Currently, I’m right in the middle of my 1st deployment as a military spouse. My husband deployed late spring and isn’t supposed to return until late winter. Trust me, it’s been far from easy. You never know how the deployment is going to hit you and somehow all of life’s problems decide to occur while your spouse is away. This is why I think it’s so important to know how to prepare and plan to survive your time while your spouse is deployed. If it’s possible, I’d definitely recommend you schedule at least one visit to see your soldier during deployment.
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3 Benefits of Seeing Your Soldier During Deployment
This summer, my husband was sent back to the States from his current deployment for SLC school. My toddler and I are currently staying with family in NYC during deployment. My husband’s SLC school was at Fort Benning in Georgia. Even though we were still separated, I was able to drive down a couple of weeks ago to see his graduation and reunite our family for a little bit. I can honestly say seeing your soldier during deployment makes a WORLD of difference.
RELATED READING: Fort Benning Summer Vacation Looks
Look, I’m grateful that I’m able to speak to my husband often through text messages and video chats. That beats sending love letters through the postal mail like it’s the 1950s any day of the week. But, it’s just something about seeing each other and feeling a person’s presence that is irreplaceable. Here are three benefits of seeing your soldier during deployment that I’ve witnessed this month.
Strengthen Your Marriage
This deployment was the first time that my husband and I were away from one another longer than a few weeks. Since I’ve met him three years ago, we’ve pretty much been at each other’s side.
Surprisingly, it was the little things I’ve missed the most during deployment.
Being able to cuddle and fall asleep to Netflix shows.
Talking his ear off knowing he probably doesn’t care but he is just letting me vent.
The random kisses and hugs.
Goofing around and cracking jokes on each other.
Seeing my husband strengthened our marriage because it gave us the opportunity to re-up on all the things we’ve been missing since he left. We were able to have one or two date nights. Also, we were able to take time away from our day to day and the usual happenings of “military life” to focus on everything that makes us “us”. In any relationship, long distance is hard. Seeing one another during deployment makes sure that you don’t lose sight of your connection.
RELATED READING: Date Night Ideas For Parents
Reaffirm Your Spouse’s Relationship With the Children
This is especially important for younger children. My son (Dominic) is currently a little over 2 years old.
Dominic has been pretty much a daddy’s guy since the moment he left my stomach. Despite this, I realized the time away from my husband definitely made an impact on their relationship negatively. After about a month into the deployment, my son didn’t really pay my husband too much attention on phone calls and video chats. I’m pretty sure it’s because at that age toddlers adjust easily to their day to day and my husband was no longer there for him to see and touch every day.
I doubt my son would ever “forget” my husband but it worried me that this distance between them occurred so fast. The last thing I would want for their relationship is to have to “get to know” each other again when my husband comes back from deployment. Thankfully, this mama doesn’t have to worry about that. Seeing my husband during deployment made them closer than ever. My son didn’t waste a minute jumping on his father and getting right into playtime.
I’d have to be honest and acknowledge that this could have happened just as easily after his complete deployment. But, I have a feeling cutting the deployment into increments for your children to see your spouse makes a world of difference. For a toddler, a year apart means two different children. The child your spouse left during deployment will be older, smarter, and more outgoing once they return. Any chance you may have for your spouse to witness and see the growth in your child is worth it during deployment.
RELATED READING: 10+ Activities for Toddlers
Create New Memories To Last Until The Next Deployment
Do you know how hard it is to remember the details of a date from a year and a half ago? Or for your children to remember that time you went to the local fair? Obviously, you recall that this happened. But making memories from way before your deployment last throughout the separation from your spouse ( and your kids’ separation from their dad) is extremely difficult.
Seeing your spouse and letting the kids bond with their father for new memories make the deployment easier. You bond once again ( because why wouldn’t you) and there are more memories besides the lives that you’ve built together to last during such a hard time. I know I personally enjoyed goofing around with my husband, visiting new places, and some of his new army friends. Ideally, would I choose only 2 weeks of memories for 9 months of separation? Obviously, no! But, when you’re a military family you take the time you can.
Make new memories and ease the difficulty of your deployment by seeing your spouse during deployment whenever you can.
APOL Talk — Comment below if you’ve ever been able to see your spouse during deployment? When have you bee able to? If you’re not a military family, comment the longest you’ve been away from your spouse and were you able to visit? Don’t be afraid to share any tips you have ladies! Mama is struggling to make it through her 1st deployment and I’m sure other spouses are feeling the same.
Until next time…..