One awkward thing about deployment is that lacking the other parent can make family deals, well, less of a deal. When it’s just you and a kiddo, ‘family’ outings are a lot less fun. But that doesn’t mean you should stop doing them! You just have to get creative and team up with others.
Take the bowling alley, for example. The one on base sometimes offers a family deal for 4 people to bowl and get a large pizza for 1 set price. Without Dad, that wasn’t a good deal for us. BUT when we invited some friends, and combined a few families with 2 bowlers and other families with 3 bowlers, we all had the right number to share 3 package deals. So all the kids got to bowl and have pizza, all the moms helped each other out, and no one had to pay much for a fun evening!
Where are some other places to take advantage of Family Deals when you aren’t a family of 4 anymore? Invite some friends to these events and start bonding with your new military family:
– baseball games and other sports events often have discounted blocks of tickets on family nights
– local attractions like museums sometimes offer family packages
– the Zoo offers free child passes certain days of the year for every adult that pays full price. If 3 military moms take their 10 children to the zoo together, just paying for 3 adult tickets, think of the savings!
– Sea World offers military members 4 free tickets once per year. If your family will have extra, consider inviting a mom with a deployed spouse to join you.
I have learned that for both my kids and myself, everything is more fun with friends. If I go somewhere alone, that’s a lot of stress and anxiety to figure everything out on my own and keep track of my 4 kids all day. But when we team up with others, the kids are occupied with friends, you benefit from someone else’s knowledge of the place, other moms can keep an eye on your kids when you go to the bathroom, and generally there is an improved adult:child ratio. What are your solutions for fun outings when your spouse is deployed?