7 Things I Do to Stay Sane (and Have Fun!) During My Husband's Deployments
My husband got deployed to the Middle East shortly after our daughter was born. When he was gone, I didn't really know what to do or how to act. It was hard living like a single mom, and while a lot of people in my life offered to help (family members even offered to move in with me), I ended up slightly pushing them away. I wasn't trying to be a jerk — I just knew it was very important for me to be self-reliant, because they weren't going to be able to be there all the time. I missed my husband and worried about him endlessly when he was gone, but I needed to find happiness and figure out how to enjoy life when wasn't there. Keep reading for some helpful tips that helped me keep my sanity (and my life) together while my husband was deployed.
Lose Yourself in Things You Love
Since I had just given birth to our daughter when my husband was deployed, you can imagine how easy it was getting lost in her. On my husband's last deployment, though, I became obsessed with furthering my career. It was the first time in a while that I could really indulge in writing and picking up jobs that required strange hours. During his deployments, I've always done things that perhaps I wouldn't have attacked as strongly when he's around.
My husband is pretty old-fashioned (that's what I love about him), but at the same time, I'm pretty new-fashioned. I love playing with strange hair colors and cuts. My husband would never tell me I wasn't beautiful or deter me from expressing myself, but while he's gone, I feel more adventurous and tend to go crazy with artistic expression. He also oddly enjoys receiving photos and seeing me via Skype with the results of experiments I've chosen.
I love exploring, but my husband is a homebody. When he's away, I love getting out of the house more than I normally would. I grew up in my state and bought a home in my state, but realized there are so many places in it I have never been. So, I've made it my mission to visit every single town in my state. So far, it's been great! I've found fun shops, restaurants, and parks, and my daughter loves being outside, too. And bonus — my best friend from childhood has decided to join me!
Talk It Out With Your Spouse
I can't tell you how many military spouse articles or books I've read that say the exact opposite of this. My response? No! If you and your spouse are fighting, talk it out! If one of you is being a jerk, you should call each other out on it! During my husband's first deployment, I did exactly what the books said to do, which was basically to let certain behavior slide since your spouse is under a lot of pressure. Because of this, my husband continued this behavior when he got home because he thought it was the norm, which — spoiler alert — it certainly wasn't. We went to counseling, where, thankfully, he realized he was being a jerk and fixed his behavior. Since then, I always speak up about things, and our communication has never been better.
Get Creative With Your Care Packages
Anything unexpected and creative is always guaranteed to put a smile on your spouse's face (and yours). One time, through some very strategic Twitter begging, I got a celebrity to make a video for my husband in which he said some kind words. My husband went around base the whole day showing it off. Care packages not only say that you love and miss them, but they can also help your significant other meet new people and make friends.
Like, literally clean your house. You'll be surprised by how much crap you have lying around. AND you can throw some stuff out that maybe your spouse should have parted ways with long ago.
Help a Friend in Need
You might be feeling overwhelmed yourself, but helping a friend in need will also probably make you feel better, too. Take them out for lunch, have them over for a drink, and talk. You'll confide in each other and walk away feeling really understood.