Author Topic: How do the families cope during a tour? Tips and pointers for first timers.  (Read 98126 times)

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Offline Nerf herder

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Well this is ze frau and my second tour and I am now deployed overseas now. I know it was tough on my wife during the first one. It was for me as well.

6 months isn't easy....no matter how many times you've done it.

So if you have any pointers on how to make the time bearable, put 'em here.

Any good things happen or horor stories / hard times....put 'em here.

For all the spouses who read here and lurk...you know who you are. Speak up and be heard.

Looking forward to the posts.

Regards


Note: I've been back a while now, but many leave on other tours all the time. Let's give the spouses of other first timers a hand.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2017, 14:54:43 by kratz »
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords.--Ben Franklin

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Offline Rider Pride

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3 tours in 4 yrs...My wife and I might have a way....

Now, for the next tour in Kabul, this might not apply as well because of all the changes of facilities. But it is in the communications. Make it your priority no matter how busy you are to get onto the phone or internet, or heck even pen on paper and talk with your spouse. You may only be entitled to 35 mins of phone a week but internet email time tends to be unlimited. There is also opportunities to use MSN  and Yahoo Messengers. If you have home computer set up accounts for both you and your wife on both MSN and Yahoo.ca...if one doesn't work, guaranteed the other will.

Try to keep positive as much as possible, your spouse will want to unload there frustrations onto you on the phone. No matter how bad or busy your day has been, Theirs day or frustrations are much worse...after all you get to leave the place you are in...they live where they are. Never hang up angry or upset, if you can help it. Always end your conversation with you and your wife's magic words to each other, whatever they might be. Always end your conversations like it may be your last. It may just be....

Also for both keep busy, if they work then encourage them to continue working. If they are a stay home parent, make arrangements for them to visit home for a month or so opposite your leave, or arrange for your leave together near your family. If you can, ask her to join a club, or Curves and get with a group of friends who will support her in going...If you're close to a base, the MFRC is a good place for your whole family to go see before you leave.

There is so many permutations of things you could do that we could go on forever..
"Return with your shield, or upon it."

Offline Roy Harding

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My first tour in '88 was a year in length - with one trip home.  We had CFARS for domestic voice comms (for those that don't know what I'm talking about, this was the Canadian Forces Amateur Radio System, which involved patching your call through ham operators around the world), and spotty postal service.  Absolutely NO personal calls, except in dire emergency, when your spouse was required to go into Rear Party and use military lines from there.

My next three tours had limited phone comms, and postal service.

My last tour had "limited" phone calls (based on phone cards, which not everybody used up, so you could always get more phone time if you desired it), email, and postal service.

Of the three methods (phone, email, and postal service), I found actual letters to be the most satisfying.  You could read them again and again, put them away for a while, then read them again.  The fact that they were usually accompanied by a "goodie" package of some sort was a bonus - including the memorable time my wife included a pair of "sexy" panties which she promised to model when I brought them home - the panties fell out of the parcel in full view of my troops (most of THEM being married women themselves), and caused no end of hilarity regarding the Warrant's sexual proclivities.  Good clean fun all around!  Anyway - the only problem with written mail was its' inherent lack of immediacy. 

We (my wife and I) found telephone comms to be the LEAST satisfying - despite it's immediacy, there was (for us) a tendency to try to squeeze all the current domestic "crises" into the call.  Whether the washing machine was broken, or the car had a flat, or whatever it was, that's what ended up being discussed.  This usually left me feeling incredibly useless and impotent (in its' more pedestrian sense), as there was nothing I could actually do for her.  It also led to some hurt feelings when for one reason or the other one of us didn't make the scheduled timing for the phone call.  For me this meant hearing the phone ring and ring, wondering why she wasn't there to answer it, despite our previous planning - was she hurt?  didn't she care anymore?  Silly, I know, but these things do go through your head.  In her case, it meant ensuring that her schedule (not to mention three growing boys' schedules) were bent around these times, and when I couldn't call she was reduced to waiting for the phone to ring, wondering similar thoughts.  On my last tour, we used telephone calls only for quick reassuring calls - if I knew something was going to be in the news, I'd phone just to tell her that I was fine, and that an email would be on the way as soon as I got the time.

