Deployments can be counted in days, in weeks, or in months. For our family countdown, I prefer weeks, because the numbers are less intimidating than days. But in my head I count in months. I have a hard enough time remembering what year it is, so counting in months is a good way to have a general idea of how much longer it will be.
And since deployments often have only 7 or 9 or 12 months, I think that means every month deserves its own special celebration! Whether or not you have kids, whether or not you live near other wives in the unit, everyone should have some way of celebrating another month down. This makes deployment just a tiny bit more fun, and gives you something to look forward to.
Here are some ideas for celebrating on your own:
- go out for ice cream or a special desert
- go shopping for a special outfit or accessory or shoes
- sign up for a special event, like a race or competition
There are also wonderful ways you can celebrate with other spouses in the unit:
- host a special countdown activity. (Lots of ideas are on my other blog post about planning a Girls’ Night.)
- help coordinate a potluck party for all the spouses and kids. You can reserve community centers on base for free, and have everyone contribute some food or supplies.
- have a Battalion event. Talk to your FRO or Ombudsman to see if the unit has any special events planned. They receive funds to help host events for families, so they can get good rates for something simple like a bowling night on base, or something fancy like a ‘Halfway Through Dinner Cruise.’
- invite some friends out for dinner. Whether you choose something affordable like Olive Garden, or something fancy like fondue is all up to you. Or maybe try a different place each month.
Don’t forget to celebrate each month with your deployed spouse! Here are some ways to celebrate time passing with your loved one:
- send a care package each month to help him count down and have something to look forward to.
- every month, take a picture of yourself and send it to him. Wear the same outfit each time, if you want to show off your weight loss. If it is your homecoming outfit, even better! He’ll get to spend months thinking about that outfit and you wearing it. 🙂
- write to him about a date you want to go on or a place you want to visit when he comes back. Include a description or brochure, if you have one. 1 fresh, creative idea each month will give him lots to look forward to during post-deployment leave.
- send him ‘Open when’ letters. These could be for any time or mood, but also write some to ‘open when 3 months have passed,’ or ‘open when we get to March.’ Then he can celebrate with you, even if there is no other communication.
Do you have a favorite tradition to count off each month? Is it with your kids, or your girlfriends, or your husband? Please share!