Kids & deployments
Being Married to the Military its normally required at some point your Military Spouse will go away for a period of time for deployments or an exercise. These can vary in time and are always hard throwing your regular routines out the window.
There are countless other Married to the Military folk out there who have been through what you have and can empathise and offer support. A few of those have written blogs, started charities, do You Tube videos all to help you so never feel like you are alone in your latest deployment. (Even if technically you are alone and now sit quietly in your house of an evening realising you haven’t spoken to another adult all day.)
To add to the helpful information of supporting kids through deployment tips here are a few from me:
NB**Prepare, it always helps to do somethings in advance as some of these have to be done prior to departure.
1. Story Photobooks. Make a photobook of Pictures of deployed spouse with kids. If possible, add a little story to go with the pictures. Eg. (Photo of Daddy and kid at the park) Daddy pushes me down the slide, (Daddy and kid on bike) we go out on a wild bike ride. Having a story gives an extra element of fun when looking through it with the child. You can even write a bit about Daddy being away hard at work and a photo of them at work and one of a big cuddle, when he returns so they know he’s coming back.
2. Pillowcases. Buy some cheap pillow cases from your local supermarket and a set of fabric pens. Get the kids to draw on the pillows and post out or send out with the spouse as he goes away. Your spouse could even do one for the kids before he goes, writing Night Night so they always get a Night Night from Daddy.
3. Special Bag, when your spouse goes away have a “special bag” ready that you only get out when they are away. This is just an ordinary bag for life with a few puzzles and games in (that can be the child’s already!). The fact something the child gets something special and you are sat spending time with them when they might be feeling low.
4. Countdown charts, as long as you have a way to include a possible delay! These don’t have to just be a set of squares you cross off each day. They could be a map of the world and you move the military person closer; they could be a set of duplo bricks that keeps getting smaller. You could even try to create an advent calendar do you have a little door to open everyday.
5. Lists. We started a list of things to do when Daddy’s home that we keep on the wall. So that when Daddy goes away if the kids miss him, they get to think up something they’d like to do when he’s back and can look forward to. We sometimes also do a list of things to tell Daddy so we don’t forget although this depends how often you are in contact with him.
6. Face photo. We have printed off a facesize photo of T and taken it about on various outings so can pretend he’s there. See previous blog when we took him to a party… The kids ended up pinning the photo to their wall.
7. Storybooks, before T left we got him to record some videos on the iPad reading stories. The kids when younger love watching these.
Reading Force, Little Troopers and your local HIVE are also very helpful as well as the other blogs, faecbook pages and your local WAGs page. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and look out for those who you know have spouses away.
Hooray for anyone who is Married to the Military and deals with deployments. You are a hero.
Belle x x