Another Spouse Spotlight for my deployment series. Rachel’s husband is gone pretty regularly and she shares how she goes through each deployment. I recently was featured on her blog series, check it out here. Today I get to share her story:
My life has settled into a pretty steady pattern: once a year (or sometimes twice a year!) my husband ships off to lands unknown for deployment and I prepare for a few months solo. Around that same time, some well-meaning person in my life tells me a variation of the following:
“Well, just stay busy and he’ll be home in no time.”
Military spouses everywhere cringe when they hear that statement because we all know that it doesn’t actually work that way! Staying busy does not make time move any faster; the days are just as long. Trust me, no matter how busy you are, you feel every second of deployment.
But if the past few years have taught me anything, it’s that there some truth behind every military cliché, including the “stay busy” one. Staying busy doesn’t magically give you access to a fast forward button, but it does give you a whole lot less time to wallow in missing someone.
With each deployment, I find that I have far less time to wallow in missing my husband. Between the house, the dogs, my side hustle, my personal life and my day job, I definitely have the “just stay busy” covered.
Day to Day Life
I don’t talk about my day job very much on Countdowns and Cupcakes, but it factors in pretty heavily to my experience as a military spouse. I work for a non-profit that uses the power of sports to transform the lives of people with intellectual disabilities. In my current position, I oversee all communications and marketing for the entire state, supporting both the fundraising and programming sides of the organization.
In short, it can be a lot even on the best days, but during a deployment? Oh boy. It can get very overwhelming very quickly. Between regular office hours, travel days and then event days, it’s a pretty demanding schedule that doesn’t leave a lot of time for work-home life balance. There are days where I don’t feel like I can do it all. Then there are days when I most definitely can’t do it all and getting used to that has not been easy for me.
But as overwhelming as things can get, I refuse to give that part of my life up. I have been involved with this organization almost my entire life and being on its staff is a core part of my identity and has been since before I met my husband. I can’t imagine walking away from it just because it makes my life extra hectic a few months out of the year. So I’ve had to find ways to cope with handling it all solo.
Shifting my mentatily
I’ve had to shift my mentality from “I have to do it all” to “I have to do the best I can” and once I did that, things felt easier. I’ve learned to not feel guilty that the house isn’t as clean as I would like or that I don’t ever really catch up on my DIY projects. At the end of the day, if my work gets done, the dogs get fed and the house is still standing, I’m calling that a win!
I’ve also learned to accept help when it’s offered to me. So many people in my life are willing to lend a hand if I’m just willing to say yes. Co-workers, friends, neighbors and even family have all pitched in to help when things get overwhelming. I used to be afraid that asking for help made it seem like I couldn’t handle the military lifestyle, but in reality, asking for help is part of rocking the military lifestyle, especially during deployment.
Ultimately, my life (and my deployment story) would not be the same without my day job. So I have found ways to work with this particular set of circumstances.
Each of us faces our own challenges that make deployments even more difficult. But they are just a small part of our own unique deployment story. It’s how we adjust to that challenging circumstance that really matters.
How have you adjusted to a difficult circumstance during deployment?
Countdown and Cupcakes
Rachel is a proud Navy wife, avid reader, dog mom, baker and care package maker. She blogs all about life as a military wife at Countdowns and Cupcakes, a place where military spouses, new and experienced alike, can come for support, encouragement, a little humor and maybe a care package idea or two. She can also be found on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Etsy and Bloglovin.
Today is Day 21 of 31 Days of Deployment Stories. If you missed a post you can check them out here. Yesterday, I talked about being an Engineer in Honduras. Tomorrow we are heading to Qatar and learning about Intel. Don’t miss a post. Join my weekly email list here.