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Missing Daddy While He’s Away in the Military

Question:

We have a 2-year-old and a 5-month-old. My husband has decided to join the National Guard to help protect his home and loved ones. Although I support his decision fully, I am worried that when he is away for training or during a deployment, he will miss so many firsts for our youngest, like her first words and her first steps. This scares me. I don’t know what to do to make his being away easier for him or our children.

Answer:

It sounds as if you and your family are about to go through a huge transition at home, and that everyone will be making a huge sacrifice. 

Luckily, your children are very young, and that means their memories are not super-strong. However, it will still be a big adjustment when your husband returns from any deployments. This being said, it is probably best to prepare your children for his absence and for when he returns home.

While your husband is away, talk with your children about him a lot, show them pictures of him, and try to video chat whenever you can. When he returns, give your kids time to adjust and don’t force them to “cozy up” to him right away. They will gradually get used to him being home in their own time. 

It also may help you to join some support groups, or even find an online support group for military wives. Having a sounding board for what you are going through and what other mothers and wives have gone through could be of great value for you. Remember that this is not going to be easy for any of you, so you and your husband must be patient with each other and focus on what’s best for your kids.

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