We found email to be a satisfying compromise between letters and phone calls.  It had immediacy, could be read at a time of YOUR choosing, could be saved and re-read at your leisure, and you could more easily express complicated and complete thoughts without the annoyance of satellite lag.  You could ALSO edit what you said prior to hitting "send".  This saved me from making some pretty stupid remarks from time to time - I have a bad habit of being "quick with the lip" - and you can't take back what you've said during a phone call.

It might also be worth mentioning that during my wife's tour, I was the one remaining home waiting for the phone calls (she didn't have email on her tour), and I have a complete understanding of what it's like on BOTH ends of the deployment home front.

All in all, if I were still in and deploying again, I'd rate email as the medium of choice, interspersed with "goodie" packages once in a while - especially if those packages occasionally contain sexy underwear!!


Retired CC

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Linus van Pelt

Offline Nerf herder

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Good points Ash and Retired CC....

I've used many during the last tour and will be using them again during this one as well.

The reason I put this topic up is there are ALOT of spouses out there who are lurking and are begining their first tour alone.....without a clear sounding board to voice their concerns and get a clear picture of what they can do to pass the time and help keep the spirits up of their loved one's who are away. Be it with care packages, letters....or the sexy underwear.

Again, great points. Keep them coming.

Regards
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords.--Ben Franklin

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
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Offline Springroll

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Coming from the spouses side of the fence, I have a pretty simple list of things that can be done by both the member and the spouse.

Member list
*Email at least once a day. I found that I needed to know that my hubby was ok and what was going on with him. Those emails helped us to keep together without having to hear each others voices all the time
*Listen when we are venting to you. It gets very frustrating not having someone to vent too, and we do understand that your job is hard, but we have nobody here to vent to when you are gone.
*keep the love letters coming. My hubby would hop on his laptop whenever he had a free minute and would write a bit of a love story. I would get a few pages once a week and it made me feel like he was still here with me
*remember the kids. Those kids go through alo0t when you are gone. Please take the time to send them the odd email note too, it means alot to them.

Spouses List
*let your hubby(or wife) know how important they are to you and that what they are doing makes you proud...they need to hear it once in a while
*Keep the kids active. It will keep you sane if you get them involved in simple activities, even ones set up by the MFRC
*Make some new friends...you need to so that you can keep "running on full" Go to the MFRC and talk to the social workers there about meeting up with other new spouses in the area.
*take up a new hobby. I took up beading, some like to paint, do crafts, whatever, just take on something that will keep your mind busy.
*and on those lonely, and sometimes cold nights, spray your spouses cologne or perfume on their pillow. It will help to comfort you on those nights that seem to never end(make sure you do not wash their pillow case since their own body scent is on it and that mixed with their cologne or perfume will make it actually smell liekthem)

"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline Roy Harding

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Springroll has some good ideas.  Having been on both sides of the deployment home front, perhaps I can offer further tried and tested methods.

When my wife was deployed (email wasn't available then), I went to the local card store and bought a whack (about thirty at a time) of those silly little "thinking of you" cards.  Some had little messages printed in them, most were blank.  EVERY morning, while drinking my coffee, I'd put a little message in one.  Sometimes the message was nothing more than "I'm thinking of you", sometimes it was a short tirade regarding what HER boys had done.  I had printed a bunch of labels with her address on them, so I'd slap a label and a stamp on the envelope, and mail one every day on my way to work.  The labels were important - it cut down the time required (I have LOUSY handwriting and printing the address LEGIBLY would have been a time consuming task - meaning it wouldn't have been done some mornings) to get the card mailed.

Once a week, the boys and I would put together a little parcel (my wife is a cheezies freak so a big bag of cheezies was always included) with little stuff - knick knacks, funny little toys, things the boys had made, and a letter which I had added to in the evenings throughout the week.

