First deployment as a family =( — The Bump
Military Families

First deployment as a family =(

Well my fiance left last week for deployment and me and the LO are here. This is his first deployment as a father. Not only is it difficult for him to be away from his son it is also difficult for me to be away from him. I know that it takes time to adjust but some days i just don't want to do anything. My son is the only reason why i get out of bed. Does anyone have any advice on how to adjust with him being gone.I know this comes with the territory. but seeing that this is my first go round its just hard.

Re: First deployment as a family =(

  • Is this your first deployment at all, or just your first deployment with a child?  

    You can't just let yourself be depressed and miserable about the deployment, since that isn't going to get him home any sooner, and is just going to make his life miserable as well worrying about the health and safety of you and your son.  Are you involved with the FRG?  If not I would get in contact with them, and see what events they have coming up.  They may have some play groups, or just have a way of connecting you with other moms with kids to get to know.  Get yourself in a routine with your son and follow it.  Not just where you force yourself out of bed and go through the motions, form a daily routine and stick to it.  I would probably form a weekly routine too of different things to do each day.

    If you're really having trouble dealing with it you can seek free counseling on base, or through Military One Source (militaryonesource.mil).   

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  • This is my first deployment period and his first with a child. I know its not good to be all mopey. i don't think i'm to the extreme of being depressed.I try my best to not think about it.But i will definitely look into something. We have somewhat of a routine its just getting it started each day that is somewhat of a task. 
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  • Having trouble getting out of bed does sound like a red flag. It might be helpful to talk to a mental health professional, but certainly that is your call.

    What I used to do was give myself permission to feel sorry for myself for a specified period of time. One day. I'd eat whatever junky stuff I wanted, sleep or watch stupid reality shows, whatever seemed like a good idea. Then I would get myself together, and get a good routine. Start a major project might help. Since it is your son's first separation, maybe you could do something special related to him like a photo project, or taking him different places, like a "big" trip every week or month or whatever. Train for a 5k or marathon. Join a moms group. Do you work? Are you near family? Maybe you could arrange to spend time visiting family and friends.

    The point is, have a life. Sure, for your child, but for yourself as well.
  • I've only been through a deployment as a mom but from what I hear that ways easier. The key is to stay busy and kids will do more than that.
  • DH and I have each been left at home while the other deployed, and have had other long separations due to assignments.  What I do is just focus on the positive.  I ask myself - "What don't I do when he's here because he doesn't like it?"  And then I do those things!  I watch BBC and lifetime shows he hates; go to chic flix matinees; cook the foods that I love but he hates; get pedicures and try out different hairstyles; go to yoga and spin classes; and visit my visit friends and family.  I've redecorated the house - that way he's stuck with it when he comes home.  I worked my way halfway through Julia Child's cookbook :)  Oh - and reading romance novels doesn't hurt either.  And in the meantime just keep in touch as much as possible.  

    If you're busy and happy, your skype sessions, emails, and/or phone calls with him will be much more positive.  As someone who's been deployed and stressed out, I can tell you that the last thing he wants is to call home and talk to someone who's whining about how miserable she is when he's hoping a mortar doesn't land on his head.

  • We are about to do our first deployment with a child, but it will be my 3rd overall.  Deployment is what you make of it.  If you are miserable the whole time, it will drag by and be a horrible experience. 

    I like to have small things to look forward to.  For example, I already have plans to visit a good friend for the weekend shortly after DH leaves.  I will plan dinners out with friends often.  If I have something to look forward to, the time goes by faster.

    My deployment philosophy is that you can't make it go away, but it's totally your choice if you are unhappy the entire time.  Get out and do things so you have something to talk about with your significant other.  Make weekly care packages.  Do something for yourself (new hair cut, new fitness routine, etc.).  Try new recipes.  Take up a hobby.  Challenge yourself to read a certain number of books while he's gone.

    No one thinks it's all sunshine and roses, but if you can pull yourself out of your funk and start finding things to enjoy it will make a huge difference.  Hang in there!  You are not the first and you will not be the last to go through this, and everyone finds their way to survive.

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  • One thing I did when my husband deployed, is take a picture everyday of our son, so in a way he was there to see all the changes (there were a lot of pictures, but so worth it!). Another thing is I made sure to never let him or my kids see me depressed. If I had the need to cry, I would do it but only when I was alone.

    Brian Shawn 15 years old; Ethan Jonathon 10 years old; Greyson Conrad 5 years old; Keegan Ryan 3 years old


  • Get your self out of the house.  Make plans with other people.  Have play dates.  Go to lunch with friends. Go to the gym. Invite people over for movie night or dinner.  Force your self to get up, put clothes on and even put some make up on.  I'm not much of a make up person, but when my husband is gone, I feel a bit more human when I make myself pretty.  Jeans, t shirt, mascara and lip gloss go a long way.  You don't have to be fancy.  Just remember to take care of your self.  I hit the gym a lot harder during deployments.  I just feel better and it lightens my mood.  
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