husbandThere are those times when in the course of a man’s career, he has to move to another location far from his family. For the wife left behind, deployment can be an emotional and stressful time. There are, however, a number of strategies and tactics that wives can employ to ease the anxiety caused by this lengthy separation, including pre-deployment preparation, keeping busy with activities and seeking help and support from family friends and organisations.
The first thing to do is to take care of your finances. Draw up an expenses budget before your husband is deployed or else you will face serious challenges that will surely take a toll on the kids. Include rent or mortgage payments, bills, vehicle maintenance and living expenses. Make sure that you have enough money for the deployment period and access to any joint bank or savings accounts while your husband is away.
Prepare for any emergencies. Before your husband leaves, carry out safety checks around your home, including checking food stuffed in the store and door and window locks. Make sure you know what to do and who to contact should anything break down or if you need help at home. Prepare a list of emergency contact numbers and store them in a central location, like on the refrigerator.
Be prepared to experience different emotions. It is completely normal to feel a range of emotions before and during a deployment. In the weeks before, for example, you may feel anger and resentment towards your partner for leaving you. Anxiety and feelings of abandonment are also common in weeks after he leaves. Be prepared for these emotional changes and seek help from family and friends if you struggle to cope.
Keep busy. Avoid spending your days or evenings sitting at home thinking about your husband. Getting out and about will help you to stay positive and make the time pass much quicker, whether you spend an afternoon at the gym or have dinner with friends. If you don’t already work, consider getting even a part-time job.
All kids, no matter their age, want and need their parents to protect and care for them. And all parents want to be able to tell their kids that mommy and daddy will always be close by.
But when a parent leaves for any service, that comforting balance is disrupted. Some parents have to leave their families for long stretches of time
How kids handle separation and what they need from the adults who care for them while a parent is away will vary somewhat. But all kids do react in some ways, and the adults around them need to be prepared. Parents can help smooth the transition before and after deployment, and foster the resiliency kids need to cope well in between.
Support your children. Ensure that children spend quality time with your husband before he leaves. Be open and honest with children about the deployment, being realistic about the length of the separation. Encourage children to ask questions and express any thoughts and feelings they might have. Maintain consistent routines, like dinner and bed times, to minimize stress.
Send care packages. These are an ideal morale booster (for both of you) and can include favorite foods, drinks and toiletries–like shave gel and baby wipes. Be sure to include a letter that updates your husband on life back at home. Do not send anything that can melt, like chocolate. You can also get in touch with him on a daily basis to bridge the gap between you both.
Seek help. If you feel unable to cope with the deployment, there are numerous support organizations that you can turn to like women associations.
Make a plan to stay connected. Let kids know that goodbyes are hard for everyone even grown-ups. Remind them that they’ll be thought of and loved while the parent is away, and talk about the people who will be there to help them feel better when they’re feeling sad. Invite your child to come up with ideas to stay connected, like making calls, sending emails and promising to think about each other every day.
Kids are very attuned to the feelings of their parents, so be aware of any tension and anxiety they might be picking up on at home. Also, avoid instructing your child to be the man or woman of the house while one parent is away. Kids need to be kids, even in tough times, so instead tell them to do the very best they can even though it might be hard.


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