My wife still has all the cards and letters - they make for an interesting read and a little bit of "family history" now and then.  She also ALWAYS received mail, EVERY mail call - one of the few who did.

When I was deployed (on those deployments before email), my wife was not as (I'd say methodical, she'd say anal) about this communication, but she always sent at least one letter a week, which she added to on a daily basis.

Now - for me at least, the important point of doing this EVERY day at the SAME time was that it enabled me to concentrate on JUST her for a few minutes of the day.  It enabled me to NOT obsess about her absence, thinking incessantly about her and constantly wishing she was home.  The boys and I got on with our lives without her, and didn't "wait for Mom to come home" before celebrating anything.  In other words, we lived our lives without her, and included her ONLY for those few minutes in the morning and evening (in my case) and when putting together those weekly parcels (for me and the boys).  It meant that although she was absent, we weren't mired in, and obsessed by, the hole she left in our lives.

More to follow later ... I hear my non-methodical, non-anal sweetheart wondering why the spare bedroom hasn't been painted yet.



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Linus van Pelt

Offline Springroll

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Once a week, the boys and I would put together a little parcel (my wife is a cheezies freak so a big bag of cheezies was always included) with little stuff - knick knacks, funny little toys, things the boys had made, and a letter which I had added to in the evenings throughout the week.

My wife still has all the cards and letters - they make for an interesting read and a little bit of "family history" now and then.   She also ALWAYS received mail, EVERY mail call - one of the few who did.


We did ther parcel thing too with the last deployment, even thoguh it was only 6 weeks. We always throw in the basics like laundry soap, body wash etc, but I always made sure I added some sweets in there. The last parcel we did had a toothbrush, paste, soap, 10 bags of chips, and 3 bags of those yummy chocolates. I always send extra snacks because there are those single guys in his rack area that don't have anyone to send them anything, so it always makes them feel special that someone was thinking of them. I also put in a small toilet humour book and another small book full of brain teasers(he likes those). Each kids did a small craft for daddy and a carde and I sent him a sappy card. All of it fit into those chip boxes that you get the snacksize bags of chips in. We wrapped in in racing car wrapping paper, but with the white side out so that if followed regulations.

He got his parcel the day they pulled back in....really ticked me off, but he kept all of it on ship for the next time they were going back out to sea.

Those parcels, and those little things you do, really do make a difference.

Now, retired CC, how did you and your wife keep things strong when you both are service members?
With me joining now, i am worried that hubby and I may drift,a nd I don't want that to happen. That is really the only concern I have...

"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline Roy Harding

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....

Now, retired CC, how did you and your wife keep things strong when you both are service members?
With me joining now, i am worried that hubby and I may drift,a nd I don't want that to happen. That is really the only concern I have...



If you're going to "drift", you're going to "drift".  The military will not cause the drift, it will only accelerate it.

As I said in another thread, the military will not make a weak marriage strong, and it will not make a strong marriage weak.  It WILL, however, make a strong marriage stronger, and a weak one weaker (to the point of termination in many cases).

Having both spouses in the military, especially when both are usually in field units (as was the case in our marriage) does add stresses to and expose previously unknown fissures in your relationship.  The "secret" (which is no secret to anyone in a succesful relationship) is to confront these stresses and fissures TOGETHER and figure out how to overcome them.  It also helps to remember to whom you owe your FIRST loyalty - if that isn't your spouse, then get divorced now, and marry the Army (not necessarily a bad choice for some folks).

More to follow, after I've had a chance to gather my thoughts into a more coherent package.

Retired CC
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Linus van Pelt

Offline Roy Harding

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As promised, Springroll - my thoughts follow.

Married Service Couples.

As promised earlier, I've gathered my thoughts, and will give you what (limited) wisdom I can based on personal experience.

Firstly â “ it's important that you understand the personal background involved.

