30th December and Christmas 2017 is now done, I have even taken the tree down although I am definitely not ready for January to arrive.
January = Deployment day
We found out in October that my husband was being deployed in January for over six months, it wasn’t expected and it took a while to sink in. It meant that Christmas in my mind needed to be absolutely amazing and we would be blissfully happy throughout the entire duration of the festive season…no pressure!
The reality was we all bickered, ate and drank too much and the job list I wrote my husband of ‘things you need to do before you go away’ has not had one of the jobs ticked off as yet BUT we did make it to the end of the list of things I booked and have made some lovely memories. We have over spent but we’ve said it over and over…we can save while he is away so might as well spend now while he is here.
|Lovely hotel we stayed at in Winchester
I know myself, I know how I tick and I knew that Christmas would have a black cloud of deployment over it but I’ve made myself try where I can to put that in a box so it didn’t ruin the festive season. The last long deployment we did I lost the plot in this pre-deployment phase, I just couldn’t cope.
Six months or so just felt like such a huge mountain to climb and I wasn’t confident I could do it staying in one piece with my sanity still intact.
I do feel like that now but I am not quite so unpredictable, I am not being purposely horrible to my husband and I’m not spending hours on end in bed crying…so it’s an improvement!
I have however felt vulnerable, I have wanted to batten down the hatches and overdose on my little family and my husband, I have felt really protective over our Christmas and not wanted any outside influences to ruin it. I have felt selfish.
Over Christmas I have thought so much about everyone who has had someone deployed because I have been there too and its rotten, I hope you are all OK and glad it is now over….give yourself a high five because I actually don’t think there is anything harder than a Christmas deployment. You did it! you can now concentrate on some routine and normality returning so your countdown can begin again.
As I found it hard to know what to send in a parcel when my husband has been away for Christmas I also found it really hard to think of what to buy my husband this year as he is actually going to be away for most of 2018 (deployment, home for a little bit then another couple of months away) the internet is a wonderful thing and I found a few things that I thought I’d share as you may want to send out to your loved ones if they are away or give them before they go.
Firstly a personalised printed pillowcase, a really simple idea which can be used wherever they are in the world. Lightweight and easy to pack/post. I got mine from Ultimate Line as found they were the cheapest (£4.99) and am really pleased with the quality. Website HERE
and also available on eBay.
I also got a personalised wallet card from Martha Brook London, just a few special words for him to take away. Was £10 and ordered via the website HERE
Something else which I thought was a good find was the Battle Bags of coffee from the Contact Coffee Co a company run by ex military, I got a couple of the packs of 10 bags and again lightweight so easy to pack and/or post Just £4 for a pack of ten which you can order via their website HERE
I don’t want January to come and to be quite honest I’m entering 2018 with real trepidation; I know deployment is hard it will be our seventh long tour, I’m scared because I know where he is going and how I have felt when he has been there previously and I know that invariably things go wrong when you are flying solo and I keep thinking of all the worst case scenarios of what might go wrong which is hard work on my emotional well-being.
I want to be brave and strong but I know I need to take my own advice and be kind to myself.
For all of us 2018 will bring challenges and I will be right here documenting our deployment as a modern military family in the hope of spreading some strength, I might need the odd hug too from you guys!
Lots of love as we enter 2018 together, Louise xxx
|My husband got me a new bracelet with his initial on so he is with me all the time he is away, so special.