I always want to know the future, but (surprise) I never do. Unfortunately I’m not Marty McFly and I don’t have a super awesome DeLorean to take me forward into my future. When I enter into a new situation, my expectations are often turned upside down, causing bumps and bruises as I adjust to the reality.
Before we had kids, I always thought of a deployment with kids as this looming, black cloud that I’d have to walk under someday. Like deployment with a kid was this impossible task that I would have to tackle, with no one to help me and I would probably go crazy.
Now that I’ve been through a deployment with our daughter, I have a new perspective on it. Even though there were times I did, in fact, think I would go crazy… I was pleasantly surprised by many other experiences during the months apart from daddy.
So today I give you…
14 Ways Becoming A Mom Changed Deployment
1- It made it 1 billion times harder to say goodbye. It was the first time I ever saw my husband cry. Ever.
2- It made the time go by faster because I was so busy. I never knew that raising a child took so much time an energy. Well, maybe I knew in my head, but until I experienced it, I didn’t really know. Time really seemed to fly at times during that deployment because I had much less free time to spend missing hubby.
3- Finding a time to talk became more difficult, as I was nursing or exhausted at times when he was available.
4- I was rarely ever bored. A new baby is a wonder. Watching her sleep, eat, coo, wiggle… it was all amazing. And, I spent a lot of time with family as a result of her being in the world, so that helped with the boredom factor.
5- I grew close with other mom friends. There is definitely a deep understanding between moms, about parenting and all the life changes brought on by a new child. I felt like I entered the “sisterhood.”
6- I took a million pictures. My camera roll had never contained more photos!
7- I saw a lot more of our family and relied on them more for support. I used to think, “I’d never go home for a long time during deployment. I’m much too independent.” Well, that thinking changed. Immediately. And I spent a good month or two at my parent’s house through the time apart.
8- In some ways I was less lonely. I had a buddy 24/7 to keep me company.
9- In a lot of ways, I missed hubby more. He was missing so much, and every new milestone brought a new reminder that he was gone.
10- I grew more independent in a new way. It’s amazing what you learn about yourself in the middle of the night, going on no sleep and dealing with a screaming kid. I found that at my wits end, I actually had more wits to work with than I had thought. =)
11- I had to work harder to attend activities. Being social definitely became more of a challenge and I had to be very intentional about it. Finding a babysitter, leaving early, not attending, and finding new outlets for activities all became part of life for me.
12- I asked a lot more advice on Facebook and Google. Thank goodness for smart phones that can spew information on “how to get a baby to sleep?” or “what does green poo mean?” Lifesaver.
13- I spent time with the in-laws without hubby. Now that we had a child, there was much more reason to spend time with the in-laws. I really enjoy hubby’s family, but we hadn’t spent too much time together in our previous deployments. This time, we made plans to meet up more frequently.
14- The focus of deployment shifted to include helping someone else through deployment. “How can I keep her connected to Daddy?” and “How can I make sure she recognizes his voice and knows he loves her?” became new questions to answer.
What’s something in your life that has changed deployments for you?