I was deployed before my Son was born and that in itself was difficult. Your partner goes through so much while you are gone, trying to hold down the fort, stuff happens and you can’t do anything about it.
I've been fortunate enough to not have to deploy with the navy with my littles but hubby did a year long when our daughter was 1 and came back right before she turned 2. Every night he called before bedtime (unless phones went down) and every port we paid for a hotel so he would have wifi to Skype us for hours. My biggest advice is to not have a kid that little at homecoming, at least for us. Even talking to him that often she screamed and cried when he tried to hold her the first time, it took a bit to readjust and for us that was harder than the deployment itself. She was just too little to understand.
I got deployed away from my daughter twice. First time was for 9 months and she was 1 and a half, 2 when I returned. The second deployment was for 7 months and she was 3. It’s not easy by any means, unfortunately I think I had to block off those feelings, sort of be numb while I was gone. I still talked to her a few times a week via FaceTime but that was all. I plan on getting out in the next few years so that I don’t have to deploy away from her anymore or away from my future children. Best of luck to you!
I left my first babe for Afghanistan when she was 7 months old and again when she was 2 1/2. The first time was much harder on me than her. She was too young to understand and doesn’t remember anything. The second time, now that was hard. She could tell me how she felt at that point, which made it really difficult. She’d ask questions that just broke my heart. You just explain it the best you can. To get by, I exercised a lot. Ran at leave 5 miles a day. I was probably in the best shape of my life on those deployments. I also learned to dance bachata and salsa at the Recreation area. I read a lot. I watched a lot of movies. Received lots of pictures & every chance I had I’d call via video chat. Daily or every other. It depends on where you’re going and what they have available to you. Just stay connected and don’t be afraid to talk about the struggle to family and friends. It’s going to be tough but stay positive and keep on grinding through the grit. Live daily with purpose and have grace with yourself.
Your deployment will be over before you know it and it will soon be just a memory. My daughter is turning 9 next week and those times are just that, distant memories. She’s grateful for what we’ve done and tells me all the time. Praying for your safe travels and a very safe and quick deployment! Enjoy your family!
How old is your babies? I haven’t deployed but was away weeks at a time and it sucked so bad. And I’m an army brat as well. I got out almost a year ago. I have a 3 year old and 7 month old and cannot fathom being away from them anymore. Lots of video chatting and pictures. I would start a hobby over there like working out to keep your mind off missing them. Also sleep when you can and watch movies. Not sure where you’re going but hopefully you have access to internet. Prayers for a safe tour and homecoming. Enjoy your babies while you can.
If you want you can message me on here and I can add you to a female veteran/active duty group. It’s small but everyone is very supportive, and zero drama!
I’m not active I’m guard but we still get deployed. And our time is almost here. Thanks for your support that’s so sweet. I hate being away!