Dear Tina prepares military parent for deployment

| December 16, 2016 | 0 Comments

asktinaArmy Community Service offers advice

Dear Tina,
My husband is leaving soon for almost a year deployment. It’s the first time he’s been gone since our daughter was born and I’m really stressing out about it.
I don’t know how I’m going to be a single parent for so long, and I’m worried that our daughter won’t even know him when he comes back. She’s only 5 months old!  What can I do?

Sincerely,
Soon to be Solo

Dear Soon to be Solo,
First, I want to thank you for the sacrifice you are making in being an Army spouse, and thanks to your husband for his service.

As far as going it alone as a parent, I think it’s important to focus on building a local support system by getting involved in community activities and getting to know other families/parents. Don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it from those you trust.

Other moms are often quite willing to swap babysitting favors. It’s amazing what an hour to yourself can do. It’s also helpful to develop a daily routine with your daughter. This will provide stability and security for her and predictable “me time” for you.

To keep your daughter and your husband connected, plan regular video calls as much as possible. Other moms have shared with me that this was very helpful, no matter how young the child was.

Talk about your husband frequently and show her pictures of him. She will understand more and more as she grows.

When your husband returns from deployment expect that it may take some time for your daughter to reconnect with him, but with a little patience and understanding, it will happen. Just follow her cues and comfort level and try not to force the relationship.

For more assistance and tips, you are welcome to contact us here at the New Parent Support Program at 655-4227.

Army families do sacrifice a lot to serve our country, and we here at Army Community Service want to provide and connect you with resources to make things easier and help you learn to navigate the challenges such as extended deployments.  Here is a list of resources you should be aware of:
FRG (family readiness group for your husband’s unit) – They will be able to keep you informed with official information related to the deployment and provide social opportunities as well. If you aren’t already, get plugged in.
CRE (Community Readiness Expo) – Get help with specific questions before, during and after deployment. Call 655-4227 and ask for Mobilization and Deployment Program for details.
Blue Star Card — You will receive discounts and MWR opportunities during the deployment.  Call 655-0002/0113.
Legal — Having power of attorney for your husband is important while he cannot be present to sign for himself in matters that arise while he is deployed. Call 655-8607.
Service Members Civil Relief Act — Check this out to see if you qualify for reduced interest rates and other financial options related to deployment. Call 655-4227 and ask for our Financial Readiness Program.
Family Life Chaplain – Contact the chaplains for spiritual and other counseling services and social activities.  Call 655-9355.
MFLC (Military Family Life Counselors) – Receive free and confidential counseling. Call 222-7088.

For more information and details on these resources and others, please call 655-4227 and ask for our Mobilization and Deployment department.

Best wishes,
Tina

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