how do you do it for a long time?

Cory - posted on 10/06/2010 ( 7 moms have responded )

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i just had my son and i am so excited about having my two babies. my problem is that my husband is oversea and he will be there for a while, i won't go more indepth on that because of the opsec thing. i just don't know how i'm going to do this by myself for a while. i feel like a single parent and i feel like the days just drag on some days. i'm just looking for some advice on time management and things like that am i doing something wrong or is it really like this. i mean husband has been gone before but not this long and not with our daughter going the age where she is not wanting to listen but do her own thing as she finds her own personality. all advice is welcomed.

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Amanda - posted on 03/01/2011

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Well I have a 4 year old who was 6-18 months when mine was gone. Give them lots of attention. Also, I dont know how long you have been married or what he does but my life with husband here has not been much different. I just have to please one more person and feed one more mouth. I would create your life with your kids. Make you and them happy so it will go smoother. When he returns, you will be comfortable where you are and you just add him to the equation. Keep up with schedules, appointments, playdates and friends while he is gone and when he gets back so your children will see consistancy. Good luck hun!

Meg - posted on 02/10/2011

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I know how you feel we had a nice break in deployments and this one came and my oldest daughter is school age now and her sister is not far behind its like a whole new ball game even though this is our 4th deployment since having our oldest daughter!

Brenna - posted on 12/10/2010

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Your daughter sounds just like my son. My son's normal semi-rebellious behavior has been so much worse since his dad went overseas. It drives me insane sometimes! It helps to make connections he can understand, (i.e. soldiers are like Batman). It also helps him when I choose my battles very carefully . . . Am I just saying "no" just because? Or is there a legitimate reason to say "no"? Am I being reasonable?

It's also been hard for him to accept me as the primary authority figure, and he's pushed and pushed and pushed to see if I'll bend. I have to stay consistent, all the time, and sometimes I have to come down harder on him than his dad normally does so that he'll take me seriously.

Another thing that helps a lot is routine. I never thought I'd see the day when my son would tell me it was nap time or bed time, but he does now! He doesn't fight me anymore on going to sleep because the routine is important to him. Some days he'll even ask for an early bedtime, since we have a very long paper chain spanning the time our soldier is scheduled to be away - he gets to pull one off at bed time.

As for you, how do military wives do it for so long? Well, we just do. We don't have a choice, so we do it. That may sound depressing, but it's a really encouraging thought to me. The fact is, there's a lot of crap life likes to throw at people. If it's not this, it'll be something else, and there's no escaping it. You just have to do what you need to do.

There are some things that make it easier, though. Everyone will tell you to keep yourself busy, and that's good advice. But if you're like me, you'll get yourself so busy that you don't have any down time, and that's not good, either. I sacrifice my ability to cope emotionally, mentally, even physically by not allowing myself time to feel. Mourning is the first step to moving on. You have to stay balanced - let yourself feel sad that he's gone for so long, that he's missing so much, that you have to be a single mom at this difficult stage in your daughter's life. But do not stay there. Let yourself cry, then choose to look for and see the silver lining.

For example: My son is having a lot of difficulty adjusting to his dad being gone. He can't understand why his cousin's dad is home while his isn't. I have to deal with the defiance, acting out, and his refusing to accept me as his primary authority figure. This is very difficult, but I cannot change it. I choose to see the good things, some of which are: 1) I am learning to be more reasonable, not only in my demands of my children, but in how I communicate requirements; 2) We will all appreciate our soldier even more when he comes home; 3) My son will always know the hero that his Daddy is; 4) My son will grow up knowing that he can get through even the most difficult things life can throw at him; 5) He will grow up knowing the importance of family connection in a way that no one who has not been deprived of close connection ever will.

Does that make it okay? No. But it makes it emotionally manageable. All you have to do is take it one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time, and choose the way you look at and think of things.

Theresa - posted on 12/07/2010

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Corey, you are SO not alone... I have been doing this for 11 years, my hubby has been in 14. Our girls are 8 & 6. Since we relocated in 2005 he has been gone all but 13 months of it. I know how you feel about being a single parent so to speak. I have no family within 12 hours of me so I am basically alone. I have aligned a few great friends that help me get a small amount of me time,,, whatever that is now days. I swear that I am married to a paycheck but I know one day, there will be a man on the other side of this..lol. It does get easier but you have to take Mommy time outs to regroup. I like to give myself about 20 minutes after I put the kids to bed to have a cup of hot tea and enjoy the silence... we get so little... Just know there are MANY of us out here and noone gets it like we do... we are always here to offer a friendly nudge in the sane direction... best of luck.

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Good luck! Deployments drag but there are points that fly by to help the time not feel so long or bad. Just make sure that you and your kids get time out of the house a few times a week. That you get some personal time to do something that you enjoy. I would work on sewing and craft projects during naps and after kids get in bed. Make special little events for the kids. No matter how old the kids are make or do something special with them. It can even be things that can be saved or sent to your husband. One time I taped brown butcher paper to a long wall in the house for the kids and me to color on together. We made a small one that we sent and a big one for when he got home. Just do fun out of the blue things together.

Teyaka - posted on 10/29/2010

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It is different every time they leave. I find that occupying my time helps time go by. Scheduel appointments, start or join a play group in your area. Try to make sure you have something to do at least once or twice a week. Make time with your kids something extremely special. If he can Skype... that would be amazing too! That way it will seem like Daddy is always watching to the kids.When he leaves it is going to be trial and error. So, enjoy some of those moments you have to tweek things to your liking.

Candi - posted on 10/21/2010

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It will get easier. Each passing day is one day closer to him being back home. Pretty soon one day will feel like the next and you'll get bored, but thats normal. My husband has been deployed 3 times. The first time was for 15 months and we lived in Germany with 2 kids(toddlers). It was tough, but we survived. The next two deployments were both 12 months and we lived in TX and had 3 kids. We kept busy with school, church, dance, scouts, and whatever we could find. If your kids are too young for those activities, try to find playgroups, storytime at libraries, and nice playgrounds to take your kids to. You need to get out for fresh air and get out often or you will get stuck in a rut and not want to do anything. Getting out will give you energy too

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