Have you experienced a deployment yet? Or possibly five? Here is the bad news — that first one is a doozy. Now, here is the good news — once you get a deployment under your belt, you’ll acquire new knowledge, confidence and skills to help master the art of holding down the homefront.

As my milfam approaches our second deployment in two years, I got to thinking, “What’s different this time around?”


Truths Of The First vs. Second

First Deployment: “What?!?! You’re deploying???” (I throw in some colorful language as I throw myself in his lap, sobbing.)

Second Deployment: “Oh, you’re deploying again? Cool. When are you going? Oh, that’s shorter than last time. No worries — I got this under control.”


First Deployment: “How am I going to do all of this by myself?”

Second Deployment: “Posse: ENGAGE! Hey friends, I need my village and will help you out too. And hey grandparents, would you like to take your adorable grandchildren for a week or two? Spoil them as much as you’d like! (I’ll throw out the million McDonald’s toys later.)”  


First Deployment:How are the kids going to handle this? Those poor babies.”

Second Deployment: “Last time they grew immensely and chipped in around the house, and I held them to higher standards. This is a growth opportunity and dad will be impressed when he returns!”


First Deployment: “I better start making healthy freezer meals now so that the kids have something to eat.”

Second Deployment: “Cereal. They loved cereal last time and they thought that I was the coolest mom for allowing it. Double win!”


First Deployment: “Am I going to be lonely at night?”

Second Deployment: “You see that king-sized bed? For the next several months it is mine, all mine! (Insert evil laugh while I pet a fluffy white cat.) I cannot wait to sprawl out all over it and take up as much room as I like!”


First Deployment: “I’m going to catch up on every Netflix girlie movie I’ve been wanting to watch!”

Second Deployment: “I’m going to bed as soon as those kids are down this time — having to handle them every day from waking to bedtime is exhausting. I need to recharge.”


First Deployment: “What if something goes wrong? Or breaks? Or a kid gets sick?”

Second Deployment: “Run at me, Murphy’s Law! I got this! (And I make sure I have doctor’s info, mechanics, neighbors and housing saved in my contacts.)”


First Deployment: “I’m going to work out and eat right and surprise him with a transformation!”

Second Deployment: “I’ve been working out since he told me he was going because the stronger I am, the better! Good to have a jump on this!”


First Deployment: “I’m going to do everything I can to clean before he goes, and then maintain a clean house while he’s away.”

Second Deployment: “If we grab clean clothes from a massive pile of unfolded laundry, so be it. And I am trusting my friends this time around who, when I apologize for the house, say “Stop. You should see mine.”


First Deployment: “I better find some babysitters so I can get out of the house with my girls.”

Second Deployment: “Hey girlies, come on over for a sleepover! Bring your kids! They’ll have pizza, we’ll have wine and in the morning we’ll all get donuts. Hm, actually a babysitter sounds great too, there is no reason to not have both. I’ll add that to my to-do list.”


First Deployment: “I hope it will be easy to keep in touch.”

Second Deployment: “If it’s like last time, we’ll run out of things to talk about because communications are so frequent. What an awesome “problem” to have. I couldn’t imagine doing this 20 years ago.”


First Deployment: “We’ll miss him.”

Second Deployment: “Same. Please come home safely, and in the meantime, I’ve got this. We’ll see you soon.”




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A self-described “Jackie of All Trades,” former Army wife Jackie Toops enjoys exploring the various facets of her personality by chronicling military life, world travels, family, her love of the arts and more. Her academic background is in the fields of Interdisciplinary Humanities, Museum Studies and Nonprofit Management, and she has overseen public relations for museums, galleries and universities. Jackie’s articles have been featured on Army Wife 101, Wall Street International Magazine, SoFluential, HomeAway, Military Biz Connection and FamiliesGo. While stationed in Germany, she regularly discussed her articles on-air with the Armed Forces Network in Wiesbaden. A mother of two, Jackie enjoys coffee, freelance writing, languages and discovering new ways to express herself. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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