How To Find Me Time When Your Spouse Is Deployed
One question I tend to get asked by my non-military friends is, “Do you ever get any time to yourself during the deployment?” And my answer is “Yes!” Although I have had to work hard over the years to be able to find this me time.
When your spouse is home, you should be able to have them watch the kids, at least every once in a while. You can get out to the mall, meet friends or dinner, or go to your book club.
When they are deployed, finding that me times isn’t as easy.
So what can you do if your spouse is deployed or away on training and you struggle to find that me time you crave?
Trade babysitting with a friend
During past deployments, I have had close friends that I traded babysitting with. This was ideal because we could both help each other out in the same way. This isn’t always possible because doing this requires having a good friend that you trust. You also need someone with children that get along with yours.
But if you can find this, take advantage and bring up trading off with childcare. Even if you just want to take an hour to drink a Starbucks and read a book kid free, you can do so and then return the favor.
Look for events with free childcare
When we were stationed in Schweinfurt, Germany, we had a scrapbooking night once a month. They would usually have a babysitter on site in a playroom, which was nice. Being able to sit and scrapbook with friends and not have to worry about where my children were would make for a fun night and a good way to find that me time.
If you take some time to look at your local area, you will probably find places that do offer free childcare both on and off post. There is a local church here that does a once a month parent’s night out for the local community.
Some military bases and military posts have Super Saturdays where you can leave your kids in childcare once or twice a month if your husband is deployed. I have taken advantage of that many times, and they have been a lifesaver.
We could drop off our kids around 9 am and just pick them up sometime in the late afternoon. I knew they were being taken care of in an age appreciate place and it gave me a chance to get errands done or to meet up with friends for lunch.
Many military spouses do not live near family. One thing you miss out on when you don’t live near family is the ability for them to watch your kids. I know if I had raised my kids in the same town as my parents it wouldn’t have mattered when my husband deployed because I knew that they would be able to watch them.
I did spend the summer of 2009 at my parent’s house with my young two and four-year-old. While we did a lot of things together, getting out by myself or meeting a friend was a nice perk to living with them for those months.
When we have family come to visit, they will watch our kids for either a date night if he was home or a night out with friends when he has been away. Even though this can’t happen too often because of the distance, it is a beautiful thing when they come to visit. The extra set of hands helps more than they even realize.
In some seasons you won’t be able to have any me time. You could have a nursing baby or no one in the area to trust with your children. That is when bedtimes become so important. Make sure you put your kids to bed early enough so that you can spend at least an hour by yourself.
During this time you can watch a television show, take a bubble bath, or have a bowl of ice cream. Taking that time for you will be the best way to help you through the days of deployment.
Hire a babysitter
If you have the budget to do so, you can hire a babysitter. See if you know anyone with a teenager that babysits. They probably live close and be good with your kids. You can also use websites like www.sittercity.com to find someone in your local area.
Sometimes just getting out and going to the library/coffee shop, treating myself to lunch, or going on a photo walk for a few hours can refresh me. Especially after a long night. As military spouses, we can take on too much and not find time for ourselves. After months of this, we can get burned out which isn’t good for ourselves or our children.
How do you find time to get away and relax when your spouse is deployed? How do you find “me” time during deployment?
Here are other posts about deployments: