Ah. Here we are again. The familiar build up to deployment kicking in. As any military family will tell you, it’s such a bittersweet time. You are grateful that you are actually getting to spend time together, but at the same time you are almost clockwatching watching the days countdown to deployment.
We have four weeks this time. Four weeks after eight weeks apart to reconvene, have fun together, and then say goodbye again. I honestly can’t believe how quickly this one has come round. I feel like it was just months ago I was pregnant with L and gearing up for that deployment. At least that time I had an escape! I was going on maternity leave and heading back home to my mum and dad’s to have L and stay for three months. I don’t have that escape this time.
Six months on my own with not one, but two kids this time haha. I’m genuinely not sure how to get through it but we will just have to. Lots of plans to make to keep busy.
But back to pre deployment leave. We have booked a family holiday to make sure we have a week of uninterrupted family time. No work, no nursery, no cleaning, no washing, no errands to run. Just a whole lotta us time, and I can’t wait. We’ve also done things as a couple like a little spa day and a brunch just so we’ve got time to reconnect as well before being separated again. R’s deployment date got moved forward (shocker) which has caused all sorts of issues with plans.
I had originally booked three days off work to have together in the immediate run up to his deployment date, because I’m away in Spain on a hen weekend the weekend before, but now the date has moved forward I’m having to come back from Spain a day early to have about twelve hours with him and the kids before he goes. Not quite what we had planned but it is what it is. I also have a hen weekend abroad the weekend before that as well so we will just have to try and make the most of our weeknights together after work. I think he’s going to visit his family with the kids one weekend while I’m away and I’ll go up again with the kids in a few months once he’s gone. I just wanted to make the time before special and not rushed but what can you do?
We also have to try and to navigate the boring bits of pre deployment leave in between having fun together – such as sorting out the sheds, clearing out the loft, all the DIY jobs that have been building up over time, painting walls, making sure I know any random information that I might need (car insurance etc) while he’s gone. We have also done things we’ve been meaning to do for ages such as buying a new car and bed. Nothing like a bit of time pressure to make you get sh-t done!
We also need to get another Huggable Hero made for L and to set up all the deployment support bits for both the kids. I have gotten a custom made countdown board made from a fab Instagram store I was recommended and we’ve got all the welfare packs that were handed out. R needs to go and record a story book for them as well. Lots of support to hopefully help.
I just want to make time stop though. I don’t want to lose my husband for six months again. I don’t want to single parent again. I don’t my poor kids to miss their dad again. I don’t want to watch them struggle to deal with the emotions that come with a parent leaving for six months again. I don’t want to be jealous of other families who are together every weekend again. I don’t want to be scared of being in a house alone again. I don’t want to curse all the memories and little things round the house that make me miss him more again. I just don’t want to.
But I have to get on with it. And I will. I’ve just got to figure out how to keep a smile on my face whilst doing it!
Oh my goodness we will miss him. And we wish he was back for Christmas.