Thanks, but No Thanks: What I Really Think of Your Deployment Advice

The D-Word.

Some fear it, some hate it, some welcome the time apart.

Whatever you think of deployments, we can all agree that having our service member home is the ideal scenario. But deployments are part of the military gig. And as supportive significant others and spouses, we learn to survive while our loved one is deployed.

Most of us survive on the advice from those who have gone before us. But what if it's awful advice?

“You'll be fine! Just get in a routine as fast as you can, get the kids in sports and ballet, and everyone will adjust in no time!”

You know. The advice. The well-meaning, mostly supportive, but pretty much the worst advice ever:

Send sexy pictures!
Um. No. I don't do sexy. I do “managed to put yoga pants on instead of sweats to get the kids to school on time.”
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Keep a countdown!
Seems like a great idea until the inevitable happens, “Sorry babe, just found out we're extending another few weeks. Not sure when we're coming home now.” ::throws countdown poster in the trash::

Start a project!
Does starting a new series on Netflix count as a project?

Get in shape!
How can you do this and also eat cake? Cake is an important part of deployment. And wine.

Go back to your hometown!
Ha. No.

Stay put and explore!
Also a terrible idea. Everything that's fun would be more fun with the person who's not here.

Send care packages!
Does anyone really eat the stale cookies I send?

Just be thankful it isn't Afghanistan!
'My husband's going to Afghanistan, so your deployment isn't a big deal—it's easy!' No. And no. And thank you, but NO. This is not helpful.

Let's be serious for a minute. Deployments are terrible for everyone, and there's no one right way to survive them. You do you. Love your spouse the best way you can. Take care of yourself and your family, and just try to get through it.

My advice? Lots of cake. And wine.

What's the worst deployment advice you've ever received? Share it in the comments so we can giggle and raise our glasses. Cheers!

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