Surviving Deployment

Surviving Deployment

Top 10 tips on how to get through a deployment

There are many ways to get by during a deployment. I’m sure you can add many to this list, but here are 10 to get you started:

1. Know a good handyman/mechanic—or be one.

Know how to fix the basic stuff, and know a dependable person who can fix the other stuff.

2. Get your papers in order.

Make sure you have a file you can put your hands on quickly that contains all the papers, forms, and information that you may need in case of illness, accident, or any other calamity that may arise.

3. Stay busy—but not too busy.

Stay busy, within reason, but don’t overschedule and stress yourself out. Find a good balance.

4. Get together with your “battle buddies.”

It can be helpful to plan a weekly afternoon to get together with the other wives from your unit. It will give your children understanding peers to play with and let you relax among women who truly know what you’re going through.

5. Be prepared for comments.

Most people don’t know what to say—they may talk about news stories of attacks or discuss their political views with you. If these people are close to you, tell them how it makes you feel. If they aren’t, ignore them and move on.

6. Count down by weeks—not days.

This is just a simple trick that may make the time seem to go by faster. But if marking off a day every day, makes you feel better, do that instead.

7. Take pictures.

Take pictures everyday. Put them in an album to share with your spouse when they get home.

8. Plan an interesting outing every month.

This gives you something to look forward to on a much shorter timeline than your partner’s return. It also provides positive and interesting stories to share with your spouse when they call.

9. Try not to complain.

It is hard to take on all the daily responsibilities of the house. Keep your spouse informed of what is going on, but try not to use your partner as a sounding board to vent or complain.

10. Take care of yourself.

Find some time every week to do something just for you—whether it’s a manicure, reading a book, or even just taking a nap, it is important to spend a little time recharging your battery.

I am sure that you have many more helpful tips to share. Let’s share the wealth and help each other through these difficult times!

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Julia Liu is the daughter of a Solo Mom and has a degree in professional communication. She is the mom to two sons. She has worked in early-childhood education and was the director of a nonprofit private preschool for many years. You can follow her on Twitter at @notaDNB1.

Please feel free to contact us with any comments or questions.

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