Talk about It Keep the lines of communication open. Let each other know how you are feeling .
Fix It For the people remaining at home, it often helps if you get as many home repairs done before deployment. If the car is broken, try to get it repaired. If the fridge is on the verge of breaking down, get it fixed.
Be Together Plan for family time before the separation. Go on a hike. Take in a movie. Just spend time at home as a family.
Be Together Make sure you take time for yourself as a couple too! Have a romantic evening, just the two of you. Deepen your connection to help sustain you during time apart.
Tell the Kids Unless your children are very small, tell them well ahead of time , underscoring the fact that the parent must go. Arrange some one-on-one special time with each child , and be sure to offer frequent and strong reassurances of love.
Picture It Take snapshots and videos of the parent doing ordinary things around home. These will be especially valuable for young children with short visual memories. Play the videos often -- perhaps just a few minutes at a time -- and post pictures where they can be seen frequently.
Write It Create a special book with/about the absent parent, with photos and drawing that your child can look at each time he/she gets lonely.
Write It Another idea is to give your children secret diaries where they can write down the things they wish their absent parent could hear.
Military Identification Cards Check the expiration date of all Military Family ID cards prior to deployment. If the cards expire prior to the end of the deployment, you should contact the local MFRC to bring them up to date.
Bills Before deploying, make sure that you have made arrangements for these payments to be taken care of.
Will Make sure you get your will in order . Make sure the will is updated and says what you want. Also make sure you get a power of attorney , just in case anything should come up that only your spouse can handle.
Income Tax If you will be deployed when your taxes are due, figure out in advance how taxes will be filed and who will do it.
Power of Attorney A power of attorney is a legal designation by an individual that grants to another the authority to execute documents in the name of the grantor, as if he or she actually signed the documents. You may want to consider appointing someone as your Power of Attorney.
Insurance and other car care items Do you need to store your vehicle while you are deployed? Is your car, house and life insurance paid up? Have you made the car repairs that would otherwise drive your partner crazy in your absence?
Stay Active Keep busy . Find a hobby, a job, community classes — do something you wouldn't do if your loved one was at home.
Pamper Yourself a Bit Be kind to yourself . Pamper yourself when you get blue. Reach out to others. Sometimes people don’t know we’re lonely unless we tell them. Get to know the other spouses in your area who are also going through the same deployment. Volunteer. Take classes. Visit the MFRC .
Connect Reach out to those around you: neighbours, family, others with deployed partners. Take advantage of the services and classes at your local MFRC . If you need to talk, the MFRC is there for you!
Helping the Kids Ensure your children’s bedtime include their mommy/daddy who is away . Talk about what you think the missing parent is doing right now. Read a favourite book, look at photos, watch a video pre-taped before deployment. Give an extra kiss from “Daddy” or “Mommy” - whoever is away.
Helping the Kids If you know how long the separation is going to be, start a count down on a calendar (or find your own unique way to count the days).
Helping the Kids Keep the absent parent with you. Put some books on tape or video so the kids can still be read to. Talk about your absent partner to your kids. Make them part of your routine, even though they are away.
Helping the Kids Take advantage of the programs and services for children at your local MFRC .
Stay in Touch Send the schoolwork and pictures from class. Pictures the kids drew are heartwarming, and a good way for the absent partner to feel in touch.
Stay in Touch Make up a bunch of pre-addressed cards or postcards. Give to them to your kids and to your friends and family to make it easy for them to communicate with your partner. (And it will be easier for you as well.)
Stay in Touch Send photos via email or mail. These are one of the best ways to help your partner feel a part of your life while he or she is away. Photos have an immediacy and intimacy that will bring your partner closer.
Dealing with Relationship Issues Are you angry at your partner? Sleep on it before you send that angry email, then re-read your email before you press 'send'. The same goes for regular letters.
Allow Room for Growth You’ve waited for the homecoming! You’ve got it set in your mind just how wonderful it will be. But many people are surprised to find it’s also a stressful time of readjustment and getting to know each other again .
Allow Room for Growth In your partner’s absence, you may have become more independent . Your children will have grown . Your partner will have grown too from his or her experiences. Take it slow. Talk. Be patient.
Get to know each other Adults and kids need to take time to get to know each other again. Do things as a family and as a couple. Often, when people are away, we build up a lot of expectations for homecoming. If things don’t go as planned, try to be flexible .
Help your partner readjust Discuss your kid’s routines with your partner so your spouse know your kids’ routines. Depending on how long your partner was gone, things may have changed . This helps keep the kids from playing one parent against the other. This also helps the parent who was away to ease back into being the parent again.
Talk about your feelings openly and honestly We all have our own ways of dealing with change and stress . Try to go through it together. If you find you need more help , the MFRC offers confidential programs and services that may help you ease back into your relationship.
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