Especially when you have a little one to take care of all by yourself.
When you are still trying to figure out this whole “mom” thing.
When you are tired, stressed, overwhelmed, and you just need someone to hold you and tell you
“it will be okay”.
But your significant other is not there.
It’s already hard being separated from your spouse and even harder when you REALLY need them with you in a time like this.
You feel alone. You don’t know what to do. The waiting game is killing you on the inside.
You have to take care of yourself AND your kids.
One more month, one more week, one more day.
You need deployment to be over. Like RIGHT NOW.
You feel like you are losing your mind and you need help.
If this is you, mama, this article is for you.
We brought in some help for you from some of the top military spouse bloggers.
We asked them the following question:
How do you survive deployment with kids?
Note: this is definitely one of the best collections of advice that will help you get through deployment with your little one(s). When you read all the responses from the military spouse bloggers, you will see why. We would recommend you bookmark this post and save it for later.
Here are all the expert bloggers who participated:
Jennifer Lambert | NextGen MilSpouse | The Frugal Navy Wife | Teach.Workout.Love | And Then We Laughed | Mamas and Coffee | Whimsical September | Strength 4 Spouses | Nothing But Room | Littles, Life, and Laughter | Airing My Laundry |
Without further ado, let's get started!
|JENNIFER LAMBERT | A SACRED BALANCE|
As a homeschooling mom of 4, deployment can be lonely and difficult at times. We have no help - no family nearby, no support system. We are self-reliant. I am an introvert.
Simplify for sanity some days, or even weeks.
I buy storebought baked goods, rotisserie chickens for dinner, canned biscuits, even Lunchables. My time is valued and these shortcuts help us a lot when life gets hectic. Cutting corners is fine. I have to give myself a break.
I say NO more.
I don't want to drive 4 kids all over town every day or all weekend. I limit errands and activities to save time and money and yes, it's hard to say no sometimes. I have to judge what's the best use of our time and money. I can't be in two places at once. We participate in activities together as much as possible - art lessons, classes at our local craft stores, sports at the same park.
Bedtime is earlier. After dinner, I'm spent. I want to take a bubble bath and lie in bed watching Netflix with my cats. My kids are older now and they can help a lot more around the house. They understand.
Holidays can be different.
We don't have to eat turkey at Thanksgiving. We can celebrate Christmas on a different, more convenient, day. We can eat a picnic in the living room with the TV on.
I'm making memories with these kids - who are living for 8 months without a father, except on FaceTime. I have to make it as special and good as possible. I do try to hide my negative emotions and I try never, ever, to lash out at them when I'm stressed. They know we're in this together.
|Follow Jennifer here:|
Before your service member leaves on deployment, talk about what you and your children need to survive his deployment. Your children may want their favorite bedtime book read to them nightly by their father. You can record it for free with the program United Through Reading. Your daughter may want to cuddle with a Daddy Doll at bedtime. You can order one online before he leaves.
NextGen MilSpouse offers more tips to surviving deployment in this post.
|Follow NextGen MilSpouse here:|
|DANIELLE LEONARD | THE FRUGAL NAVY WIFE|
|I find kids pick up on your energy during deployments so it's important to stay upbeat. We always used it as a time to explore the area we were stationed in.
Each kid could pick out something they wanted to do from aquariums to amusement parks, to museums, and then we planned one of them every few weeks to give the kids something to look forward it. We also worked in local festivals and USO events in the area.
I find it really important to have short terms things to look forward to like go to a festival in 2 weeks vs the long-term picture of mom or dad coming him in 9 months or more.
|Follow Danielle here:|
|JENNIFER O'SHEA | TEACH.WORKOUT.LOVE|
Being a military spouse makes having kids so much harder because at some point you are moving away from the grandparents and other family members making it difficult for anyone to get to know your child, especially during a deployment.
One piece of advice I have is to embrace FaceTime, Skype and Google Duo and know that not everyone will make the effort to reach out to you but do your best to do it for them. Take lots of pictures and embrace social media. This is where your husband friends and family will be able to see your kiddo even though you are far away.
And lastly, don’t lose hope. Make friends for the time being, take hold of the location you’re in and enjoy it while you’re there. There are tons of online Facebook groups for military spouses in case you’re having a hard time making friends in person.