I joined the Army (regular force) in 1977, at 17 years of age â “ I was infantry and was sent to Dundurn as, basically, a labourer supporting the Militia Concentration taking place at that place that summer â “ I imagine this was some â Å“summer taskingâ ? that my Battalion needed to fill.

The regular force Station Warrant Officer (also known as a â Å“Base Chiefâ ? or â Å“Base RSMâ ? in other places/times) in Dundurn was an Engineer MWO, who happened to have two daughters (the plot thickens!!).

During one of my regular JR's â Å“incidentsâ ?, I was placed in custody, after having struck the Camp Orderly Corporal.  The â Å“Duty Field Officerâ ? that night was none other than the Station Warrant Officer.  One of the duties of a Duty Field Officer is to check in on incarcerated folks to make sure they're OK (not committing suicide or some other nefarious activity).  The MWO in question took a shine to me (for reasons that remain unknown â “ unfortunately he has now passed on and cannot be asked), and invited me to lunch at his PMQ later that week.

I attended his PMQ and had lunch, and met his daughters.  The younger one was just 18 and had recently graduated high school.

Three months later, the younger daughter moved in with me â “ there's a lesson here for Fathers of daughters who meet dashing young soldiers â “ the lesson being NEVER take a â Å“shineâ ? to a dashing young soldier and invite him home!!

Anyway â “ in 1980 the Army and I had a mutually agreeable parting of the ways.  I became a civilian, and married that MWO's younger daughter.  We set up house in Calgary, and I became a house painter â “ life was good.

Flash forward a year â “ the western â Å“Boomâ ? had gone â Å“Bustâ ?, my wife was pregnant, and I couldn't get enough contracts to keep us in Mac and Cheese.  I sashayed down to my nearest Reserve unit and boldly said â Å“I used to be in the Army â “ any chance of getting on full time here?â ?  A voice from the back answered â Å“Well, yes there is â “ can you type?â ?  Well, as it happened, yes I could (another long story not worth getting into â “ suffice to say that I gained an extremely satisfying career because of my lousy handwriting), so I joined a Reserve unit, and acquired a â Å“Class Bâ ? contract.  A year or so later I took the plunge and re-joined the Reg Force as an Adm Clk.

I progressed quickly, and my wife gave life to three sons â “ all of whom continue to astound me and make me proud.  By 1985 we were in Petawawa, I was in the Airborne (wanna test your marriage? â “ THERE's a challenge to it) and my wife began looking for work outside the home.  I went off to Iran/Iraq for a year, and when I returned, my wife had progressed up the chain of her job to a supervisory position.

We (I) was posted to Edmonton, I received another promotion, and life was good (for me).  She, on the other hand, was unemployed, somewhat disheartened, and a little envious of my career.  One day, as a joke, I said something to the effect of â Å“if it bothers you so much, why don't you do what I'm doing?â ?  Much to my surprise, within a couple of months she was at the Recruiting Centre.  I came home one day and she told me that she was going to Cornwallis in February (1991, as I recall).

OK â “ so after a bunch of drivel we're at the start line of the discussion.

This became a huge bone of contention in our house.  Having been around for a while, I was well aware of the â Å“shenanigansâ ? that go on when folks are away from home.  I was worried about it. 

Had I ever participated in said â Å“shenanigansâ ??  No.  So what made me think that SHE would?  I dunno â “ insecurity, I guess.  You need to understand, I am ugly â “ SHE is beautiful!!

Off she went to Cornwallis â “ then to St Jean for Language Training, then to Borden for QL3.  She was having the TIME OF HER LIFE!!  And there I was, stuck at home, â Å“Sergeant Momâ ?, taking care of three kids and having a busy career at the same time.  This was INTOLERABLE!!

Then a magic thing happened â “ she was posted back home.  She talked the talk, she walked the walk.  She had a DEEP understanding of what I (not to mention, her Dad) had been doing all these years, and she SUPPORTED me when I needed to be away from home â “ hangin' with the troops, on tasking, whatever.  I was able to do the same thing when SHE needed to be away on tasking, course, etcetera.

