Deployments, Duty Stations, Children, etc

Charity - posted on 03/09/2011 ( 1 mom has responded )

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I have been on both sides of this fence. I was active duty army for 3 years. I deployed to Iraq for 15 months. I met my spouse in the army and now we have 2 children. I have seen a lot of questions on here and there are too many people asking the same questions to answer each one individually.

Deployments and Time Away: It's rough. It's lonely. It's scary. It's nerve wracking.
My best advice: FIND A CHURCH OR LADIES GROUP TO SPEND TIME WITH!!!
When people get lonely they do things they normally wouldn't. If you love your spouse and want your marriage/relationship to work out, find people of the SAME SEX to spend time with in HEALTHY ENVIRONMENTS. NOT clubs and bars!!!
STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX!!! You might think/believe that you would never cheat on your spouse but TRUST ME. . . You can't make that promise. I've seen it happen over and over again.

If he says he can't call. . . HE IS 99% OF THE TIME TELLING THE TRUTH. I've been there. You feel alone and tired and miserable. You work all day everyday. You don't always get to go to the phone. Sometimes the phones/internet don't work. It's 140 degrees in Iraq during the summer. Do YOU want to walk 2 miles to the phone or to the store to buy a phone card for the Iraqi cell phone? Cut them some slack.

SEND CARE PACKAGES!!! Fill it with fun stuff. I sent my husband squirt guns and water balloons. Candy, snacks, crossword puzzles. HYGIENE ITEMS. Again. . . DO YOU WANT TO WALK 2 MILES TO THE STORE TO BY SHAMPOO? Send pictures of you and the babies. Send him an outfit that the baby is wearing now so he can see just how big the baby is. Send cards and letter. DON'T SHUT THEM OUT!!!

ALSO: Don't spend tons of money just because he is getting extra cash every month. If you have children, you need to pay your bills and save the rest. I know being lonely makes you want to shop. I'VE BEEN THERE. Don't fall into that trap. Your husband needs to know he can trust you with the money.

Duty Stations:
Every duty station is different. When your husband is at work, pack the kids in the car and drive around post. Get a feel for where you are at. Stop at the visitors center or Soldier's center and get a good phone number to call in case you get lost. A lot of posts have information lines like the national 411 line. Find the Mommy and Me classes. Find the community centers and pools on post. Find things to do and get involved. If you sit around and whine about how you have no family and friends you are only driving a wedge between you and your spouse.

Children: RAISE YOUR KIDS RIGHT!!! Military kids can be the worst. The parents are tired of moving. Or they don't like where they live. Or they hate the schools on or near post. CHILDREN ARE PRODUCTS OF THEIR OWN ENVIRONMENTS!!! They will act according to what they see and feel. If they see misery and discomfort they will act out. If they see content and happy they will be happy and content. Children need security and consistency. If they don't get those they will be fussy and act out. Take a second look at yourself and ask yourself if you are giving your children the best environment possible.

Last:
IF YOU NEED HELP ASK FOR IT!!!! Military One Source is a great way to get help. If you need an antidepressant, GET ONE!!! Your babies and your spouse need you at your 200%. You don't have time to lay on the couch all day feeling sorry for yourself. YOU are the only one who can control YOU.

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