Saturday, 7 January 2012

Deployment Survival Guide

If you have been following my blog so far, you will know that my other half has recently returned from a deployment. It has been very busy since he got back with Christmas and New Years and our upcoming move, but last night I finally had a few minutes to myself to relax and pat myself on the back for 'surviving' another deployment. As I sat there, I thought about the things that helped keep me (somewhat) sane during the last 7 months and decided that I would attempt to write them all down in some sort of intelligible list. And this is what I have come up with - my Deployment Survival Guide!

  1. Always have a good supply of chocolate and wine at home and it is perfectly ok if that is all you have for dinner some nights. Except if you have children. Probably best not to feed them chocolate and wine for dinner.
  2. You will need plenty of patience but not just to wait for your other half to return home. You will need it when dealing with the dozens of civies you are bound to encounter who will say things like "I don't know how you do it" and "my husband couldn't stand to be away from us for that long". And after you have heard it a hundred times you will need patience (and self control) to not give them a high five. To the face.
  3. Guilty pleasures are essential. Whether it be watching a Gossip Girl marathon, getting a massage or eating a batch of uncooked cookie dough, it is great treat yourself every now and then.
  4. Get familiar with the locations of all the post offices in your city. Because once you've lined up with 3 cranky, impatient and tantrum-throwing kids, all while trying to juggle the parcels you are trying to send, you will be so embarrassed by your children's behaviour (and your subsequent angry tirade at them) that you won't want to show your face in the same post office twice.
  5. A good (and by good I mean slightly crazy) sense of humor is a must. There are times when your car has broken down in the rain or you have been vomited on for the 3rd time in one night, and all you can do is laugh. You know that one day in the future it will be a funny story, so what not make it funny now?
  6. It is great to have a friend whose shoulder you can cry on. It is even better to have a friend who will tell you to "dry your eyes princess" and "harden up love" when you have spent a couple of days being a sooky-la-la and won't get out of your pajamas.
  7. Remind yourself of this daily - YOU ARE NOT THE FIRST ARMY WIFE TO EXPERIENCE A DEPLOYMENT! Thousands of strong women have gone before you, a lot of which only had letters as a way of communicating with their loved one. In this age of skype and email etc, we have it pretty good.
So that is how I manage to stay sane (although those close to me might debate that!) during deployments. I sometimes wish I could travel back in time and pass on these tips to my younger self before my husband's first deployment. But I think if you would have told me back then that by 2012 I would have 3 kids under 5, I probably would have died of shock!

Sharing is caring ladies so please feel free to add your survival tips in the comments section!

Until next time,



  1. OMG...Your words were like they are mine coming out of me...Everthing you said is so true...My hubby is deployed at the moment we have 6mths to go,..This is not our first deployment. I have been were you are..And each deployment brings with it a new set of challenges.Like when my girls were teenagers. Now that was hard...But letting them see me cry and break down (faking it) work all the time..Emotional blackmail I call it...And this deployment they are young Adults who don't live at home , so my time is my own..So planning works for me...Love your blog, keep it up. Good luck with the Were are you moving to???

  2. I have family - whom I love, don't get me wrong - who see deployments as a time to come visit to "keep me company" for a month of so. This time around, I am saying "thanks, but no thanks" because unless they plan on contributing in a more positive way than sitting on the couch and giving me additional cooking, cleaning, and washing to do, they will not be welcome. I'm going to take better care of me this deployment. My children are a bit older and better able to help out, so we are more like a team now. I want this upcoming deployment to be a lovely bonding time for me and my daughters without the stressors of 'deadwood' in the house. Is that selfish? I'd like to think so because deployments are also about being a little bit selfish with your time. It's okay to say no to helping out at school; it's okay to say no to needy neighbours who need you to take on a big chunk of their activities of daily living; it's okay to not answer the phone every now and again because you are having a movie night with the kids.

  3. Oh I know someone who needs a friend like in no.6. I saw her comment on a facebook page the other day something about still being in her pjs a week after her husband had deployed! My survival tip is just to have fun and take advantage of your alone time. Loving your blog by the way!

  4. Yes No. 5 rings so true for me!! After the third night in a row of cleaning up projectile toddler vomit (off my bed) I started taking photos and 'sharing the love' right back at hubby! ;)