Spouses, children, and soldiers can attest that deployments are hard. Some days are more challenging than others. It can be agreed upon by some, that the beginning and the end of these extended times apart are the most challenging.
At first you’re adapting to your spouse’s absence. You are left with more responsibilities (financial, parental, and more) and that takes an adjustment period.
If you have kid(s), then there is a definite shift in being the full time primary care giver. Most spouses have no family nearby. So you depend upon friends and daycare/after school programs to assist in picking up some of the slack. As any parent can attest it takes a village to raise a child.
Changes in responsibilities, finances, and general loneliness can be incredible frustrating. All these new adjustments can feel like they are crashing down on you at once.
For instance, if you get sick there is no one there to take care of the kids while you try to recover. Or whenever you have a truly bad day your spouse isn’t there to give you comfort or to communicate with. Do not fret, with time a new routine will develop and life will seem easier.
When you have a bad day it’s easy to allow loneliness to creep upon you. However, don’t allow it to consume you. It’s all about your frame of mind. Just remember, every day that passes brings you are that much closer to seeing your loved one.
Use the deployment as a time to focus your energy on your kid(s) and yourself. Find fun activities to participate in. During the deployment rediscover yourself or develop a new passion (read, exercise, cook new meals).
Don’t forget to be available for emotional, financial, and general support for the deployed soldier. It’s certainly not easy overseas, so don’t burden your spouse with petty nonsense. This is a time to reconnect with your spouse. Open and honest communication is essential.
Towards the end of the deployment, it can be nerve wrecking to await the soldiers return. Then there is a reintegration for the entire family.
Just remember change takes time. As previously states it is imperative to be understanding and have open lines of communication. If you need help, then reach out and talk to someone. The hard times will pass.