So your husband is gone. You no longer have him to help with your kids. No more easy trips to the store to pick up a few things, no more ladies nights, you pretty much have to bring your kids everywhere you need to go.
You can get a babysitter which is nice, but using one often can add up. I know here in Tennessee you will end up paying close to $10/hour for a good sitter. So what do you do when you just can’t afford that but need to have some time for yourself? How do you handle life when you need that break but it feels like that $10/hour is way out of your budget?
This is how I have done c without having to spend a lot of money.
- Trade with a friend. Find someone you trust with your kids and trade-off on babysitting. Neither one of you has to pay a dime. You can do it weekly or monthly or as often as you would like. During one of our deployments my friend and I took turns watching each other kids while we went grocery shopping. It was so nice to be able to do it alone and not have to take my kids with me. We even took turns to go to church on Easter Sunday.
- Take advantage of hourly care. Most duty stations will have a CDC hourly care for you to use. You will just need to sign your kids up at your local CYSS. You will renew yearly from then on. When we were in Germany we were given 16 hours of free care during the deployment. Here at Ft. Campbell we were able to get half-price hourly care which is $2.00 an hour. Not a bad deal at all and they feed them breakfast and lunch if they are there at meal times. I started using hourly care when my oldest was about 20 months old and I was pregnant and I knew I would need something as my husband was getting ready to deploy.
- Take advantage of Parent’s Night Out and Super Saturdays. At each post we have been stationed at they have had Super Saturdays for us to use during the deployment and a few months after he got home. We drop the kids off at 9am and pick them up by 5pm. This was so nice when my husband was gone. I was able to meet friends and shop or just take some time to myself. It definitely made the weekend go by a lot faster. Now that he is home and we can still use it for a bit we are having a great time with spending the day together. Other places in town such as a local church or the YMCA might have Parent’s Night out for you to use. See what is available in your area. You might be surprised at what you can find.