Over the years we developed a deep respect for each others professionalism.  One of the highlights of our life together was when we did a pairs Jungle Lane together â “ she was awesome in her reactions â “ I (being a better marksman!!!) killed what was left when she was done â “ it was heaven.

Being a senior rank, I often offered advice (USUALLY only when asked for) regarding bureaucratic BS she ran into.  I was ALWAYS careful to not be the Sr NCO to her Jr NCO at home â “ that way lays trouble.  Did I sometimes become clumsy and overstep my bounds?  You betcha.  Did she occasionally lump me in with the Sr NCOs at work she was having trouble with?  You betcha.  These battles sometimes went on for days â “ it wasn't pretty.  Did we eventually work it out and realize that our professional relationship shouldn't interfere with our private one?  You betcha.  And when it sometimes did, did we forgive and forget?  Absolutely.

Over the years, I deployed many times â “ she only once (which does remain a somewhat sticky wicket at times).  During our deployments did I worry about â Å“thingsâ ? back home (or overseas)?  Yes â “ absolutely.  Were they â Å“realâ ?, continuing fears?  Absolutely not.  Should you be alarmed if you're having the same fears?  Depends â “ are you a jerk when you deploy?  If yes, then yes; if no, then no.

I don't know how many times I can say this â “ the military will NOT make a weak marriage stronger, it will NOT make a strong marriage weaker.  It will, however, absolutely destroy a weak marriage;  And in my opinion and experience it will make a strong marriage STRONGER.

I'd be more than willing to explore this subject more deeply â “ but without specific questions, I cannot provide specific replies.

Good luck to both of you â “ be strong, have faith in each other â “ you'll be just fine.  And just think â “ when you're retired (like us) you'll have MANY, MANY interesting and unusual experiences to rehash with each other.
I love mankind.  It's people I can't stand.

Linus van Pelt

Offline Springroll

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Thank you for your INCREDIBLE reply!!!
I will admit now that orginally I was a little worried, but you have set my nerves at ease!!

I grew up in a very military family, so for me, all of this is second nature. My hubby grew up with mom at home and dad working in an office as a manager.

It has been my dream for about 13 years to join the army, and now that ym kids are a little older, and my husband has 9 years behind him, I feel now is my time to start doing what I want to do.

Again, thank you for your wonderful reply.  ;D :-*
"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline Kris

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This is my second tour right now.  My husband has been gone on courses and work up training since Jan.  We find the internet to be the best to keep in contact.  We have a 18 month old and my husband is really hates being away from us so much and missing out on his FIRST things. 

We have a webcam and he gets to see him on there and we can see him when there is a camera on his end.   He saw our son take his first steps on the webcam.  His phone calls are limited to 30 mins a week, so he calls ever few days to say hi and talk to our son so that he doesn't forget dads voice.  It also give you something to look forward to each week.  The phone call from dad.  :D  I try to suprise my husband when sending him parcels.  He said there is nothing like getting mail.  He just received on the other day and I said I hope you get the other one before youget home and he was like there is more coming ;D.  I was like yeah there is. 

All and all on any tour and being away from someone for a long time, writting a short email everyday or a phone call once a week is the best thing in world.  As for the one being stuck at home you need to keep yourself busy.  Take up some kind of activity or join a club.  Just take it one day at a time.

Offline infantrygf

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   It is relay hard when my bf goes away for training, especially now that he is doing field stuff and has no phone or access to anything, I don't know for how long.  Writing letters is a great help in getting us both through the week. I write them to vent my day and reminding him how much i love and miss his silliness, and reading them for him keeps moral up, after a long day of death marches in the lovely Meaford weather.

Finding a job helps allot, it keeps your mind busy and off him or her, I'm working as a book keeper right now so I'm getting lots of reading in to :)

As for the military comming betwen us, I to was worried the first week he left, what is this separation going to do to our relation ship.  The first time he came home though we were so happy to see eachother, we had a great weekend and became totally open with eachother, about or probelms etc. Because we knew that when he went back we wouldn't get  chance to relay discuss things.  So it made us open up and lay everything out on the table, instead of keeping it to ourselves, it made us realize just how much we need eachothers support and advise.

