Home is where the heart is: where to stay during your significant other’s deployment

When Arabella asked me to write a guest post for her blog regarding moving back “home” while my husband is deployed, I had SO many thoughts going through my head regarding what I should say, how much I should share, and how I *hopefully* wouldn’t ramble on and on as I tend to do.

First, let me introduce myself. Hi! I’m Sarah. I’m a mother of two sweet little boys (21 months and 4 months) and a wife to a Naval Officer. We are currently stationed in Norfolk, where my husband is serving his sea duty. 

About a year ago, I began feeling very nauseated and fatigued. I chalked it up to chasing around my son. At the time my husband was finishing up some training and he was due to start working on a ship in a few short months. He came home with some very important news one day- his upcoming deployment date. We talked it through and decided that I would stay in Virginia with our son while he was gone. No biggie, I was used to it being just my son and I for quite some time. Shortly after we had this conversation I realized I was late. Surely I wasn’t pregnant, right? Wrong! A very sweet surprise to both of us, but this really had me second guessing our plans to stay put while he was gone. We did the math and we realized our baby would be due right around the time he would be leaving. 

Fast forward nine months- I had come to my senses and realized that I absolutely could not stay alone in Virginia with my toddler and a new baby. Thank goodness my wonderful parents didn’t hesitate to invite us to stay with them. My husband was able to stay with us for two wonderful weeks before being deployed. Our time together was short, but we enjoyed every moment. Everything fell into place for us, regarding me temporarily moving back home with my parents. First of all, the house we were staying at was a rental. We were able to break the lease with my husband’s deployment orders. We had put in our application to a much sought after on base neighborhood over a year ago and we were expecting the leasing agency to call while my husband was gone, telling me our application was accepted (which they did!). Second, we rented a storage unit to keep all of our furniture and belongings that we would not be needing at my parents’ house. Third, we got a uhaul and brought everything we did need with us.

So, is moving home right for you? Knowing your options could sway your decision. If you are renting a house or apartment, know that your significant other’s deployment orders legally breaks the lease where you are staying. If you are not comfortable doing this without checking, please contact the JAG on base. This bit of information really sealed the deal on me moving back in with my folks. If you own a house where you are stationed, or live on base, you will need to think about someone checking on your house while you’re gone, someone will need to mow your lawn, etc. 

Do you have children? A job? All of these factors impacted my decision. Having a toddler and a newborn is a LOT and I knew I would need help. My job is staying home, caring for them. Knowing myself and my personality, I knew I would be lonely and need help with my babies if I chose to stay in Virginia. And let me just add, in light of recent events, I think it would be prudent to ask yourself how you would handle being by yourself in major events such as a global pandemic. Who would have thought we would see something like this in our lifetime? Certainly not me. But boy oh boy, am I sure glad I decided not to try and be super mom and stay by myself with the kids. My family has been here to help take care of the kids, and they’ve taken great care of me as well. Going through a deployment is tough enough. Add on a global freaking pandemic and you’re bound to go a little batty. 

Yes, living with my parents again has come with a few challenges. If I don’t feel like doing the dishes, I suck it up and do them anyway because I’m not staying in MY own house. All of that is trivial, though, because I have truly amazing parents who have gone above and beyond for me. I know this time with them is temporary and I am truly enjoying every moment with them.

If you’re on the fence about what to do and you’d like my advice, I say- go home. Stay with your family, or friend, or whoever it is that can be your stability. It will make your life a little less lonely, a little more happy, and you’ll be sure to make lots of memories during one of the hardest times of your life. Whatever you decide to do, know that you’ve got this. You are a badass. And “this too shall pass”.

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