Need to keep busy, but how?

Samantha - posted on 02/22/2011 ( 10 moms have responded )

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As an Army Wife, we have some of the longest deployments between the different branches. Granted this is just my second deployment, the first was 15 months and this one is going to be 12 months once completed (HALF WAY THERE! YAY!).
With that being said, I believe the best ways to get through a deployment are to try to keep a positive attitude and to stay busy.

What are the ways that you all keep busy?

If you use a military sponsored activity, please let us know how you came to know about it or what resources you've used!
Considering our forums are all about advice, I would like for you ladies to be able to read these comments and when yours is read, that everyone be able to take something useful from it!
If you don't have the info, that's okay, too. We have some resourceful women and I'm sure the idea alone is enough :o)

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Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2011

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So great to read all these suggestions. My husband is leaving for 13 months. This is our 3rd deployment. However, this time we have 2 children ages 4 and 2. Both girls and oh the drama! lol He just left a few days ago so I am already trying to stay out of the house. Thanks for the advice and keep it coming!

Candi - posted on 02/28/2011

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we have been through 3 deployments (15 mos, and two 12 month) We have 3 kids. I lived in Germany during the 15 mos deployment and went on a few MWR trips with my toddlers. They also went to a German preschool and they loved it. We lived in TX for the other 2 deployments. There we were in school(yes me too), Suunday school teacher, ballet, tap, Cub Scouts, visiting every museum and zoo we could find. My two older kids were acting too, so auditions kept us quite busy, and I scrapbooked whenever I got a free minute. Once you get a routine down, the days go by quickly.

Tah - posted on 02/28/2011

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i work, attend school, i do karate with my kids etc. i stay pretty busy and i would't have it any other way.

Tara - posted on 02/28/2011

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We're halfway through 12 months too, yay! R&R visit in a week!!! I worked through our first 2 deployments (before kids) and signed up for all kinds of community activities to keep my evenings and weekends busy. I took ocean kayaking lessons and sang in a community chorus and taught Sunday school, etc. I did a lot of community volunteer work too, like translating for a community health free clinic. Now that we have 2 kids I'm too busy to miss my husband (well, maybe a little...haha). To keep my 5 year-old busy I have him signed up for kindermusik classes, the First Tee golf program (free for military). t-ball, tennis, soccer. This summer we'll do the library summer program (free) and hopefully have a summer pool membership. He only goes to school 1/2 days, so this keeps his afternoons busy and keeps us from being too lonely. My 19 month-old also does kindermusik classes and we go to lots of free playgroups in the area. When we first moved here I couldn't find anything to do with my toddler son, and so we started a playgroup!

Samantha - posted on 02/24/2011

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Love all the ideas! To keep busy here, I've gotten involved in our FRG as a POC. I know people think they're cliquey, and to a degree you're right. But it's about being flexible with your time and understanding with others. It was 2 1/2 to 3 months before I was invited to anything outside of FRG business. You form bonds with wives that you otherwise wouldn't have been able. It could go quicker or slower for others, but completely worth it! The BEST women I've met in our military life, by far! We just try to keep in mind that we're there to help each other shoulder a burden and help out our REAR-D get some info out and try to get some events in place to have fun! Not to mention, you can log your volunteer hours and use this in your resume (ALWAYS good).
Gotten more involved in church with a bible study and of course the regular services. I've just signed my daughter up with Ballet and Tap with the SKIES program on post (Fort Campbell). While your sponsor is deployed they give you $300 to put toward SKIES and $100 toward an MWR sport. You have to be signed up with CYSS to get these benefits, and they tell you how to use them (if they don't, ASK!) USE IT! I assume that there are programs like this on other Army Posts/Military Facilities, as they try to do everything in their power to make sure everyone has the same opportunities. This is going to cover 1 class a week for 8 months for us!
If you are unaware of programs offered, call your local Community Services (For Army that is the ACS) You should be able to find it in your Post/Base Directory. They commonly have these listed on the Post/Base website.

Chaundra - posted on 02/24/2011

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I found that having a life outside of the military helped me with some of the longer tours. I could just live and not have to be reminded every second that they were gone. I know he is gone I miss his body lying next to mine every night. I am not dishonoring him by going back to school, the gym, out with family. Make the most of the time for you. That way when he returns you are a happier, healthier person. I would warn about going out to clubs. On the really long tours sometimes you might just want to have a night out with the girls, if my husband was over seas I did not go out. There is enough to worry about just with being apart to have to worry if one or the other is being faithful. 13 years of marriage with over 4 years of deployment it can work.

Heather - posted on 02/23/2011

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Not been through a delpoyment yet, but I have 2 kids, I will be running an in home daycar, and I hope to use the time to see a lot of the local attractions (who knows how long we'll be stationed here) and I am thinking I might try a few Quilting projects., since sewing is a big stress releiver for me.

Kelsey - posted on 02/22/2011

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Navy Wives Club! Not sure what other branches have. NWC near me do volunteer work and regular meetings. There are many women of all ages that belong. They do fun outings as well and get togethers and playdates with their children. My husband is getting stationed in Guam in August and we will be there for three years. Besides being busy with our daughter, I am looking into places to volunteer in the local town.

Darlyn - posted on 02/22/2011

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Mine have only been gone 6-7 months. He will be leaving again next month for a 7 month deployment. It will be harder for me now as we have a 13 month old baby. Before it was easy to adjust as he was only leaving me.
I have never used any military sponsored activity but I think I will be keeping busy enough with full time work, school and the baby. I hope time will fly by "i hope".

Bree - posted on 02/22/2011

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This will be an interesting thread! I can't wait to see all of the replies.

My husband has done 4 deployments (those 15 month ones are BRUTAL!). I haven't ever done anything that is Military sponsored to stay busy. I make a point to go to museums and off off Broadway (haha) shows...concerts, movies...anything entertaining. I also attended Cosmetology school which kept me very busy. Now I am in college again, working slowly toward a degree in Sociology. If my husband deploys from here I will be going on a LOT of MWR sponsored trips. Pay my money, get on their bus and do what they tell me to do lol.

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