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Updated July 2022
Both of my husband’s deployments have been during the summer months. I was thankful this meant he made it home for Christmas, but he missed the laid back, joyful and carefree summertime with our kids.
I struggled with feeling guilty for traveling and enjoying the summer without him. Here are my tips to have a wonderful summer even when you are missing someone.
Discuss summer plans, budget and travel with your spouse BEFORE they deploy. While knowing the deployment timeline in advance isn’t always a luxury, knowing the plan ahead of time will help the deployed family member feel less like they are missing out. My husband is financially more conservative, so it made us both feel more comfortable with travel plans knowing an approximate cost and plan for a budget.
Keep your spouse involved:
Pictures, emails, text messages and skype calls will help your spouse feel involved in the fun from afar. The mobile application “1 Second Everyday” allows you to save one second of video a day- perfect for a post deployment montage or even a trip recap.
Chatbooks©, which ships free to APO FPO addresses allows you to easily create photo books from the pictures you snap on your mobile devices or share on social channels. I tagged all my Instagram pictures #PicADay and Chatbooks printed an album automatically when it reached 60 pictures, and it shipped directly to my husband on the USS Nimitz. We are still enjoying these albums even now that he is home. Finally, make sure you reach out to your spouse at least once a week. Before I went to bed every night, I sent my husband an email- even if nothing exciting happened in the day- just so he would know we were thinking about him! If emails aren't your thing, try the mobile app Marco Polo. My family uses the free version and it's like leaving a video voicemail. My girls send video messages to tell their dad (we use it for grandparents too) about something special that happened in their day or just how much they miss him!
Be mindful of feelings and make plans for their return!
It helped my husband and I to have something (other than homecoming) to look forward to! We planned a vacation just the two of us, for his return and we spoke of it often via email to lift each other’s spirits when things got tough. Pick something you can bond over and look forward to when your spouse returns.
How do you balance summer fun while you are missing someone? Please share in the comments!
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