Husband Being Deployed

Updated on January 10, 2008
L.R. asks from Palatine, IL
12 answers

We just found out last night that my husband (Army Reserves) received his orders to be deployed in a week and half. We are expecting our second child in March and have a 2 1/2 year old son. I work full time. My family is all in Florida (they can obviously help - but couldn't be here all the time) and my husband's family lives about an hour away and has never really taken a liking to helping before.
I am just wondering if anyone has gone through this and has any advice. I know it happens to people every day ... but right now, it is happening to me .. .and I am beyond overwhlemed.

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answers from Jacksonville on

My husband enlisted in the Navy recently. We didn't want to go through these long deployments so my husband decided against the Army. We are never gonna be near my family while my husband is in the Navy. When he has to leave I plan on going back home and staying with my parents. It's gonna be hard to be without him, but at least my family is gonna be there to help!

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answers from Chicago on

I have been there. My husband and I were both active duty Army and I was pregnant when he deployed to Iraq. Currently I am active duty and he got out so things are a little different.

So as not to get your hopes up, a previous poster said something about a family hardship but that is only in extreme cases of hardship, not for pregnancy. If you have some other circumstances it may not hurt to look into it, but simply being pregnant and a working mother won't be enough unfortunately.

The first month is totally the worst. After the first month, you get used to it and it really isn't so bad. You can get back into your routine and things will go a little more quickly. So when he leaves and it is hard, just remember it WILL get better with a little time.

Communications have gotten so much better. Chances are you will be able to speak with each other most days and he should have good internet access. Some people even find that communication improves while a spouse is deployed because you really strip all of the outside influences from your relationship and can talk freely. I also e-mailed my husband a few pictures of our daughter every day after she was born so he could see how she grew until he came home (she was 8 months old). I have heard some people even have cell phones now although I don't know how common that is.

I think the best thing would be not be alone after your little arrives. In my case no one could come to me (I was stationed in New York) so I went to my family's home and stayed there during my maternity leave. It was nice to have the support and also not be alone.

I am guessing you will want someone with you in labor. As another poster mentioned, Operation Special Delivery provides doulas free of charge to military spouses. I am a labor doula and I would be more than happy to provide my services for free if you're interested. I am an RN and student nurse-midwife as well so it would be a treat for me since right now the Army has me working an office.

Also, ensure that your husband's command from the bottom right on up is aware that he is expecting a baby. That way if there is any chance of him getting leave to come home, they are all aware of it and can try to make it happen.

You really just have to be strong. My husband always says it was easier for him to be deployed than for me to be at home. He was very busy, knew exactly what was going on, and time went very fast. I was home wondering what he was doing, counting the minutes till he came home, and taking care of a baby alone. It's not going to be easy, but like you said, it happens every day and people get through it.

Also, are you familiar with Army OneSource? The web address is something like This is a website that provides referrals and information for military members. They might have for instance a list of plumbers who are recommended and provide a military discount. Or they can help you find a health care provider if you start using Tricare. It's a really good service. They can also help you resolve issues you may have like needing to reach your husband or pay problems.

Tricare is another subject. The military's health insurance can be tough to understand/navigate/ work around. Great Lakes Naval Station has a Tricare Service center that is VERY helpful. You will often be referred to their phone number (1877TRICARE) which is totally worthless, but seeing the reps in person is great.

Make sure you get an ID card and registered in DEERS before your husband leaves. You can do that at Great Lakes or at most Reserve Centers. It is important that you are in DEERS and have an ID card so you can take advantage of military programs and get on base if you need to.

If you would like to chat sometime or exchange e-mails please send me a note. I have been there/done that through my own and several friends husbands' deployments so I know you need a little extra support. Best of luck to you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Evansville on

You should check and see, but I think they give child care vouchers for deploying families in guard and reserve. This may help a little. Good luck with your deployment. My husband will be back in December.



answers from Terre Haute on

I agree with the post that another mom put on. You never know you might be in a town where a lot of other stay at home moms or working moms that might be willing to help watch your lil' boy for you.

Have your husband talk to his parents and see what they can do for you while he is gone.

Support groups are always a good thing.

Having friends and family around is a nice thing also. You must be so overwhelmed. But I would like to thank you and your husband and your families for serving our country and fighting for our freedom!!

Post what town you are in and you might be able to get more help than what you think. {{hugs}}



answers from Chicago on

I am so sorry to hear about the deployment. My husband is probably going again in August. The first time around, I was pregnant too. To be blunt, it sucked to be a working mom, now single for all intents and purposes, with a 2 1/2 year old daughter, and pregnant all at the same time. First, I spoke with my doctor about scheduling the birth a week earlier than my due date. She was happy to cooperate with that, and my husband was able to schedule leave to come home at that time. Now, your husband will only have been there for a couple of months, but his commander might be able to do something to help on that front.

On my husband's first deployment, I was relatively new to the area and didn't really know my neighbors. I ended up hiding that he was gone because I was alone with a small child and pregnant on top of it. I didn't want anyone to take advantage of that situation. It was wintertime, and the neighbors didn't end up finding out that he was even gone for 3 1/2 months. This time, my neighbors know what is coming, and I can't tell you how grateful I am for their support. They have universally offered their help with babysitting, the house, etc. -- as have my husband's coworkers (he is a teacher, and works mainly with women who are very concerned about him/us).

