Deployment Tips from Real Military Wives
Although I love to share my own advice and experience on this blog, I know that everyone is different, and we all have our own methods for coping with deployment. Some people stay on base, some people move home. Some people have babies, some people get a job. So today I want to share with you a lot of deployment tips from a variety of military spouses! Hopefully some of these will be helpful to you, no matter what stage you are in right now.
The spouses in our unit recently organized a meeting where we got together for a potluck dinner, let a church group of volunteers entertain our kids, and enjoyed some great food and games for a few hours. We actually do this every month to celebrate one month down in our deployment. I love it! This time, as one of the games, spouses shared some of their best deployment tips. They had some good ones:
Top Deployment Tips from Military Spouses
The #1 tip that was shared is to STAY BUSY. Everyone said this. This means different things for different people. Maybe your kids or your job keep you plenty busy, and you can’t handle anything else right now. That’s ok. But if you have quiet hours where the loneliness really gets to you, then you might want to add something else to your schedule. Try to make one new friend, add a new hobby, try out a craft, or start a fitness routine. Having something to look forward to each week really makes the days go faster. In fact, the value of “staying busy” is discussed in our Deployment Masterclass.
- “Try to do one new thing each month that your spouse wouldn’t be interested in. Then you will have something to look forward to and won’t feel guilty for having fun without him!”
- “Set a fitness goal, and stick with it. You will feel so accomplished, and your body will feel better too. Endorphins are great for improving your mood.”
- “Avoid negativity. Make friends with positive people!”
- “A little bit of TV for the kids can be a lifesaver!”
- “Help the kids count down each month with a special treat like ice cream or a little trip somewhere local.”
- “Don’t get too used to anything. Communication levels can change or get cut off, time zones can change, the training tempo can change. So make the most of whatever communication you get.”
- “It’s ok to cry and have a bad day. Just don’t let it turn into a bad week or month.”
- “Going home for deployment isn’t always the best thing. If you don’t have a good support system there, you will just be hanging out with your parents and it will be really lonely.”
- “Don’t compare yourself to other wives or husbands. We are all on our own journey. And even on the same deployment, different groups may be in different situations, so don’t get jealous of another person’s communication options.”
- “Volunteer! Either with your unit, or an organization on base, or a local church. You will make friends and help make a difference!”
- “Find a Facebook group of spouses you can vent to. Even if they are strangers, they will get it.” (I recommend this blog’s Facebook page: Deployment Survival.)
- “Try not to start arguments or get mad at your husband. You don’t want to waste your limited communication time arguing over stupid stuff.”
- “Cereal for dinner is ok sometimes.”
- “Email your husband photos or PicCollages so he feels connected to the kids every day.”
- “Find your battle buddy.” (Or tribe. Or deployment sisters. Whatever you call it, we all need a friend!)“
- Enjoy the little everyday moments, don’t just wish the days away.”
- “Don’t get mad when all the dates change. And the dates will change”.
- “Enjoy rediscovering who you are as a person, not just as a wife/mom.”
- “Take care of yourself with the occasional haircut, nail appointment, shopping for a new outfit, etc. Self-care is important to staying healthy.”
- “Send letters and care packages. But don’t feel like you have to decorate them if you don’t want to.”
- Another popular answer: “Wine.”
Deployment Tips from the Deployment Masterclass
After going through seven deployments while I was either dating or married to my service member, I wanted to share some encouragement and resources with other military spouses. But I didn’t just want to rely on my own experiences as a Marine wife. After all, every deployment is different–especially for other branches and different job descriptions. So I decided to interview a dozen other “seasoned” military spouses and ask them tough questions about some of the most common deployment challenges. Their answers are included in the Deployment Masterclass, along with a downloadable guide of everything you need to do to feel prepared for deployment. The class includes a supportive private FB group with over 1,000 spouses and girlfriends who are all going through deployment together. Whatever you are facing, you are not alone, and you won’t be the first one to struggle with deployment situations. We are here to help you and encourage you before, during, and after deployment! Join the Deployment Masterclass today to gain confidence and peace of mind for your deployment!