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Need a pep talk

(28 Posts)
TettyLouBar Wed 15-Jun-11 19:06:06

DH has literally just left for Falklands 4 month tour about 1 hour ago. I have DD1 3years old today! and DD2 20wks today! sad Feeling very low and panicky about how the hell I'm going to cope. Please tell me it'll be ok?!? I know I can do this, but with all the weeks stretched out in front of me it's such a daunting task.
I've had a little cry and now I just feel empty and a bit lost. Rattling around in the quarter, it suddenly feels very big here!

imadgeine Wed 15-Jun-11 19:32:42

I sometimes remind myself how my grandmothers coped with tough times and that helps me to be brave.

wheresthepimms Wed 15-Jun-11 19:39:49

Make a list of all the things you want to do whilst he is away. Split your chores up and make them last through the week, then when it gets to Friday have the day off and treat yourself and the little ones to a special treat. Mine are a bit older but when DH is away Friday is always popcorn and movie night, something like a trip to the park and ice cream might work with your 3 year old. Get out and about as much as possible and meet some of your friends for coffee. By the time DH gets back you will wonder how you ever had time for him to be around grin.
Remember you will get through it, you have no choice but to get on and survive and you will. We have all been through it and although it is hard at the beginning it does get easier.

Hope you have a better day tomorrow and remember we are all here for you smile

DrGoogle Wed 15-Jun-11 19:43:23

The first couple of days are the worst bit for me, I know the lost feeling very well and the overwhelming responsibility but you are stronger than you feel now and you can do this. Try not to think about the weeks stretched ahead right now, just concentrate on one day at a time for the moment. I am 5 weeks into a 6 month tour, and I felt just like you at the beginning but now we have settled in our routine and the days are ticking by a bit faster than they were. Be kind to yourself it's a tough job. x

vintageteacups Wed 15-Jun-11 19:50:10

Hi tetty - I know it's so daunting at the start but the weeks will pass and then get to a point where you're just counting them down and it starts getting close to him returning.

It's good in a way that your children aren't at school as it means you can just drive off for the week to friends/family etc.

I find that always planning something, no matter how small, gets you through the weekends.

Hope it gets better smile

FullTimeStudentNurseAndMumOf3 Wed 15-Jun-11 19:56:29

Hi. Keep yourself and kids busy. My hub went on your day after finding out one of our best friends KIA, I was 20 weeks preg and been told baby could have serious probs- got amnio results day hub left, had 2x dc aged 2 and 3 and he lost 4 pals on tour. Reason I'm telling u this is the only way I could actually get out of bed un the morning was by not thinking. Keeping busy, falling into bed at end of day too exhausted to think and fell straight asleep. Also think positively. The run up to a tour is the worst, once they have left it's a count down till they come home. You can do it gun. Best of luck smile

TettyLouBar Wed 15-Jun-11 20:00:44

Thanks gals. I needed that. Your words were very inspiring and have made me blub again!
I know I can do this, I just feel overwhelmed and want to be a few weeks in already so I can get a routine going and just work towards the end of the tour. He's so so upset. He's not been away for a tour since both our Dd's have come along so I feel for him having to leave all three of us behind. We have a week planned away with a friend and her kids (her Dh away too) so I'm sure that will help take the focus off Daddy being absent for DD1.
Thank you all so much for your posts. wink

FullTimeStudentNurseAndMumOf3 Wed 15-Jun-11 20:13:18

I dropped hub off and felt empty and raw inside for a week or so. Focus on maintaining normality for your dc and if your in a quarter reach out to others, by telling others how u feel. Once u know how Everyone else has felt how u do too you will feel better. You can do it chick. Busy, busy, busy. And think of the LSA lol xxx

SexyDragonStarlet Wed 15-Jun-11 20:41:21

Ah, I feel for you. Why not plan a treat each week and then look forward to that? Could be something just for you (a nice bottle of bubbles and a chick flick or a manicure) or something for you all too do, a trip to the park as someone else suggested. It breaks up the time into more manageable chunks.
Alternatively why not get all the girls round who DH's are away and have an Ann Summers party! Then you'll def have lots of fun when he gets back! grin

ilovemykitchenaid Wed 15-Jun-11 20:41:51

been with my DH 24 years and everytime he goes away its hard, but the way i have got through it is to live in my own home so i dont have to keep moving and building a new support network, worked a job and kept myself and DS busy.

keep busy and you will be fine and it will be over in a flash

TalcAndTurnips Wed 15-Jun-11 20:55:03

I concur with all those that have recommended always having something to look forward to; lots of little milestones to cross off on the way. Your DD1, at three, probably won't have any concept of the time until Daddy comes home - but she'll understand the passing of a few days; how about a sticker chart on a calendar to count down towards little treats or milestones? You could have a picture of Daddy's face stuck on the calendar for the day he is due home, perhaps, so she could see that day coming closer.

