Today is a bit of a milestone. We’ve survived one month of deployment. The toddler is still alive. The cat is still alive. I’m still alive…just. And the house is still standing. So all in all I guess it’s been a successful month.
When your partner is about to deploy, you live in this strange world of trying to prepare yourself for every eventuality against a ticking clock. You try to preempt things that will need doing. Usually boring stuff like car tax, insurance renewals, making sure you have all the right phone numbers for emergencies etc etc. The list goes on. In my case, there was the added fun of trying to come up with a suitable plan for giving birth to our second child solo – no pressure there! You try to stay positive. You try to smile and nod when people tell you ‘it will fly by’ (whilst secretly wanting to punch them in the face).
The truth is nothing can prepare you for what’s coming. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times you do it, the circumstances change each time so every time it’s like a new battle.
I honestly wasn’t prepared for how hard it would be to do a deployment with kids. This is our first one since Little I was born and my gawd it’s 100x harder than I thought it would be. I knew I would have to prepare with the emotional fall out in the immediate aftermath, but I wasn’t prepared for how much it would truly affect her.
Toddlers are a funny species and can seem perfectly fine one day then BOOM absolutely devastated the next and you’re left standing there wondering where it all went wrong. I’ve had many a moment where I’ve had to leave the room and just cry alone because I’m so overwhelmed by her emotions, and my own.
She swings between wailing for dada and then not wanting to talk to him on our (limited) phone calls because she’s a 2014 baby and doesn’t get voice calls, only video! Her Huggable Hero dada has been a life saver but I’ve also seen him drop kicked down the stairs at times because it’s ‘no real dada’. It’s so hard to keep up with how she’s feeling and it truly breaks my heart when she cries for him and no matter what I do, it’s not good enough.
I thought it would be funny to round up our achievements and disasters for each month so when we get to the end of this deployment we can look back and laugh. Oh how I long for that moment!
Our one month achievements:
Our one month disasters:
We continue to have lots of support from family and friends but sometimes it’s hard to want to be around people. I know it sounds bad but it can be hard to be around people who are living their lives like they always have when there’s something so big missing from ours. We’re also at the stage now where people are starting to run out of nice things to say and are just expecting us to get on with it. Which we are, it’s just a bit of an up and down cycle.
I’m still waiting for it to get easier.
One month down. Five months and a new baby to go…