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.
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?