Military Mondays: Advice On Gearing Up For Deployment | Anchors Aweigh


Military Mondays: Advice On Gearing Up For Deployment

I was talking to a friend the other day, and she summed up deployment in one word that's the best definition I've ever heard: it's unnatural. Deployment is really, really unnatural. Nobody gets married excited about near year-long separations. That's not the point of marriage. Marriage is doing daily life with your best friend, not sending them away for months on end. Deployment is unnatural. 

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!


Jen said...

I definitely agree with deployment being unnatural, it's just something that not everyone can understand. Also, not a lot of people understand the excitement of a service member who finally gets to experience a deployment.

Caravan Sonnet said...

This is beautiful advice!! What a role model and encouragement you are to lots of military spouses, especially about something as you say is "unnatural". Thank you for sharing these! I may not be a military spouse, but I definitely pray for all of my military spouse friends and this helps me know how to better pray for the time before the deployment. You may have already thought about doing this but would you ever be open to writing a post on how those of us who love you and other military spouses can pray specifically for y'all during deployment? :)
Sending love and continued prayers for you both!
Rebecca :)

Janelle Cook said...

Love this advice and will definitely be referring back to this in the future! :) I hope you're holding up as well as possible! :)

Bailey said...

I'm definitely saving this post for the future! I hope you are doing well, sweet friend!

Amy said...

don't pick silly fights - and do life normally. <3

Lisa C said...

Let them pick the places to go and eat! Mac really wanted Taco Bell before his first deployment.

Stephanie said...

This is great! I think doing normal things was the best pre-deployment thing for us. I also love the advice of having that last weekend for just you two. We went to a lot of Tom's favorite restaurants the week leading up to it, and a lot of walks with Gracie girl. (we didn't have Crosby at the time.) I also took vacation his last week here so we could just vege out that week instead of just having the weekends.


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