For those military family's that don't have kids to keep the spouse at home busy and to keep them company. Get a Little puppy, they are almost as distracting as children, they are awesome for those lonely nights, and they'll kiss you to death in the morning. Kittens although not as affectionate nd needy as puppy's are good for keeping you company to.

    -Sarah

Offline kimmie

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I've been lucky in the aspect with dh hasn't been overseas yet but has spent the bulk(at least half) of our relationship on taskings and courses. He's only had one 6 month tour and that was in Alert. Everyone above me has made some great comments. Some even I have to be sure and try and follow. It's nice to hear from members what makes them happy as often times dh forgets to tell me.

A couple of nice ideas I have heard from another site I am on(www.themilitarywife.ca....end of plug, hope it wasn't too shameless) are if you have kids(and even if you don't) fill a jar with some sort of small candy(ie. m and m's, jelly beans...whatever) totalling the amount of days mommy/daddy will be on tour. Each day eat one candy. Now you have something tangible where it can be seen how soon that person will be coming home. And a few more can simply be added without detection if the tour runs a little longer. :)

Another is to make 2 identical stars..one for those at home and one for the parent going overseas. That way you can hang one up in a window at home and one in the barracks, tent, whatever. Now everyone has the same star to stare at at night and feeling a little like they are not so far away from each other.

Take pictures of the deploying spouse/parent in all parts of the house. Pin them up when the member is gone and it feels like they have never left(sorta..... :-\)

This one is kind of a different take on the candy one. First you fill a large jar with with Hershey's Kisses and Hugs, then you have your spouse blow a few kisses in for good luck. When he or she is gone and the need arises, you go to your jar and retrieve your very own magic Kiss or Hug!

And I have found this one tried and true, while some people do a daily countdown, I have found that to be minorly depressing..some times it seems like soooooo many days. I prefer now to countdown a specific weekly event....garbage days, a favorite tv show, a certain activity you/your kids do like a sport or music class, and so forth. The time seems to fly by much faster. DH is currently away on tasking and I have just tried this one.

And having friends and support on both sides of the issue are important. It is out there, you just have to look. It took me a long time to find it but now that I have I don't know what I'd do with my "sister-in-laws". :)





(edited on behalf of the poster. You're welcome Kimmie. -pc)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2006, 15:20:30 by paracowboy »
Before you speak--Listen, Before you write--Think, Before your pray--Forgive, Before you quit--Try

Offline NavyGirl280

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Just a thought of my own ...

My husband has been posted on the Iroquois now for 3 years. I, myself, am in the process of joining the reserves. I would much rather the reserves. I shouldn't be posted ... and transferred to where my husband would be posted. Once I have a few years under my buckle, if everything goes well, I can put in for a transfer into regs. However, right now I believe this is the right choice. I know Springroll personally and I believe her and her husband are strong enough to go through this together. I go in Thursday for my medical, CFAT and interview. I am nervous, excited and scared all at the same time. I'll let you know how I make out.

Until next time, take care

S.Bradbury   
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"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

- Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Offline NavyGirl280

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Wow ... I read one reply and was totally sent in the other direction ... LOL

I have been with my husband for 2 years now and he hasn't been to sea since I met him. He had just returned home a couple weeks before I met him. They are scheduled to sail next August and to be honest, I don't know how I am going to handle it. I am so close to him. I was aware he would be sailing when I met him but nothing can really prepare you for the first time they leave. Nothing can really prepare you for when they leave anytime. I know it's just as hard for him. Keep your close friends close and your CF "family" even closer. They will be the ones to understand in times of need. If they haven't already been through it, they are going through it for the first time with you. The resource centre has plenty for you to go attend and read up on. Make full use of their services. I say this now, however, I am sure when my husband leaves, I will be a scared little mouse hidden in a corner somewhere for the first few days. This I can't let happen as we have 2 small children at home. Take care


