Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre

OP Family Readiness - May 2020

Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre

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PARENTING THROUGH DEPLOYMENT No deployment is ever easy and no deployments are ever the same. Each time your partner is away you are forced to face with old and new situations and no matter how prepared you are it may never seem enough. Deployment is a combination of unique stress: your partner being away; parenting children who are anxious, sad or angry, and trying to maintain normalcy in your family. Everything is now on you, every bill, every chore, and every domain. It is important to understand that you are not alone. Extended family support translates to Facetime, frequent phone calls, and weekend trips from grandparents/siblings every couple of months. This is one important component that you should hold onto and embrace during deployments. EMBRACE COMMUNITY We all know the saying that it takes a village to raise a child and this can especially be true during deployments. Positive relationships within your community are rewarding in so many ways. The bonding of military partners can be an important thing and their unique understanding can be a comfort as well as support while the member is deployed. HIRE A BABYSITTER It is easy to lose yourself and your sense of independence being the only parent around during deployment. It is recommended to have a babysitter and budget a bit more for "you" time. The lack of adult interaction during a deployment is often the hardest and loneliest. PLANNED VISITS AND FUN Asking family members to visit at during the deployment can help break up the time. When homecoming seems a lifetime away, a visit from grandma might be a more realistic countdown for yourself and the children. A visit to family or friends could also be something fun to break up the separation. If extended family support is limited, plan for a trip with the kids to a local hotel or save to visit a local attraction for a boost in morale. MAINTAINING YOUR NORMAL Geographical stability is often something we cannot provide in the military. We move often, timetables get shifted, and we are unsure if both parents will be home for any weeknight dinner. During a deployment, children do better when their normal does not change. Their routine should remain consistent and schedule manageable. The

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