Service members spend a lot of time away from home, so their phone calls and messages can come at any time–even in the middle of the night. For this reason, every military spouse I know is attached to their phone, particularly during a deployment. We say, “my spouse lives in my phone!” and that’s our excuse for always keeping it close by.
Because communication can be so unpredictable in the military, particularly during deployment, no one wants to miss those priceless calls. But even with the best intentions, it sometimes happens. When my husband was deployed, I did my best to keep my phone ready all the time. But sometimes there were diaper changes. Or I was taking a shower. Or I took the trash out for a minute. Or we were in church. Basically, there were numerous reasons for me to miss a call, but my husband on the other end never knew when was an ideal time to try to call me. This resulted in several missed calls, when I grabbed the phone just a little too late.
Now, you may not think a missed phone call is a big deal, but that’s probably because you’ve always been able to call the person back. But during deployment, service members often call from satellite phones, not their own personal phones. Here’s the sad part: civilians can’t return a call to a satellite phone. That means if you miss a call, you hold your breath and hope they will call back sometime that day. Otherwise, it may be a week before you hear from them again.
The emotional roller coaster of missed calls is an exhausting game to play during deployment. One missed call can ruin your day! But I am finally getting smarter, and I have found these ways to prevent missing a call when my spouse is away. They can work for you too! Either watch the video, or continue reading the tips below…
You can view my FB Live video with all the tips here:
This post contains affiliate links.
1. Communicate expectations before they leave. Sometimes, service members are in locations with bad cell service or no wi-fi. there are times when they are unable to communicate because of their schedules or time zone differences. This is a huge adjustment when you are used to talking every day. Before they leave, discuss what communication options they think they will have, and when they will try to contact you. If they only plan to call in the evenings, then you don’t have to sit by the phone all day waiting on them. Or maybe they won’t be able to call for the first week. Knowing that in advance will take a huge weight off your shoulders.
2. Turn up the ringer! During my husband’s deployments to Afghanistan, he was only able to call about once a month. I never knew when those calls would come, so I remember living in constant fear of not being able to hear my phone. When the baby was crying, or I was driving with the radio playing, I always wondered, “will I be able to hear my phone if he calls now?” I learned to keep the ringer turned up high all the time to reduce that anxiety. Even in church, I would rather get a call and have to excuse myself to answer it, rather than miss it and feel that regret.
3. Get a waterproof case. People take showers. But it’s hard to answer the phone in the shower. Waterproof cases are an easy solution! Slip it into the plastic case, and you can keep it nearby no matter where you go– shower, beach, swimming, and not worry about missing calls. It doesn’t even have to be an expensive Lifeproof case, although those have extra benefits too.
4. Keep your phone charged. There have been way too many times where I left a event or a friend’s house early, because my phone was dying. There have also been those frustrating moments where he finally gets a chance for a video chat, and my phone is a 10% battery! That’s why I’m excited that I discovered the Mighty Purse from WILCO Supply: it’s a wallet that charges your phone! The thin, minimalist design contains a built-in battery that can be charged with a USB connection. Once fully charged, the wallet can recharge your phone 2-3 times without any additional power source! How smart is that? I also love that the company was created by a female service member who wanted to design purses and accessories that complied with uniform regulations. So all their sleek designs are uniform-compliant for service members. It makes a great gift for a female service member or spouse. Use my affiliate link to get 15% off your purchase!
5. Answer calls on your watch. As a busy mom, there are times when my hands are full, and I just can’t get to the phone in time. Or I’m in the middle of a diaper change. Or the phone is stuck on the bottom of my purse… there are lots of things that prevent me from answering important calls. Thankfully, technology has evolved to help us out! You can now see incoming calls on some watches and fitness trackers. And with the Apple Watch, you can even answer the calls from your watch! That is the perfect gift to get before a deployment.
So before your service member leaves, take these steps to ensure that you don’t miss calls during deployment, and you can make the most of every chance they have to call home.