Deployments and PCSing are rough but it’s part of the military spouse life. You got this!
|Follow Jennifer here:|
|KAREN HUFFMAN | AND THEN WE LAUGHED|
|My husband deployed when my son was 10-days old for a year. My advice to military moms going through a deployment is to not to try to be everything to everybody. You will just be setting yourself up for failure because it is impossible to give 100% to multiple areas of focus.
Ever since Ron Swanson (a character from my all-time favorite show Parks & Recreation) told Leslie Knope "never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing", I've been passing along the same advice to my fellow military spouses.
If at all possible, delegate tasks (house cleaning service, grocery delivery, weekly babysitter, etc...) and most importantly, give yourself grace. Focus on the children, yes, but also don't forget to focus on yourself.
|Follow Karen here:|
|MOMJONZ | MAMAS AND COFFEE|
|Moms, do NOT forget about yourself during deployments. When your kids are young be sure to plan some playdates. These playdates aren’t just for your child(ren), they are for you to get out and socialize with other spouses. Be sure to have yourself a couple of sitters so you can plan a couple of nights out with friends (yes, chat with your neighbors, you need friends to survive deployments).
We have entered the tween and teen phase in our home. Friends with younger children have requested the help of my girls, and it's been a lifesaver for them. Do not hesitate to ask for a little help so you can take a break; deployments can be tough on the home front. Remember to take a little ME TIME! It's o.k.
|Follow MomJonz here:|
|ERICA DESPAIN | WHIMSICAL SEPTEMBER|
|My best advice for military moms to survive a deployment is to figure out what makes you tense, overwhelmed, and sad, and try your best to avoid those things. If you feel lonely, make sure you get up every morning, get dressed, and intentionally go be around people.
If being in a bunch of different organizations is harder to juggle while your spouse is deployed, consider taking a few things off. You have to look out for you and your own mental health.
Also, try to appreciate all of the beautiful things around you that make the deployment easier on a daily basis, whether that be good friends, neighbors, a faith-based organization, a local gym, etc.
|Follow Erica here:|
|WENDI IACOBELLO | STRENGTH 4 SPOUSES|
Set a fitness goal for yourself and go after it. Exercise builds resilience in other areas of life, beats the blues, and makes you feel good. I encourage you to find a class or a group of other fitness-minded moms and join them.
There are gyms and mom groups that allow you to bring your children with you, so you do not have to worry about childcare. You will be surprised at how good you will feel and you will make connections at the same time. It's a win-win to help you through a deployment.
|Follow Wendi here:|
|KARA | NOTHING BUT ROOM|
Ok, tips for surviving a deployment with kids. I would have to say mom friends. It's not easy for me to make new friends, but during deployments or any duty station where my husband was gone a lot, I would not have survived without mom friends.
We had playdates, babysat for each other, and would just vent to each other, because we both got it. Also, ask for help and accept any help offered. You can't do everything alone, though Lord knows I try. Keeping busy is also key, whether you have kids or not.
|Follow Kara here:|
|CHRISTINA ROPP | LITTLES, LIFE, AND LAUGHTER|
|Deployments are a unique hardship for military mamas, but they can also offer some surprising and positive experiences as well. One of the best things you can do for yourself and your kids during a deployment is to look for these positives and then live them.
Instead of dwelling on the fact that your spouse is gone, stay busy. Do the things that you might have put off, pamper yourself, participate in activities that perhaps your spouse didn’t want to join in on, and accomplish those outings with the kids that scare or challenge you without your spouse’s help.
Find your tribe and accept the help that they offer, and don’t be afraid to ask for it when you need it. We’ve all been there and that’s part of what makes the military community more like family. Remember, you are not alone, and you got this!
|Follow Christina here:|
|AMBER MYERS | AIRING MY LAUNDRY|
|Basically how I survived a deployment is accepting help when I needed it. Also, I won't lie, chocolate helps too. ;)|
|Follow Amber here:|
If you are all the way down here, you made it, mama! Thank you for reading our post. We hope that these tips from our favorite military bloggers helped you out. Show them some love, and follow them on their social media accounts and subscribe to their blogs for more insights and support through your military life journey.
You can also download the PDF below with all the responses from our favorite military bloggers, and save it for later.
We just want you to know that you are NOT alone. You can get through this. You WILL get through this.
Please let us know what you think about this post, and if you would like to see more posts like these on our Baby Pavilion blog in the comments below.
Thank you for reading!
Baby Pavilion Team.
Please make sure to subscribe to our blog here.