S.Bradbury 
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"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

- Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Offline Springroll

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Wow ... I read one reply and was totally sent in the other direction ... LOL

 I say this now, however, I am sure when my husband leaves, I will be a scared little mouse hidden in a corner somewhere for the first few days. This I can't let happen as we have 2 small children at home. Take care


S.Bradbury  
    :cdn:

Well you know you can call me if you need any help or support or just a chick to come over to snuggle and watch movies with  :-*.
I've been through it all before and am now a weathered veteran when it comes to having to get things going on my own. Up to the first week is the hardest, for any trip, be it a 2 week or 6 month. You have to find your groove and some days that can seem near impossible, but you do find it, trust me.

The kids and I have printed up countdown calendars in the past and it helps them out alot, plus it helps them with number recognition(for younger kids). I also like the idea of the sweets jar and I have a very large crystal jar that we have also used in the past. Everyday, before bed, the kids would get one M&M each. When we got to the point where we could see the bottom, we would count how many M&M's we had left and that was how many more sleep to go til dad was home. My husband also emailed the kids a couple emails each per week just so they knew that daddy was thinking about them and missed them too and I would read them their email as they were snuggled into their bed.

Hugs!
"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline NavyGirl280

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Well you know you can call me if you need any help or support or just a chick to come over to snuggle and watch movies with   :-*.
I've been through it all before and am now a weathered veteran when it comes to having to get things going on my own. Up to the first week is the hardest, for any trip, be it a 2 week or 6 month. You have to find your groove and some days that can seem near impossible, but you do find it, trust me.


Thanks "Chickie" for all of your help and support through everything. I know I can get into my "groove". I've had to do it when he went to BC for a month last year and I know I can when he has to go to sea this year. We have toughed it out so many times and I know our marriage is strong enough to get through it.

In the meantime, I am having so many debates on this whole CFAT issue. I took my test this morning and was told I couldn't go for RMS CLK but instead was offered cook or steward. There is nothing wrong with these trades, however, I want to be in a trade I will be "happy" in. I know .. how do I know I won't be happy unless I try it. I don't think it's something I want to gamble with as I am aware of how hard it is to change trades once you're already in. I was told I would have to wait 3 months to redo my test if I decide not to take the offered trades. I was told your marks don't mean **** when doing the test because they will only take the "desired" number of people for a trade and the rest are handed substandard trades to make them believe they did poorly on their test and cannot fill the "requirements" for the other trade requested. This was information given to me by a former army reservist. I am hoping he is wrong. Yet, he is a good friend and I know he wouldn't lie to me. They did this to him and ended up leaving the reserves because he was given a trade he didn't want to be in and thought he had no other choice. Anyway, that is a debate in itself.

Thank you Lis for everything and expect a phone call from me when the hubby's gone to sea      :'(

S.Bradbury
"You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

- Prime Minister Winston Churchill

Offline Nerf herder

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Well there are some really good ideas here.....thanks for taking the time to jot down some really good pointers.

Good to see that there are some people from other sites frequenting here.   ;)

Regards
Those who beat their swords into plowshares usually end up plowing for those who kept their swords.--Ben Franklin

"Going to war without France is like going deer hunting without your accordion."
    -Norman Schwartzkopf

Offline Shadow Cat

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My Dh has been gone for six months and a week and we are looking at anywhere from another 7 months to 22 months of seperation to go.  YUCK!!  The great thing, if there is anythign great about, our seperation is that he is only gone on training so we get to talk as much as we want to pretty much whenever we want to.  DH just left after a week home and took our second computer back with him so we will be able to communicate through email and MSN as well now.  YIPPEE!!

