Staying busy keeps your mind busy. It fills up the days and makes life a little easier for you. It doesn’t mean you won’t have difficult days, that you will never cry or miss your husband so much it hurts. It just means it will help you get through it and help the time pass by a little quicker.
A few weeks ago my husband went to the field during my son’s fall break. Not the best timing Army, not the best timing. Anyway, I knew I would have 5 full days to fill plus a couple of weekends. We couldn’t just stay home. We had to stay busy. I started making plans for the week. We went to a pumpkin patch, playdate at the park, time with friends and a trip to Chuck-E-Cheese. Although it was hard, the week passed by pretty quickly. My husband got home Friday afternoon of fall break and I felt like I had done my best to make it through.
During deployments I have to do the same type of thing. It can get a little difficult because while you do need to stay busy, you also need time at home to clean, relax and work on projects. I know when all my kids are out of school and my husband is gone it is hard to know exactly how to balance all that time. Luckily my kids do play well together and don’t need planned activities every single day. At the same time staying home to relax or get stuff done is very difficult when Ben is gone. Even a trip to Burger King can help break up a long day. I learned during our first deployment that getting out and doing something worked wonders, even if that something wasn’t super exciting.
During a deployment I like to have a calender and fill it up as much as I can. I don’t like to have a lot of lazy Sundays like I do when Ben is home. I try to go to anything we might get invited to and look for fun activities for my kids to do. If it works out I like to go on one or two trips. Last deployment I had a 5 month old so I didn’t go anywhere but my Mom, Dad and brother came out to visit a couple of times and that was nice. I was able to show them around Clarksville a little bit.
Projects are also a great way to stay busy. You can work on your scrapbooks, decide to read a certain amount of books, work on home projects and projects with your children. Have that focus can really take your mind off of the separation.