5 Tips For The Spouse Who Stays Behind
So, life sucks sometimes. If your a military spouse you know what I mean. As soon as we are doing well, kids are healthy, and everything seems right in the world- everything can come crashing down when those orders drop. Meaning, your world is about to be flipped upside down because your husband is deploying.
No one ever wants it to happen and it’s normally never expected. However, here are a few tips I’ve used to get through those tough times over the past 15 years of his military career and our military life.
1. Pregnancy pillow:
Aka, his body double. Yes, I’m talking about those long snake like pillows that wrap around you while your pregnant giving you belly and back support. I keep mine in a chest at the foot of my bed and pull that sucker out the moment he leaves. It’s washable, so great to cry into and you can anaconda style yourself around it and squeeze the living crap out of it in times of sorrow or frustration.
2. Hang or keep POA (power of attorney)/important docs insight:
So my husband brought the POA (power of attorney) home and set it on our counter which I loving refer to as the “crap collector”. Within 15 min it claimed another victim and I forgot where he put the POA. Lesson learned. It now hangs on our message center in our kitchen for quick access. When they are gone this is probably the most important piece of paper you will need in your life. Keep it handy and know where it is at all times!
3. Upgrade wireless/WiFi plan:
Phone plans are so freakin expensive. I keep offering up my youngest child as payment and they keep denying. But anyways, what’s more expensive is when one of you goes over on minutes or data. And trust me, with three kids by the time the phone gets passed back to me that phone bill could be costing us a house payment if we went over on minutes. He’ll end up using more minutes and data until he gets a plan established after his arrival. However, until he does he’ll be using all your family data and minutes to keep in contact. Of course, only increase your plan if he intends to keep his line (like if he’s attending a school or TDY). For a deployment, it might be more beneficial to put his line on “hold” instead of cancelling it. This way when he returns you can unfreeze his line and he keeps his old number. We’ve had the same numbers since 2001! Always contact you phone and internet provider to see what they suggest to do.
4. Send him with blank cards and envelopes:
No excuses ladies! This tip I learned a long time ago when he went to his MOS school after boot camp. Pack him with blank cards, envelopes, stamps and pens. The one excuse I heard most, and hurt the most, was “I didn’t have time to get you a card”. I already knew I wouldn’t be getting a gift or flowers. And I was cool about that. But when you tell me you can’t get to the commissary or PX to pick up a card; um no. So I make it simple for him and give him no excuses to why I didn’t get a card except he was to freakin lazy. And he better not give me any of that “I’m fighting a war” crap because there will be a bigger one between him and I if I don’t get a simple note.
5. Don’t advertise he’s gone:
It’s sooo hard. Facebook is so naggy and always asks what’s on your mind. And when no one else is there to listen Facebook or other social media become the victim to your rant. Or maybe your shoulder to cry on because you miss him. Whatever the reason behind spilling your guts on social media, don’t. The last thing you want to do is put you or your family in a unsafe situation while he is not home. Remember the old advertising slogan we learned about in high school history?
I’m sure I could keep adding tips until my fingers bleed from typing. I’ve learned a lot in these past years. Most importantly I’ve learned how capable I am without him. Just have faith that you can do it. Remember that women have done been there before you, women are there now, and women will continue to be there after you.