I always find the run-up to the deployment the very worst bit; even though you're feeling a bit pants now, you are past the worst now - each hour that elapses is an hour closer to being together again. Take loads of photos - how about keeping some sort of development diary for both the girls, so your husband can see how his daughters are growing whilst he is away?

Definitely try to link up with others around you in the same situation - if you're in MQs, are there any mum and toddler groups or a community centre for families?

You're amongst friends and fellow sufferers here on Forces' Sweethearts, too - we've all been there at some point and know just how you are feeling. Just let it all hang out when you're feeling down and keep posting; sympathetic ears and shoulders to cry on are in good supply. smile

vintageteacups Wed 15-Jun-11 22:00:57

Have you been the DCs will love it

FullTimeStudentNurseAndMumOf3 Thu 16-Jun-11 20:48:22

Hey you. How are you doing? A few days in means a few less days till he comes back.... Yay!!! Hugs x smile

TettyLouBar Thu 16-Jun-11 22:26:21

Day 1 done and dusted. I'm ok, thanks for asking. He rang from ascension islands while I was out this morning and left a message on home phone. I accidentally dropped phone and hit delete button after the first sentence. But I think from his tone that he may be stranded there due to ash cloud. I wish he would phone back. :0(

mlrmummy1 Fri 17-Jun-11 13:33:45

I feel your pain. DD1 was 3, DD2 was 12 weeks when my hubby went to Afghanistan last year, was awful. The first few days I was numb and didnt quite know where to start with getting on with things.

I found the first few days incredibly difficult but then made a conscious effort to get on and keep busy. Id will the days to fly by, Id end up going to bed reasonably early....the shorter the days the sooner he'd be home.

Make sure you get some things in the pipeline, girlie nights in with a chinese and some wine, some daytrips planned....when you have things to look forward to it makes you feel happier!

It never feels it at the time, but looking back, hubbys 6.5 month tour seems a lifetime ago and now I think it went quite quickly, always easy to say when its over though.

TettyLouBar Fri 17-Jun-11 14:47:47

thanks mlrmummy1, I dont have the added worry of him being in a conflict area so atleast that is something. He rang camp today from a mod phone and got a message to a lad that works on his section to ring me and let me know he's still stranded in Ascension because the ash cloud is stopping flights to Falklands. sad
He can't get his phone card to work and all I want to do is talk to him sad
Patience Patience Patience

FullTimeStudentNurseAndMumOf3 Sat 18-Jun-11 07:42:39

2 days in that's 2 days nearer to him coming back xxx

HomeintheSun Sun 19-Jun-11 20:10:59

Tetty my dh is off to Afghanistan in about 1 month so if you want we can hold each others hands throughout the next few months. I have a DS 4.5 years and a DD of 19 months, for the summer hols we are off to Nana and Grandad's who live about 4.5 hours away and we will just spend time seeing family and then I have DS's first day a school to look forward to, then I will have to find a way of filling my days without a nursery run to do. This is the first time that DH has been away for that long since DS was 9 months, I am slightly worried.
Be strong you know you can get through this and I agree with the others that say them leaving is the hardest part. I'll be here if you need support.

davidtennantsmistress Sun 19-Jun-11 20:12:09

sad that's the worst bit I think tbh the radio silence as it were.

