How to Prepare for Deployment as a Spouse, Tips for Surviving Deployment, Surviving Deployment, How to Survive Deployment

How to Prepare for Deployment as a Spouse: 3 Tips for Surviving Deployment

If you’re the spouse of a service member who has been deployed, then you know this can be a difficult time. If this is your first deployment as a military wife, you may feel overwhelmed and stressed about what to expect. You’re not alone. As a military wife of 14 years, I’ve experienced my fair share of separation from my husband due to training and deployments. There are so many challenges that come with being away from your partner. But I’m going to share three tips for how to prepare for deployment as a spouse, not just to survive but thrive during this time. 

How to Prepare for Deployment as a Spouse

“What should I do before my husband deploys?” and “How do I survive my husband’s deployment?” are two common questions I get from military wives. Intentionally preparing for the separation is essential to surviving deployment. Ignoring the reality that your husband is leaving won’t make the deployment any easier. You must be realistic about what’s happening–he is leaving–and prepare accordingly. Knowing this, here are three ways for how to prepare for deployment as a spouse so that you can survive and thrive during your husband’s absence.

1. Find Military Wife Support and Resources

I cannot stress this enough. Building your support network before your husband leaves is essential to surviving deployment. One of the best ways to prepare for deployment is to find military wife support and resources to lean on. Even though deployment can feel really lonely and isolating, you’re not the only one going through it. I’ve been there. I know your pain, challenges, hopes, fears, expectations. I have them too. I also know that surviving deployment is possible. And you need people to remind you of that.

So, I encourage you to find resources like my Simply Resilient military wife life podcast to listen to regularly while your husband is gone. Before starting my military spouse podcast, I listened to content to help me adjust my thinking and find joy in challenging times. Now, through the Simply Resilient podcast, I get to help military wives like you prepare for deployment and provide tips and practical advice to help you feel less miserable during the process. 

2. Ask for Specific Help Ahead of Time

There’s no room for pride when your husband leaves for deployment. It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation, and you need all the hands you can get. As a military wife, you need to ask for help, especially if you have kids. How do I know? Because I have six kiddos and asking for help made it possible for me to be a better, more present mom during my husband’s last deployment. 

I ended up hiring a live-in nanny, and it was one of the best things for me and my family. Although paying for help wasn’t in the budget, I found someone willing to trade room, board, and use of my husband’s car in exchange for 15 hours a week of child care and house cleaning. This was a game-changer! 

A live-in nanny might not be the solution for you due to personality or space in your house, but I share this to start to stretch your thinking. As you consider how to prepare for deployment as a spouse, I encourage you to get creative about finding ways to get the help you need. Do what you do best and outsource or let go of the rest. Decide ahead of time what you and your kids need while he’s away and find help to make those things possible. 

How to Prepare for Deployment as a Spouse, Tips for Surviving Deployment, Surviving Deployment, How to Survive Deployment

3. Make a Plan for Taking Care of Yourself

Surviving deployment is directly tied to how you care for yourself while your husband is away. So, set up a plan for how you’re going to prioritize your mental health and take care of yourself and your health to feel good in a constructive way. 

A powerful way to care for yourself is to stop beating yourself up. There is no upside to judging or being hard on yourself. Give yourself the gift of grace and create space to love yourself every day. Focus on the parts of your life within your control and do those things well. Have your own back and thank yourself for what you do for your family. 

So, How Do Spouses Get Through Deployment?

We don’t do it alone. And you shouldn’t either. You need people, resources, help. It doesn’t mean you are weak or incapable. It means you are wise and realize that there’s strength in numbers. It’s not that you can’t survive deployment alone; it’s that you don’t have to. As a certified Military Wife Life Coach, I provide weekly and monthly coaching sessions to help military wives go from surviving deployment to thriving during deployment. And I want to help you too. You can learn more about my military wife life coaching services here. Then, reach out to me to learn more about how we can work together to help you prepare for deployment as a spouse.

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