I have done the packages, the letters and the countdowns and I have found them all to help.  Like Kimmie said though little countdowns dont seem as bad as the long ones.  Right now my countdown is for XMAS and I dont even want to think about 2006, 2007 and possibly 2008 right now.  I find it just way to stressful and brings on severe anxiety problems.  lol

I have also started writing in a journal about things that I am feeling but havent shared whether it be that I have forgotten or I do'tn want to worry my DH with my "problems".   He has enough stress on his plate and I don't want to add more to it.  The journalling has really helped me and I hae now given a nice journal to my DH, who partakes and I have the children partaking in this as well now.  It seems to be helping us.  When my DH and I get together we read each other a few entries.

I have also started to allow my dog to sleep in bed with me on the nights that I feel like snuggling.  I know that she isn't my DH but she is large enough to snuggle to give the illision.

I try to keep myself and the kids busy.  The MRFC is always putting things on for families that are seperated and it has helped me to meet other families that are in the same position, so has www.themilitarylife.com.  lol  Sorry had to get my plug in there. 

I have done some house repairs and I am starting to get into the full swing of crafts again.  It is all just to keep my body and mind busy.  If they are busy you can't dwell on the lonliness that is surrounding you. 



That which doesn't kill us will only make us stronger.

Offline Springroll

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I have done some house repairs and I am starting to get into the full swing of crafts again.   It is all just to keep my body and mind busy.   If they are busy you can't dwell on the lonliness that is surrounding you.  


If you are ever needing any help, just pm me. My hubby is perfectly capable to doing some house repairs for you(I am voluntelling him too  ;D ) and if you ever want to have a cup of tea, do the same. I am usually available evenings and weekends since I am now working.(BTW we are looking for another toddler teacher!!)
"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline Shadow Cat

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We never did get together did we?  Man you are like five minutes from my house as well.  We should plan to get together maybe Saturday morning at the Tims for a coffee, what do you say?

Thanks for the offer of your DH.  So far I have done everythign from drywalling, which than produced mudding, replaced a bathroom sink and some eay stuff like painting, fixing cupboards, yard work and of course car maintenance.  I am learning lots of new things and I think after workgin with the plumbing I would love to be a plumber.  Coudl you imagine, me a girly girl doing plumbing lol.

Um what do you mean toddler teacher?  Do you mean that you babysit?  If so I am no longer in that range as my children are 13 and 11 now.  YIKES!  I feel old, really not but I do feel it.
That which doesn't kill us will only make us stronger.

Offline Springroll

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Saturday at Timmies sounds good to me!! I'll pm you my number.

I also feel old since I have an 11, 7 and 4 year old at home, but I am working at a learning center in Burnside. I seem to have a gift with the kids, so my boss stuck me with being the toddler teacher. It was tough at first becauser the kids didn't have any structure, but now that they know what is going on, they are better behaved and definitely more exhausted when it comes to naptime!

I told the other teachers that I tie the kids to chairs and make them listen to Yanni for hours, thats why they are so well behaved and well mannered now... ;D
"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline Shadow Cat

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Ahh I understand that comment about the toddler teacher now.  How about a preteen attitude adjuster? Are you interested. lol.

I work outside of home as well.  It is part of what keeps me sane while my Hubby is away.  I am a Transaction Coordinator for the city.  I am not really looking forward to leaving my job but being with my honey at some point is of more interest to me.

Send me your digits and we can arrange to get together at say what 9?  I hope that you are a morning person.
That which doesn't kill us will only make us stronger.

Offline Springroll

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I am a morning person, so 9 works perfectly!!
"Take every day with a grain of salt. This works much better if the salt accompanies a Margarita"

Offline army.gf

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wow, so many great ideas! I especially like the one of having a "star" at home and giving another to them to have on tour so you can both be comforted by it.
   When my boyfriend is in the field for long periods, i like to create an e-mail diary. Where I send him an e-mail for everyday he is gone explaining what i did that day and my thoughts and feelings. We found that this works especially well, because he is kept up-to-date on the things happening at home, and when we do get to speak there isn't a lot of catching up to do. He also said that coming home to an inbox full of e-mails from me is a nice treat!