By Julie Provost
During my husband’s second deployment, I took my two boys and headed to my parents’ home in California for the summer. I needed a break from our duty station, and I wanted to do something different to get through the deployment. I needed a break from everything I was used to and having extra sets of hands for my two- and four-year-old was just what I needed during the last few months of solo-parenting.
Many military spouses cope the way I did. For others, going home is not an option for a number of reasons. In fact, military spouses are often encouraged to stay where they are during a deployment and to avoid going home to their parents.
So why would a military spouse choose to go home for a deployment?
If you get along with your family, going home to them can be an excellent way to spend some quality time together. If you have children, extra time with their grandparents can help them bond in ways they haven’t been able to in the past. If you live across the country from your family, you might not see them very often and going home can be a way to spend the time together that you have been missing. Of course, if you don’t get along with your family, spending so much time with them is not going to be a good idea.
If all of your close friends are back home and you still haven’t met very many at your current duty station, going home during a deployment may give you the support you need during a tough time. While making friends where you are stationed is important, friends who aren’t part of the military can offer comfort and help, too.. Make sure you have friends who will stand by you while your spouse is deployed, even if they are not military spouses themselves.
Finding a babysitter is easier if you have family and friends who are willing to help. Having good babysitters you trust can be a big draw for going home for the deployment, especially for those moments when you need to go to an appointment, go to lunch with a friend, or just want to walk around Target by yourself.
4. Hometown favorites
As a military family, you might not ever get to live in your hometown again. . . so this is a fantastic way to spend some time there as a local. . From the Italian restaurant you went to every Sunday in high school to the pool you learned to swim in, being around all things familiar can be comforting. Take your kids to do all the fun things you enjoyed growing up.
Depending on where you live and how long you are gone from your duty station, going home for a deployment can save you money. Share meals with your extended family. Save on gas and rent. Take a look at your monthly bills and compare how much you would save if you went home for the deployment.
6. A change of scenery
Sometimes we can get tired of our surroundings. Going home is a change from the day-to-day. You will be living in a different place, going to different stores and restaurants, and exploring another part of the country.
While going home will not be an option for everyone, it just might be the right thing to do.
Julie Provost is an associate editor at Military One Click and a National Guard spouse. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.