Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The D Word

Well – every time I type this post, I stop. The truth is, I think I’ve tried to ignore it for so long and focus on other things I can control. Ironically, I think that’s a big reason as to why I am 31 weeks pregnant, and still hardly have a nursery or much organized for our newest addition. But, unfortunately, I need to face the music. Deployment is coming, and it’s coming fast.

                The Mr and I haven’t done a deployment in roughly 5 years, we’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a nice shore duty tour and a year of sea duty without a deployment. It’s inevitable, and we knew there would be one coming. Last time he was deployed I was only a girlfriend, and we lived in the same town as my family. This time – we are 800+ miles away, homeowners, and parents. So, a lot has changed for us.

                My biggest concern isn’t myself, or handling it all solo. That is going to be hard, without a doubt, but my biggest concern is my boys, all 4 of them.  The boys have handled the underways pretty seamlessly, but classically get a little antsy and frustrated when Daddy isn’t here to do things that Daddys do. They’re really great about understanding that “Daddy is working” or “Daddy is fixing airplanes and helicopters” or “Daddy’s on the boat”.  I’m just worried about keeping the connection there. 8-10 months for anyone is a long time, but 8-10 months for two three year olds may as well be a lifetime.

                Thankfully there are programs out there, like the United Through Reading Program that the USO promotes and there are resources like Daddy Dolls that I think will help. I’ve seen a couple of pins through pinterest of good books to read to the boys to help them understand. One thing I’d like to stray away from is the chain links with the countdown, homecoming date can change so rapidly, especially in the early days, I really don’t want to give them a specific date and probably won’t tell them until the morning we go to pick him up.

Ultimately, I want to keep this time fun for them – but as routine as possible. I know I have some pretty big challenges ahead with adding our new baby to our family right as he is leaving but it’s really my hope that a sense of normalcy will help curve any hard issues. I’m trying not to get too overwhelmed myself and trying to be mindful to be kind to myself. It’s rather intimidating to be left alone with 3 kids, a dog, and a house to maintain and keep everyone happy, alive and trying to have fun through it all.

If anyone has some good tips and tricks about keeping Dads connected and making kids feel connected – I’m all ears!

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