From babysitting to having a listening ear, the support of other military spouses during a deployment is a must. We are all going through this together, and we are the only ones that truly understand how difficult a deployment can be. Here’s how to be a real friend during deployment:
Being available for your friends is a must during a deployment. Knowing they have someone to go to if they need to vent, cry, or just laugh about how crazy life is at the moment will truly help them. Having people who understand and who won’t judge is important, too.
Not dismissing struggles
We shouldn’t dismiss the struggles of others, even if we don’t quite understand them. We are all on our own journey and telling someone they don’t have a right to be upset can put up walls. Try to be understanding of what other spouses are currently dealing with.
Invite them to dinner
Having other military spouses over for dinner and a night of fun can be exactly what your friend needs. A lot of times, military spouses are lonely. Having meals with others can make for an easier night as well as a chance to bond and make memories together. Create a schedule with your group of friends and plan dinners for the entire deployment.
Keep each other busy
If everyone in your friend group is making plans, you will all stay busy. Put events on the calendar, schedule play dates, plan park meetups and have dinners out.
Share helpful tips and secrets
If you have figured out a tip or shortcut to help you through a deployment, share that with others. They can use that advice to help them in their lives. Getting through a deployment is all about making a difficult situation better. And you do that by being creative and finding ways to make the days go by.
Check in with one another
Make it a goal to check in with one another. Give your friends a call, a text, or even a Facebook message. See how they are doing and let them know they can talk with you if needed. Sometimes people get stuck in their grief and won’t reach out to others even if they should. Checking in with them means that you are reaching and reminding people that they do have others in their lives who care about them.
Watching each other’s kids
Take turns watching each other’s kids. Trade-off babysitting to go to the commissary by yourself, watch one another’s kids for a night out with friends, or offer to watch a child when a friend appears to need a little break. Kids need other kids to play with and babysitting for your friends is another way to make sure your children can stay social too.
When a friend comes to you and they are upset, truly listen to them. Whether they are struggling because they are having a bad deployment day, they are struggling with their children, or stressed out about their job. Being a good listener will allow you to help other spouses and be someone they can depend on.
Watch the gossip
Gossip can hurt other people. Stay away from it if you can. If you are in a group of people and all they ever do is talk badly about others, find another group. Gossip leads to drama and that is one of the last things you want to have to deal with during a deployment.