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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Deployment: A time of devastation or discovery?

Those of you who know me personally know that I am an Army wife, and you know that I consider it my mission to hold things together on the home front so that my husband can complete his missions wherever they may be.

That said, sometimes holding things together takes a monumental effort. So how do you manage to get everything done when you feel as bruised as a crash test dummy?

What follows below are some of the things I have learned through the course of three deployments. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I will share the things that have helped me keep my perspective.

1. Everyone handles deployments differently; resist comparing yourself to other wives. What matters is how YOU handle it.

2. If you have children, try to remember that while you are looking out for their needs, you have needs too. It's okay for you to have needs of your own; don't feel guilty!

3. Try to carve out a small part of the day that belongs exclusively to you. This time is important because it lets you recharge your batteries.

4. Come to terms that your routine will not run exactly as it did before deployment. You may have a load of laundry sitting on your dresser for a week before you get a chance to put it away.

5. Since OPSEC should be a concern for all of us, forgo posting or discussing exact dates, but keep a small calendar in your nightable. Count down the end of each day before you go to bed.

6. Do not expect deployments to get easier. The truth is, deployments don't get easier, we just get better at dealing with them.

7. Be kind to yourself; you are going to have crappy days and there are going to be times when you will wonder if you will make it to the end of deployment with your sanity intact. Grieve, and then get going.
Remember, this too shall pass.

The things I have mentioned here are things that I sometimes have trouble with myself. What kinds of things do you have trouble with during a deployment?

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