By Julie Provost, National Guard Spouse
Summer is here, and it’s time to enjoy all the season has to offer. Unfortunately, you may be doing so as the solo parent in your home. Your spouse is deployed, and it is just you and the kids.
As a military spouse myself, I have been in this position for quite a few summers. While spending the summer without your spouse is not ideal, it doesn’t have to be horrible either. Here are eight tips to get you through a summertime deployment.
1. Go somewhere
Who says you have to stay put during the summer? Go somewhere. One summer I took my boys to California from Germany, and we stayed the whole summer. I was able to do things with them that I did growing up. That made the summertime deployment go by so much quicker.
2. Find Friends
Find your friends and make plans. Have a regular play date scheduled and plan things all summer long. When you are missing your spouse, being around others who are in the same boat can help you through.
3. Have different routines
Don’t stick to the same old routine. Mix it up a bit. Take your kids to the park after dinner. Plan to sleep in. Figure out what works for you and your family and change things up so that you can have a better summer.
4. Take photos
Take pictures of everything. You will want to share your summer with your deployed spouse, and this can be a good way to do so. You can make a photo book or simply send the photos to them while they are overseas.
If you are religious, you can look for VBS day camps in your local area. Your military installation might have one at the chapel. This will be a week long event where the kids get to go somewhere fun for about three hours, and you can run to the grocery store or grab a cup of coffee.
6. Summer camp
Summer camps are amazing. If you have older children, summer camp is the perfect idea. You can find camps for just a couple of days or even a week or more. Check in to Operation Purple Camps for military children or anything your community has to offer. We have a free day camp for school age kids that we have taken advantage of in our area.
7. Invite family to visit
Invite your family to visit you. Play the tourist and take them around to different places. Go on a road trip together and enjoy family even if your spouse is gone. You can still make good memories this summer even if your spouse has to miss it.
8. Read lots of books
Plan to read a lot of books this summer. Get your kids reading too. Getting lost in a book can be a good way to get through a difficult time. Go to the library and look for their programs. Some will have book reading challenges and other events to go to during the summer months.
Whatever you do this summer, remember, deployments don’t last forever. Whether your spouse will be home this fall or later on next year, take each day at it comes and know that you can rock this deployment.