You will get there keep busy, get out & about. I've managed to get by the last 12 weeks by taking it a week at a time, sending a weekly letter (am so sad lol) and sending a weekly box - even sadder. The first week I always find the hardest but after that get settled in for a few weeks then have a hissy fit.

fingers crossed DP is back on Tues next week.

also agree get the kids involved, DS has loved fetching home pictures for DP, & has been sending out various random little toys in his boxes (he's also been doing one a fortnight) read that as he wanted to post out a load of mcdonald happy toys & 4 soldier toys - so 'they'd have something to play with' grin

TettyLouBar Mon 20-Jun-11 19:38:09

Thanks ladies. I'm home at my folks house in Cornwall this week. DD1 getting slightly less anxious about DH being away, I think this trip has taken her mind off of things.
Just feel lost still but I know that it'll fade soon.
Homeinthesun, your on about the hand holding wink

Stars82 Mon 20-Jun-11 23:01:25

Keep ur chin up hun. I went to Iraq in 2003 prior to my DS being born, then when he was 1 my DH went to the falklands, it was bloody hard work, I worked fulltime too, I think it was easier for the one being away at times. Make sure you surround yourself with friends and family that can keep you positive. Accept help and breaks whenever offered, don't be too proud to say that you are tired either. I tried to put on a brave face which was the wrong thing to do. Get on here and seek support xx

HomeintheSun Sun 26-Jun-11 12:14:16

Hi Tetty how are you getting on? I hope you are having a good time with you parents and that you are getting some time for yourself too.

We have got to the final 3 weeks, DH is working up until 10 days before he flies, DS is starting to act up and has asked DH questions about him going, things like Daddy will you miss me, when will you come back?
I think one of the hardest parts to DH going will be the effect it has on DS, not so much DD as she is still young. I have tried to explain to DS that Daddy is going away for a while but at the moment I have no idea if he understands what 4 months is, I have tries to do it in terms of what will happen in the time that DH will be gone for, ie all summer hols with nana and grandad, start of school, halloween and his sisters birthday and grandad's birthday and then Daddy will be back, thinking that we can mark things off as they happen but then at the back of my mind I don't know if he will feel that Daddy has been away forever, any ideas???

TettyLouBar Mon 27-Jun-11 19:56:56

Hi there Homeinthesun
I have a countdown calendar I've made on my laptop and every day I colour in the day red on the chart. DD saw me doing it this morning and asked what it was. I tried to explain it but she really really didn't get it. The most important thing I can think of to her other than her Daddy coming home is christmas, so I told her that he wont be away for christmas and she seemed reassured.

She doesn't ask after him every day at the moment but we are still in Cornwall until tomorrow so I think she has been really distracted by both sets of grandparents being around. Maybe the daily countdown was too much but perhaps a weekly one would do?

I was thinking of putting a strip of paper underneath the world map (my first map) that she has on the wall next to her bed. If the strip of paper ran the length of the map and I divided it up into equal sections with the number of weeks there are left and got her to colour one in each week I guess that would help? She would see the strip slowly filling up with colour. She knows where Daddy is on the map and touches the part of the map every night when we are at home and says "Night Daddy" [sniff]
Ive also bought a photo mobile that you can hang pictures off of on crocodile clips. So we're going to hang that in her room this week and she's going to choose some pictures to print off of him, her, DD2 and I.

Its hard to know what their little minds can comprehend. She misses him so much some days and others she doesn't seem too bothered. I just give her lots of cuddle and kisses and we do lots of drawings that we are sending out, gluing and sticking, collected small pebbles on beach to send. etc etc.

Ive been reassured by his boss that the delay in his flight due to the ash cloud won't have an effect on his return date so we are 2wks and 1 day in today. 14weeks and 6days left! There, that doesn't seem as bad! smile

TettyLouBar Mon 27-Jun-11 19:58:50

just counted it up, 15wks and 2 days sad oh well every second is a second closer wink

HomeintheSun Thu 07-Jul-11 21:40:47

Hi Tetty just checking to see how you are.
My Dh has been told his flight date and it gives us a little bit more time together as a family, we are off to see his mum before he goes as well.
My DS has started getting really tearful, today DH has gone out for a mates leaving do and as we left DH in town DS starting crying saying the dad was going to be gone for ages and that he will miss him, (he just meant this evening) and tomorrow me and DH are off out and leaving the DC with a friend that DS knows well and it's for less than an hour and DS has been crying over that too. We are going to take DH to Brize for an early flight when the time comes, but I am worried about how DS will be when daddy goes "on his big trip" as we are calling it. If worse comes to worse I might be able to get someone from the terminal to push DD in her buggy while I carry the sobbing DS to the car.

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