laminate them, be silly, cook his favorite meals. Set up Skype accounts and make sure he knows the passwords I always sneak notes in his bags the night before while he is in the shower.”
8. Expiration Dates
Roseanna S gave great advice by suggesting to check expiration dates on debit cards. There is nothing worse then your husband or wife being overseas and having to wait for a debit card to by other items they may need.
9. Think About Your Own Goals
While a year long deployment sucks, it’s also a long time and enough time to complete some goals. This could mean a certification in a course, learning a new trade , or just finishing up those last few college credits or a GED. Without the spouse around you will have more time to focus on those things. It’s also a great way to get through the deployment and feel like you accomplished something too.
10. Check with ACS Office
To see what kind of programs they offer during deployments. Jessica C says” Find out if your ACS offers a Blue Star program. Among many other benefits, the one here in Hawaii works with CYS to offer free monthly childcare and free youth sports and SKIES activities. Also, our housing office offers extra benefits like lawn care and extra maintenance help to Blue Star cardholders”. Both my children did the Skies programs during deployments.
What are your useful deployment prep tips?
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Great tips.Thanks Army wife 101.
I finished my high school diploma through correspondence when mine was away. Was a great way to pass the time.
Another great tip to add is Sittercity.com. As an Army National Guard family, we are Dual Military. My husband is a recruiter (crazy, weird, long hours). I’m regular M-Day (1 weekend a month). But us Army National Guard soldiers deploy just as much (including national emergencies). With sometimes NO help from FRG, discounted child care, etc… We have to relay on civilian sources that aren’t as great :/ I’m due to deploy next year, my husband will stay here & continue his full time job as an Army Guard recruiter. Sittercity.com has FREE membership to EVERY military branch, including Guard & Reserve. You look for & choose a sitter, most whom have background checks & references. Sittercity has saved our Dual Military status MANY times. Sometimes I’m gone off to a school & husband has to be in another city… etc. All we do is call our sitter or choose another last minute one from the site. It truly is amazing during deployments, especially if you don’t have Military friends/neighbors.
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