You knew 2020 meant a deployment, and you tried to prepare yourself for the time apart, but then, 2020 took a turn and you found yourself saying goodbye right as the world started to change.
You had no idea what this would mean for the deployment, or what this would mean for you and your kids back at home. You just knew a deployment during a pandemic was going to add another layer of stress, on an already stressful situation.
As the deployment got started, and everything started to close down, you just weren’t sure how long it would all last. Hopefully not too long? But as the numbers climbed, you knew this was something that would be impossible to plan.
Whenever your spouse goes away, you always have a plan. Stay busy! Find things for the kids to do! Get out of the house.
But then, most of that was canceled. The soccer games you knew you would have each Saturday, helping you get through your weekend, were canceled. Going to church wasn’t a way to connect with others, but instead, a service online in your living room. You couldn’t rely on all those playdates that got you through the last deployment.
And as time goes on you start to feel so lost. Day after day, it’s the same thing. Day after day, you have to find new ways to get through a deployment. The old ways don’t apply anymore.
Before your spouse left, you told yourself it would be okay because this time you would have kids in school all day, only to have them home right before spring break, and still be home months later.
Before your spouse left you had looked forward to visiting your family in the summer, but now, that trip has been canceled. And you aren’t sure when you can rebook.
Before your spouse left, you had a long list of things you and the kids were going to do. Your bucket list was long, but now on a few things are possible.
As time goes on, you start to worry a bit. A few friends are dealing with delayed homecomings, and you wonder if that will happen to your spouse, when it is their time to come home.
As a military spouse, you have been through many types of frustrating situations. From a delayed PCS to an extended deployment, but this deployment during a pandemic thing is a lot to deal with. Almost too much.
You wonder how long it will last, both the deployment and the pandemic.
You wonder what can really help because staying busy is now a lot more challenging.
You wonder how this will affect your kids and what you can do to help them.
As you wake up each morning, you try to think of the positives about what is going on. The good things. The happy things.
But some mornings, that’s just too hard. Some mornings, that is just too much. Some mornings, you wish you could hit the fast forward button so that all of this would be over and you could get back to your normal life.
You hope time goes by a little faster than it is. You try to do the best that you can do because that is all you can do. You hope this never happens again, and that once it is over, you can come out a stronger person, able to take on whatever military life brings at you.
So many may be struggling with a deployment during a pandemic. The National Guard has been called up for various reasons, and some have AT coming up soon. Others are preparing for a deployment during this crazy time.
None of this is easy, and it has taken us all by surprise. From delayed PCS moves, to not being able to travel like normal, the pandemic has affected military life in many ways.
Know that if you are dealing with any of this, you are not alone. Some of what has worked in the past won’t work right now, but you still have things you can do to get through it.
You might not be able to get together with friends, but texts and video chats can help.
You might not be able to visit your family, but setting up a weekly Zoom call can help keep you connected over the miles.
You might not be able to stay busy in the ways you have before, but you can take this time to find other ways to do, either at home or in nature of some kind.
It might seem that this is our new normal, and no one really knows how long we will be living in pandemic mode. But no matter what happens, the deployment will eventually end, and things will change.
2020 will eventually end, and hopefully, future years will be a bit easier on all of us.