So, my bottom line is that it is going to suck. However, it doesn't have to be as bad as it seems right now. Try to get to know your neighbors. Ask for their help -- they will want to give it. Also, talk with your husband about him calling his parents -- for him to ask for them to be more involved and to help you. You are going to need it. Call the local VFW. I continually see info from our local post that they have guys in the area who will do stuff for you for free -- mow the lawn, plow the snow, household repairs, whatever. They want to help too. They have been there before, and they know how it feels.

Another thing to consider if you can afford it and you won't get fired for it -- you might want to talk with your boss about going part-time until the deployment is done. I ended up doing that last time, and it was worth the cut in pay to have a little bit more sanity and time in which I could feel like I was spending time with my kids and I was able to get some things done instead of just on the weekends.

Finally, let people know the situation -- your church, your friends, your neighbors, your family. They will offer to help. They will, and they will mean it (even the ones in Florida to whatever degree they can do so). When they offer, say yes! And don't be afraid to ask for help. I am always concerned that I am bothering people, but I can tell you that they WANT to help. They do. Right now, my husband is leaving for many long weekends to train for his deployment. I teach an early-morning class on Mondays, and have to leave the house on Mondays at 6a.m. Now, who am I going to get to watch my kids and transport them to school from 6-9a.m.? My family is not close by either. Well, I am going to have to break down and start calling some of the retired ladies from church to see if they can help me. And you know, they will if they can at do it. If they can't, I am going to have to call some friends who I don't want to call because they have small kids too, and they are going to be busy in the mornings. But you know, I am going to have to get past being worried that I am bothering people. If they can at all do it, they will help me. They will help you too.

One last thing -- have a good sounding board person on speed dial. When I was by myself and incredibly frustrated with my older daughter's 3year-old antics and my baby's desire to not sleep unless I was holding her, I would pick up the phone and call my friends in Michigan. They would "talk me off of the ledge" and give me practical advice on how to deal with the situation. They would also let me know that I wasn't crazy and that I was a good mom. It was so helpful and valuable.

Good luck, L.. If you need anything, let me know. I am happy to help if I can. And I really mean it.



answers from Chicago on

I am sure you are overwhelmed. I am sorry this is happening to you. I am a labor doula and I could offer you support or find you someone that can help. If you want to contact me, send me a private message and I will give you my contact information. I have alot of resources and I may be able to help you. I will be thinking of you and your family. Do you know how long he is going to be gone for? I am sorry. I know that this is probably so scary for you, especially at this time.

S. Bailey CLD



answers from Lafayette on

Wow. That does sound incredibly overwhelming. Does the American Red Cross organize help for the families of those deployed in your area? Ours does. If you don't already have extra ties to your community (besides work) my first reaction would be to get them. Know your neighbors (you may have to rely on them to watch your older son while you have the younger) and some other kind of support system (like church, a mom's group, or the other families of your husband's military group). Also, 211 in most areas will hook you up with a local community services directory, like for low cost child care and other help and if you really need to talk to someone, even if it is in the middle of the night, most places have a 24/7 Crisis Line. Pregnancy brings all sorts of anxiety and here you have more... Take extra care and know that you have the strength within yourself. If you want to talk more, just send me a private message.
PS, my sons are 2 1/2 yrs apart and my youngest was born last March. :) 3 1/2 and almost 1 - they are so dear.


answers from Chicago on

L. -
I can't even imagine. Just try to take things one day at a time.


answers from Chicago on

Your husband can try to apply for a family hardship deferment.( I think that is what it's called). My sister did this when her husband was being deployed and once when she was being deployed. My sister was a single mom when she was deployed the second time. I was my nephews legal guardian. If that is not a possibility ask your husbands family for help. You say they haven't been receptive to helping before, but in this situation they hopefully will. The military does have support groups for families of deployed soldiers.



answers from Jacksonville on

My husband enlisted in the Navy recently. We didn't want to go through these long deployments so my husband decided against the Army. We are never gonna be near my family while my husband is in the Navy. When he has to leave I plan on going back home and staying with my parents. It's gonna be hard to be without him, but at least my family is gonna be there to help!



answers from Chicago on

Oh L. ((hug)) that is overwhelming news for sure! If you are in need of support during labor, are you familiar with Doulas? They are ladies who provide support to moms during labor. Opperation Special Delivery ( ) provides free doula services to moms with husbands deployed. If you didn't want to go through them or for some reason didn't qualify, I could help find you someone locally if you wanted.

Thank you to your husband for his service to our country and to your family for the sacrifice that all of you make for our freedoms.



answers from Chicago on

Hi L.,

I am so sorry to hear about the deployment timing...I am active duty navy and at Great Lakes Naval Station near gurnee...there is a marine-relief society that is focused on helping moms's like you. all phone numbers start w/ 847 688 - xxxx
Navy Relief Society Bldg 42 phone ###-###-####
Fleet and Family Support Center Bldg 42 3603/3604


I hope this helps, please let me know if there are any issues...again these are navy and marine numbers but they should be able to give you the army contacts...




answers from Chicago on

Post where you live, maybe some mamas in the area can help out.