Military families are constantly dealing with change. Often, things come up at less-than-ideal moments in our lives. As you know, this makes it pretty difficult to make plans, especially when it comes to expanding the family. Facing a deployment after a new baby is frustrating—and not just for first-time parents. So how exactly does one take on a deployment after having a new baby?
8 Tips For Taking on Deployment After a New Baby
Ask for Help
Don’t be too proud to ask family or friends for help. It is no small task caring for a newborn, let alone doing it without your spouse. Add other children to the mix and things can get overwhelming rather quickly. If a family member is able to stay for an extended period, take advantage of it. Your sanity will thank you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends or other military spouses, because chances are they have been through a similar situation. We all need help sometimes and that’s okay.
Find a Routine
It may take some time, but find things to do each week to establish a routine. It doesn’t need to be overly complicated; something as simple as grocery shopping and running errands on a particular day of the week. When you have a newborn—or young kids—it’s easy to stay home. Get out of the house, even if it’s just to grab coffee from the drive-thru.
RELATED: The Practical Home Cleaning Schedule
Find Time for Self Care
Whether you are a first- or fourth-time mom, it’s easy to get lost in the fog of having a new baby. With a deployed spouse, it means not having someone there to give you a break and you may feel like you’re drowning at times. With that said, it’s vital to make time for yourself each day. Self-care looks different for everybody. It could be waking up early to get a workout in, reading a book, or taking a bath. Hiring a babysitter for a few hours a week would allow you to get out of the house kid-free. Whatever it is you need to do, do it. You won’t regret it.
If you are able, visit family for an extended period. A week, a month, or more if necessary. Bonus points if you can drive or use Space-A to make the trip cheaper. Not only will this provide you with a built-in support system, but it will also help pass the time quicker.
Being a mom does not mean doing it all yourself. You can do many things, but you cannot do it all at the same time. This is when outsourcing comes into play. There are many things you can outsource, and some of them won’t even affect your budget very much. Consider having someone help clean the house, or hire a mother’s helper so you can clean it yourself. One great idea would be to outsource meal prep. Use a service to help you plan and shop for your meals or try Hello Fresh. If you get three, two-person meals delivered each week, you’ll be set!
Make Mommy Friends
As a new parent, you need people. You need people who understand you, who look out for you, who know you well enough to tell you when you may need to see someone for that postpartum depression. Rely on friends, or make new ones. Give local groups like MOPS or SLAM a try, depending on your interests.
RELATED: How my Baby Helped Me Make Friends
Give Yourself Grace
There are a lot of skills you need when becoming a parent. Perhaps the most important one is grace. Sure, you have grace for your friends and their struggles, but you need to have grace for yourself. You birthed or adopted a human, and now your world has been turned upside down. Look upon your new family and new life with grace. It’s okay not to fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans ever again. It’s okay not to have a clean house. It’s okay to co-sleep, to cry-it-out, or to land somewhere in between.
Get Out of the House
It may feel counterproductive, but leaving the house is important. Get outside daily, even if just for a few minutes. Take a walk around the neighborhood or to a nearby playground. By getting out of the house, you can focus on other things–not the state of the laundry or how behind you are on cleaning. Trust us, get out of the house and have some fun!
We are confident you will figure out what works best for you, but until then, you can survive the crazy chaos with lots of prayers, coffee, and wine. Sending all our love to our fellow military spouses facing a deployment after a new baby. You’ve got this! We’ve got this!
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out Surviving a Deployment with Kids
Photo Credits: Eastern Sky Photography NC, Pixabay