Real Life: Tips For Supporting Your Kids During Military Away Time

A life connected to the military means a lot of time away for the serving partner. This is just the reality of life and to be honest I am used to it. Jules over at The Giggles Family has put together this fab post: with some top tips to help military partners cope with ‘away’ time be that deployment, exercise, training, meetings or courses.

As a long enduring military spouse with two children aged 14 years and 9 years dealing with ‘away’ has become second nature to us.

But here’s some tips:

1.) On one Afghanistan deployment my husband sent the kids a gift via Amazon at the halfway point. This is great because they get a surprise and they have something fun to talk about. We then made a You Tube video to say thank you.

2.) Hagar has got an app on his iPhone called TouchNote – he takes a photograph on his phone and then it turns it into a postcard which he then sends via his phone to home. This was great when he was on exercise in Canada recently and he was able to send a postcard a week of what he was doing to each of the children.

3.) Seasonally, during Autumn away time we do a lot of bramble picking. This is a great activity and then we bake freeze them for vanilla and blackberry vodka, bake blackberry and apple loaves or make blackberry and apple crumble. We love fruit picking time because we do as much harvesting as possible and the kids love it.

4.) Be organised. I think the most important part of dealing with ‘away’ time is that I have to raise my game in terms of organisation so I prepare for it’s coming. Keep yourself busy. Weekends can often be the hardest, especially Sundays when many people spend time with their families. Makes sure you have a good list of places to go locally and things to do. Gather your kids, some snacks and get out there and have adventures with them. Think about what you can do with them in advance so that when the weekends sneak up on you there is already a plan. Stay on top the chores so that you have time to do some fun stuff. It’s really important to spend positive fun time with the children even if you are feeling lonely and not up to it. They can be a great tonic and really lift your spirits.

I really believe life is too short to waste time feeling sorry for yourself. We always see ‘away’ time as adventure time and the kids and I always have road trips, visit new places and visit friends. Be free and social. That’s my advice.

Operation Bangers and Mash – this is old blog post highlights how it often really goes for us during ‘away’ time

Don’t be too hard on yourself. Have you got any top tips for dealing with ‘away’ time? Let me know by commenting below. The more the merrier. It’s good to know you are not alone.

Don’t forget to pop over to Jules over at The Giggles Family to see what top tips she has put together as well.

Clare Macnaughton; a modern military mother; a feminist, British military spouse, and lifestyle journalist, writing about real life adventures.

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  1. It’s so great now that you can use these tools to keep in touch with Long Distance Dads. When mine was on tour, you had to wait for letters. TouchNote is a great tool for keeping children engaged and involved.

    1. I know it’s amazing. I have watched it evolve from blueys, to email, to Skype and now to great apps, like TouchNote. The kids barely feel the distance nowadays. We are not so isolated. It must have been a very different life for your mother. Did I know that you were a pad brat? (Meant in the nicest possible way.) Which service was your father with? I feel like I have been off the blog for a while things are trickling back. Thanks for your comment.

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