Staying busy during a deployment

Erin Condren plannerIf you hear advice about getting through a deployment, most likely you will hear that you need to stay busy. People say this because it is true and because it really works.

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.

Are you going through a deployment right now? What do you do to keep busy?

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About Julie

WAHM of three boys, wife of 12 years, blogger, photography and book nerd.

  • Barb

    I can only imagine how difficult being an Army wife must be, especially if you have little ones to tend too. Having them keeps you busy but you also have to tend to their emotional needs. It’s got to be tough when they miss daddy. Army Wives is my favorite program. I think it has helped the public better understand how rough it is on the service men and women as well as how hard it is on the family left behind. I think you’re a terrific mom and I’m pretty sure your hubby thinks you’re a terrific wife too. Take care & God bless.
    Barb recently posted..The Promised Update

  • Zuzana

    Dear Julie, as you know my husband returned home recently after 4 months deployment.;) It was my first deployment and I think it went pretty good. I feel by far that the worst was the first day – after I drove him to the base and watched him leave, I drove back home and only lay in bed the whole day crying.:(
    Then I got over it and adjusted and found new routines and ways of occupying myself. I was single before we met and know how to be on my own, so I do not mind the solitude. But what I miss and need is of course my husband, not anyone else.;)
    Currently he is again away on training for 2 weeks – and he has been sporadically gone ever since he returned – one week here, one week there – now that bugs me quiet a lot more, these unexpected travels of his. I actually find them much more difficult to handle.;) Furthermore, I also suddenly find myself in a role of a step mom to 3 children from his previous marriage, as when he is away, I still need to fill in his duties of shared custody all on my own, while working full time and commuting 3 hours every day. As much as it helps me keeping busy, it is also at times overwhelming to be caring for 3 teenagers all alone, particularly as I do not have any children myself.;)
    But overall, I am coping and I love my new life, I love my new family, I love my step kids who suddenly give my life a purpose and most of all I love my handsome husband who completes me on every level imaginable and grants me a very interesting , diverse and ever changing reality.;)
    Always good to visit here dear Julie, have a great week.;)
    Zuzana recently posted..Fallen Angels.

  • the team

    thank you for all that you and your family sacrifice for our country. we really appreciate it!

  • Jennifer

    Going through a deployment now. Both of my girls are in school, so we’re busy with that. I signed both girls up for ballet and my oldest now has art classes on Mondays. We’ve joined a MOPS group and I have Bible study on Wednesdays. The weeks are good. But I’m the opposite in that I want to keep my weekends lowkey. I think it’s mostly because we’re running so much during the week, that it’s nice to just sit and do nothing on a weekend. The girls and I use that time to rest and bond over movies, baking, crafts, and naps!
    Jennifer recently posted..Nudgie’s Artwork

  • Liz Henry

    Although I am not an Army wife, I am an Army girlfried. Wait. Scratch that. I’m an Army fiance. Yay me!!! :) And we are currently going through our first deployment. We’re barely a week into this deployment and things haven’t been as bad as I thought they would be. I believe that’s mainly because I’m constantly praying, and reading my Bible, and praising God throughout the day. God has really given me peace through this time. I’m in college, so I stay busy with my studies. I’m also planning a wedding on my own, so that definitely keeps me busy. Anytime my mind wanders and I begin to worry, I just begin singing praise and worship songs and I’m immediately comforted. It also helps having his parents to talk to. They were both marines, so they fully understand everything that’s going on and can further explain it to me. I’m so happy I stumbled onto your website. I know browsing your posts will definitely keep me busy as well. :)