It was the most challenging time of my life. Surviving a deployment as a military spouse can take a lot of patience, and a lot of personal strength. I had to dig deep for strength and patience going through deployment with small children. Whether this is your first deployment or your 5th, how to navigate motherhood when your spouse is deployed takes some tips.
5 Tips to Navigate Motherhood When Your Spouse is Deployed
Rely on your support system
This is a gut instinct, but many women do not reach out and ask for help. We all want it, need it, and often feel it is not available to us.
Ask your long distance friends to be thinking about you and sending positive thoughts and prayers.
Ask your local support system if they can come over and hang out one Friday a month, or watch your children so you can get your hair done.
Don’t try to navigate motherhood when your spouse is deployed alone! Accept the help that is offered, and do not be afraid to ask friends for help.
Get connected to mom groups
This saved me during my last deployment. Four kids, parenting alone, sleep deprivation, and a new community where I knew no one was what I faced. All of our deployments have happened right after moving to a new location.
When you do not have a local support network of friends, make one!
I joined a moms group at a local church and met one of my most favorite friends because of it. Her husband was deployed at the same time and place as mine too.
It was the connection I needed and cherished. She is still one of my favorite friends. It was a proactive step I took to make friends.
There are military spouses that go home for an entire deployment. I don’t. I love my family, but I love my own home and routine too. I like to visit family when my husband is gone, but not stay the entire deployment.
When my kids were not yet in school, I made sure to take advantage of the freedom I had to make my own schedule.
We traveled to see family a lot. Grandparents visited us too. That helps break up the time-and gave me free babysitters to get a break! Let family visit and take the time to visit if you can.
Know your military spouse benefits
My husband’s second deployment happened just 6 months after our first child was born. I was still breastfeeding, just learning to be a mom, and trying to figure out a daily schedule. To navigate all of that alone was overwhelming.
1 Natural Way is a program that can help you navigate motherhood while your spouse is deployed. They offer breastfeeding supplies and education and can help you navigate the early months of motherhood.
1 Natural Way is the premiere in-network resource for the highest quality insurance breast pumps from Medela and Spectra to TRICARE members. They offer Medela, Spectra and Kiinde brands.
Getting a breast pump and monthly delivery of new supplies takes a huge stress off of new moms who want to continue breastfeeding despite going through a deployment. 1 Natural Way can contact Tricare and your doctor for you, and help you navigate your benefits as a new mom and TRICARE member.
1 Natural Way has the easiest process in the industry backed by reviews from moms everywhere.
They make it their mission to make the process of receiving your Tricare breast pump enjoyable. All breast pump models are covered under your Tricare insurance plan at no out of pocket expense to you. This includes the Medela Freestyle and the Spectra S1 Breast Pump, and the Medela Pump in StyleTote/Backpack.
Get all of the information on 1 Natural Way and how to apply here.
Take care of you
There is a deep need for moms to care for themselves in the midst of motherhood. My biggest tip for how to navigate motherhood when your spouse is deployed is take care of yourself!
It is so much easier to take moments for yourself when your husband is gone because there is one less person needing your attention each day.
Don’t get me wrong, I prefer my husband at home, not deployed. I do however make sure that I take advantage of the time I get to take care of me when he is gone.
After the kids go to bed, I can take a relaxing bath with DIY bath salts. I make a little mom spa kit and do a face mask, drink lemon water, and apply a DIY body butter that is divine. I use my essential oils to treat myself (and help keep my emotions balanced throughout the day too). That is a deployment necessity!
Put on your comfy slippers, grab a cup of tea and veg out to chick flicks! Whatever you love, spend time doing that to take care of yourself.
Have you experienced a deployment yet? What are your tips?