Deployment

Katelyn - posted on 05/25/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone
I have a 18 month old son and my husband is getting ready to go on deployment for about 8 months. When my husband leaves my son will be 2. How do you let them know that there dad will be home soon and that he didnt just abandon him? This will also be my first deployment ever and i am kinda stressing out because I will be dealing with myself and deployment plus a 2 year old trying to tell him that his daddy just left for a little while. My fear is that my son wont remember him. Plus I am moving back home so I can havve help with my son while I am in school. How do I prepare myself and son for deployment? How do I talk to him about it?

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Amy - posted on 10/01/2012

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what's a kiss jar? my son just left for Africa. His son and fiancee are sooo sad! just want to help with the sadness

Colleen - posted on 05/31/2011

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Children are definately more resilant then we give them credit for. My husband just got back 2 weeks ago from his 3rd deployment. He was gone for a year each time. The last 2 we have had children for the first time my oldest was 18 months when and he left and for the last time she was 4 and it was 3 days after my youngest turned 1. What I did with both of them was tell them that Daddy was working far away. We tried to webcam with him once a week. With bad connections though that wasnt always possible. I always let them talk to him if they were around when he called. Eventhough the baby couldnt talk I think it was good for her to hear his voice. I had pictures of him with both of them up all the time. I put a couple in plastic frames so that they were each able to carry a picture of him with them. Daddy dolls that someone else mention are great my oldest has one.

At first it is hard but honestly kids adapt to them being gone pretty good. My oldest had a little harder time where she was older but after a few weeks the baby stopped asking if he was home. But everytime I would open my computer she would ask for him even after just using the web cam a few times. My 4 year old went through a period that when she heard the national anthem or so a soldier she got really upset and missed her daddy but then we would talk and I asked her one day if she knew what daddy was doing that he was helping people she looked me in the eyes and said "Yes mommy I know he is off protecting the world from bad people."
I was aftraid that they wouldnt remember him either but neither one of them had a problem either time. They both ran to him at airport to pick him and everything. Kids definately bounce back easier from it then we do.

Nancy - posted on 05/30/2011

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This is a very hard thing because I just went through the same thing with my 3 yr old and 2 yr old. The thing is, they don't really have a concept of time at that age so it's hard to put it into perspective for them. Go to Military OneSource and get a copy of "Talk, Listen, Connect!" which was made for children that age. Also, I HIGHLY recommend getting your son a Daddy Doll. With my children, we watch videos of my husband, look at pictures, I saved all of his voicemails so they can hear his voice whenever they want and when he calls I always make a point of putting him on the phone with them. It makes such a huge difference. They need to have that security of knowing that their daddy still loves them, misses them and will be home. Make a deployment calendar or a kiss jar to count down the days... that always helps everyone too! Good luck and I'm there with you!!!! PS As long as you keep your husband as a constant part of your son's life through pictures, videos, stories, etc., he definitely won't forget his Daddy. :-)

Keena - posted on 05/30/2011

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I agree with everyone else's posts. We are on our second deployment having a child. Our son was only 4 months old the last deployment so he was clueless, this time he is almost 3. My husband already has to travel a lot so that has eased the deployment transition for us. We just told him daddy has to go to work and that it will be a long time before he can come back home. I'm pregnant with number 2 and due at the end of summer which is when my husband is due back. We just keep telling him, daddy will be home at the end of summer then baby sister will be born. It's not a great time line, but at that age they don't really understand long time periods anyway.
My husband also video records himself reading our son's favorite books so he can watch them. We skype when the connection is strong enough and talk on the phone when possible. If you reinforce that Daddy is coming back as soon as he can and that he loves and misses you guys your little man will do just fine. Children are far more resilient than we give them credit for and adapt well to these situations, usually better than we do. He will be a little more clingy to you, but just be understanding and a little more patient than normal (which I know is not always easy).

Kaja - posted on 05/26/2011

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TThis is my husband's third tour my second. We now have four children 5 and under. We try to talk as much as possible and he talks to the kids as much as he can. We send drawings pictures and we also have a flip cam to send him videos. Take it one day at a time and just reassure your child daddy misses and loves them. Remember he misses and loves you too. Msg me if u want to talk. We have to support each other also

Billie - posted on 05/26/2011

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This isn't my first deployment, but it's the first that my 2yr old daughter actually realizes that her daddy isn't here and she misses him. What I've been doing is each time she asks about him I tell her "Daddy is at work in a far away place, he will be coming home but not for a very long time. He loves and misses you very much." She looks at pictures of him all the time, he talks to us on the computer with voice and video chat almost everyday. There are mornings where she still darts into my bedroom looking for her dad in the morning, or we'll come home from running errands and she'll run inside saying "Dad! Dad!" looking for him and I just tell her the same phrase. I'm hoping that by saying the same thing she'll remember every word that he does love her and he does miss her and he will be coming home one day. She also had a stuffed doll made out of the same material as his uniforms we call her "Daddy-Doll"

I hope that her learning about it this young will help her cope during the deployments to come. I want to make sure she also knows that her daddy is helping other little boys and girls that need him right now.

For you, you just need to remember the same thing. Your husband loves and misses you just as much as you love and miss him. He just has a job he has to do right now and he'll be back when his job is done. It's good to stay strong for your husband, your child and yourself, but it also doesn't hurt to break down once in a while and let all of those emotions out instead of bottling them up and it doesn't hurt for your child to see you break down once in a while, that way they understand mommy feels the same way they do and it's okay. It's hard at first to handle things alone, but soon you'll go into what I specifically call "mommy survival mode" and you'll become a beast, LOL, you'll have a routine that allows you to handle everything and once your husband comes home and he tries to help, it will be hard to let go of some of your responsibilities because you're so use to having control. Everything that's meant to be finds a way to work itself out.

Bridget - posted on 05/25/2011

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Hey! When my husband went on his first deployment my oldest was three, my middle child was two and my youngest was 8 months. my oldest had the most trouble she really missed her dad. i just crossed off each day on the calender and told them that daddy loved them and would be home soon. we also made a paper chain so everyday we would remove a link so that was visual for them but i added on a extra week to it just in case he got delayed coming home that way they wouldn't get their hopes up. i also kept very busy we did alot of activities on base they had free dinners for the deployed spouses and special activities at the airman family readiness center like BINGO night which was alot of fun. also i had alot of pictures all over the house of their dad and by the babies crib i put a bunch of pictures of him by it and told him every night before he went to sleep that that was his daddy. Also we would try and Skype with him everyday which helped the kids. It was hard on me too during the day i tried to be strong for the kids but at night is when it got hard. i think you'll be ok. if you need anything feel free to message me :)

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