Thriving vs Surviving during a deployment

Thriving vs Surviving during a deployment

I am sure you have heard that the goal for a deployment is to thrive vs just to survive.  It is the ideal to shoot for.  You want to get to a place where things are going alright and it isn’t just about making it to bedtime in one piece.  Well I need to confess something.  I usually feel like I am just surviving during a deployment.  Although each deployment has had periods of time where I felt like I was doing okay, most of the time I was just surviving.  Especially during our 15-month deployment.  That one was a dosey of a deployment and I would be so thankful that we finished another long day.

I would wake up each morning and make sure my day was full.  By the time the kids went to bed I would feel like I accomplished something important, another day down.  Another day to cross of the calender.  I made sure my kids were healthy, fed and the house was relatively clean.  I didn’t worry too much about doing more than that.  Sure, I wanted to make their days fun but some days we needed to stay home.  Not everyday was going to be successful.  Not everyday was going to be so filled with exciting adventures that I would forget about the deployment.

I remember one day during our third deployment.  I was back on post for the second time that day, running around doing something.  I was so tired and I knew we would have to be back again at 5:30 for T-ball practice.  I lost it in the car. I just couldn’t do it.  I just started crying because I felt like it was too much.  I needed to come home and just chill.  We skipped practice that day.  It made for a better night and a much less stressed out mommy.

Army Family

Some Sundays we didn’t go to church.  Some nights we had cereal for dinner.  That is just the reality for me.  I can’t be at my A game 24/7 when it is just me.  I just can’t.

I think there is the idea that as Military spouses we are strong and can get through anything without any tears.  But in reality, tears come.  They might happen behind closed doors, in the car or in the shower but we shed them.  We are only human and we can’t do it all.  No one can.

So as we prepare for our next deployment, I am not going to worry too much about thriving.  I might have to be in survival mode for a while.  But at the end of it all I know that we made it through something difficult and come out as stronger people because of it.

Do you struggle with thriving during the deployment?  Do you feel like you are in survival mode more often then not?


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About Julie

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

  • I read this last night, but didn’t get a chance to comment until now. I really liked this post. I really think every deployment I about surviving. I mean sure you are going to learn and grow during that time, but surviving is the main goal. Love your thoughts. 🙂

  • Danielle

    This is my first deployment. I had these false dreams of getting so many things accomplished while he was gone, but in reality, I am overwhelmed by even the normal everyday things now. I wrote this a couple of nights ago and it pretty much speaks to itself.

    I’ve always been the strong type
    I could get through anything
    It didn’t matter what it was
    broken bones to hurricanes

    But then one day I reunited
    with the man I’ve always loved
    And after all the years gone by
    There’s no man I’m more proud of

    He enlisted in the army
    many years ago
    He belongs to Uncle Sam now
    this I already know

    We’ve been planning for his deployment
    getting all our ducks in a row
    I did my very best
    to not let my tears show

    There’s no family and friends around
    to vent my feelings to
    No one but myself
    to help me get through

    I’ve laid in bed for days now
    Hoping it’ll get better
    Right now I’m not strong enough
    to even write him a letter

    I’ve never cried so much in my life
    as I have these past days
    Please God just tell me
    that this is only a phase

    There’s still so many months to go
    before he can hold me in his arms
    We’ll cuddle up with each other
    keeping each other warm

    For now I’ll just keep putting
    my fake smile on
    telling everyone who asks me
    I am getting along

    On the outside I look just fine
    although I’ve really fallen apart
    I’m having trouble living
    without the other half of my heart

    so now I’ll pull together
    because it’s the only thing I can do
    Although my soldier
    is really the glue

    I thought I was the strong type
    until my husband got deployed
    Someone put me back together
    and fill my heart with joy

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