Because it's so unnatural, navigating the waters of deployment can be tough. You are as prepared as possible for them to leave, but nothing can actually prepare you for that long journey ahead. I wanted to share some of my advice for the weeks leading up to the big D. I did a lot of praying and talking to friends in the hopes of making our last few weeks together as wonderful as possible, and I feel like God answered in a big way. The days have been so sweet, so full of love, and I can honestly say we have enjoyed every moment. For deployments to come, we will do things the exact same way. It just clicked for us and is helping make the transition that much smoother.
1. Have family come visit a few weeks before. For many, family will want to come down to say goodbye. We knew this going in and were so excited to have Parker's parents stay with us, but we were adamant about having our last 2 weekends just the two of us, so we asked that they come a little earlier. They totally understood, and it was a wonderful visit. I think I would have resented just about anyone for coming down on our last weekend together, and I didn't want to have those feelings to people that I love. Confer with your husband and set the expectation.
2. Don't go out of town on your last weekend together. Go to your favorite restaurants, go on walks in your neighborhood, go to the movies, etc. Go do whatever it is you enjoy doing on the weekends, but don't go out of town. You know how when you go out of town, you need a weekend to recover from your weekend? You don't get that if they are leaving just a few days later. Stay low key your last weekend so you can fully enjoy every second.
3. Don't have a countdown to the day they leave. I never thought about how many days we had left. It's setting yourself up for failure and just not worth it. That day will get there sooner than you care to think, so don't waste time counting down to it. It's a mental game.
4. Don't pick silly fights. Everyone argues over silly things every once in a while. Emotions are heightened right before they leave. Keep it under control and do everything in your power not to pick a fight. It's just not worth it, and you'll regret it big time after the fact.
5. Live life normally. We didn't spend every night talking about the deployment or all the things he would miss. We just carried on with our normal routine. We weren't in denial about what was happening, but no good comes from dwelling on the fact that you are about to be separated.
So that's my advice. I'd love to hear yours!