Parenting is never easy and being a mom or a dad can take a lot out of you. Throw a deployment into the mix, and you are going to be up for a challenge. From being responsible for everything kid related, to being the only adult in the house, solo parenting can wear you down. If you are a SAHM, you will be with your kids all day, as well as all night, without another parent to help you.
Here are a few ways to survive as a SAHM with a deployed husband:
Take a look at who in your life might be able to help you during the deployment. If your kids are old enough, have them do some of the chores around the house. If you have a friend or neighbor you could trade babysitting with, set that up. If you can afford a lawn or maid service, the cost will be worth the convenience.
We don’t have to do everything ourselves, even if it seems like we do. With a little creativity, we can delegate some of the tasks to make life easier for ourselves. Since we are the only parent, it is up to us to figure out how to get everything done that needs to get done, But, the weight of all those tasks doesn’t have to solely rest on your shoulders.
Let things go
When you are the only parent in your home, you have to let certain things go. This might be cutting back on activities since you can’t be in two places at once. This could be having a regular pizza night or simply not stressing about the small stuff.
Often during a deployment, we have to go into survival mode. That is when we can see what is truly important, and when we can figure out what is worth focusing on.
Staying busy during a deployment is a must. You want to have things to do so you don’t get bored. When you are bored during a deployment, you can start to get down on yourself. While you will always be missing your spouse, boredom brings that to another level.
Make sure you plan to leave the house every day, even if it is just for a small period of time. As a SAHM, you won’t have a workplace to go to every day, but you can make plans to attend other weekly events. Join a playgroup, sign up for a class, or meet up with friends a few times a week. Having regular places to go as a SAHM will help you during your deployment.
Finding your people will be one of the best ways to help you throughout your deployment. Having good friends means you will have people to spend the weekends–and even holidays–with. You will have people to vent to and other parents who understand how hard solo parenting can be. Plus, it is always helpful to find those people with shared experiences.
If you are in a time of your life when you don’t have a lot of close friends, make it your mission to meet other people. Your kids will help you do so. Even something as simple as taking your kids to a park can help you meet other moms who might be looking for friends too. Check out things like a MOPS chapter or one of the many spouse meetup groups, such as Stroller Warriors.
If you can afford to do so, plan a trip. If you are not comfortable traveling alone with your children, find a friend to join you. You can also take a trip back home to see family. Extended vacations can be a way to break up the monotony of a deployment.
If you are not able to travel, you can plan for day trips around where you live. Get out and explore your duty station. Find out where other people like to take their kids. Doing so will help you make memories during the deployment and allow you to enjoy yourselves rather than being home all the time, dwelling on when the deployment will end.
As a SAHM, you will not have your partner to assist with kid duties when they get home. You won’t have anyone to give you a 20-minute break or the opportunity to just run to the grocery store alone. While this is going to be a strain on you, there are ways to make the situation a little bit easier for yourself.