There is a lot of change happening right now. If you haven’t read, we have orders and a date to leave. Hubby and I have both been finishing up our two separate degrees. Surprisingly enough, they will be done within a week of each other. That means that we have double the finals, and trying to fit in time for our kiddies in with his work schedule.
To make matters worse, we found out he will be deploying withing months of being at our new Duty Station. We’ve been through deployment and underway before. But we have been extremely blessed. The last time Hubby left for two months was right after Blue Eyes left. It was a hard adjustment, but at least at that point Blue Eyes was solely dependent on mommy. This time, it’s going to be a lot harder. Daddy gets home and both kids run/toddle after him like he’s the greatest thing in the entire world. While I love the looks on their faces when daddy gets home, how will I explain when daddy’s not coming home? They will be three and almost two when daddy has to leave.
I’m so grateful for friends who have already gone through the deployment with kids. They have been amazing at helping me to keep from getting sad. They’ve given me ideas for things we can do to help keep them from missing daddy. After talking to multiple military wives and kids who have gone through deployments, here is a list of 5 things people agree help their kids during the deployment.
5. Bedtime Stories
One of the best things I’ve heard is those books that daddy’s voice can read to them. Hallmark has quite a few of them, and other companies are starting to make them as well. There are other options for bedtimes stories as well. I ran across the website for a pen that will read “Anybook” that daddy’s voice has recorded. That’s amazing if your child’s favorite book is not the normal bedtimes stories. Blue Eyes loves Star Wars ABC’s, Colors, and 123’s.
4. Daddy Dolls
My friends have also pointed me to the amazing world of Daddy Dolls. We’ve been talking about getting each kid a build a bear with daddy’s voice, which isn’t a bad idea, but then we found daddy dolls. There are a ton of websites that make them for military. Different looks and possibilities, it’s really up to you, what look you want.
Daddy Dolls Inc. -This site will do dolls, dog tags, pillows, teddy bears, and homecoming outfits.
Operation Give a Hug -this is where you can chose to donate or request a doll. It’s great if you want to support military kids, or if you can’t afford to give your kid a daddy doll.
Hugs to Go -has cute little people in uniform that you can put daddy’s face on.
US Deployment Dolls -This site has several uniformed dolls and the face it put on the doll instead of a removable picture.
Whether you decide to do a daddy doll or not, it’s up to you.
3. Deployment Wall
I’ve also been talking to several friends who have created a Deployment Wall. The Deployment wall is all things daddy. Two clocks, one with your time, and one with your spouse’s (daddy’s) time. Most have some sort of countdown, or a jar of “Kisses for each day” daddy is gone. Other walls I’ve seen have maps with pins, pictures, letters, and other types of things to help them know daddy is close.
2. Homecoming Outfits
And then there is the all exciting day daddy comes home…. Letting the kids get special outfits for daddy coming home can be a great way to get them excited. Do they get their own “uniforms?” Most of the time, your branch will sell kids versions in their exchange. Do they get a tutu? If you can’t make a tutu, there are many wives on base who can. Find your base spouse page, I’m sure you’ll find someone.
1. Homecoming Decorations
Do they get to decorate? Make sure you do some research, some places like Build a Sign will do free banners for returning military members. By streamers, get ice-cream! It’s a time to celebrate. The wait is over! Daddy’s home!
Since it’s a fact that my husband will be deploying, I have started a Pinterest board called Deployments. I’m not very good at putting the “Pin” button on my page, but you are more than welcome to check out my Pintrest board for ideas. The link for Deployments is here and the link for Military life is here.
The little hat in the photo is my own design. I didn’t like the patterns I came across, so I spent a couple days designing it. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you like the design. Also, if you have any other great ideas for helping kids with Daddy deploying, PLEASE leave a comment. I’m always looking for new ideas.
This article is solely my own research and thoughts. I am not a paid sponsor. I am simply a military wife with two kids who will soon be facing the realities of deployment.