A FRIEND OF MINE'S HUSBAND IS ABOUT TO DEPLOY FOR 6 MONTHS AND WHILE THIS IS NOT HER FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH DEPLOYMENT, IT IS HER FIRST WITH A NEWBORN.
Abraham is their first child and he is such a sweet and well behaved boy, but no matter how good the child is being a mommy is hard. To make it harder, her husband is going to miss out on a big chunk of Abraham's first year of life. He is going to miss all the milestones of rolling over, eating solids, crawling, standing, and maybe even walking. So when Ashley's face lights up with joy because she witnessed their son's first of something, she only has herself to share it with.
They both are struggling with this, which is creating a dark and sad cloud over their house. Their is nothing they can do about either, except relish the time they have together now. She asked me the other day how I would keep positive energy in the house if I were in her shoes. My first thought was, "wow, those are big shoes to fill!" But then I sat back and thought about what I would do to keep Josh's spirit ever present and how we would shine through the sadness. This is what I came up with....
7 WAYS TO KEEP YOUR HOME POSITIVE DURING DEPLOYMENT
1. Pictures....lots of pictures
In the days before your spouse deploys I would take as many photos as I could of them and baby. Then, I would head to my local thrift store to buy frames and place them all over the house. I am a picture person, I love looking at memories and I often go through old photos when I need a pick me up. Also, take photos of you and baby everyday so you can email them, post them, and snail mail them. Anyways your spouse can see them, do it!
2. YOU need to stay active
The best remedy for any ailment is activity. Yes, I consider heart ache an ailment and I believe the best way to cure it is by keeping your mind occupied. What better time to get in shape. And if you are like my friend who has a newborn - you could use a little exercise. Whatever your preference, walking, running, pilates....just do it. And if you can bring your little one along. Mine loves walks, fresh air, and playing in the grass. If you want to be happy at home, you need to breathe fresh air daily!
3. Create a happy space in your home
Try to limit your time in front of the tube, television will rot your brain! Find a little nook somewhere in your house and make it your space to do whatever you want in it. In my home I have an oversized bean bag chair covered in tapestries and pillows where I can plop myself down and read a book. If I fall asleep, hey thats ok! Add some fresh flowers or lucky bamboo for an extra boost of happy energy....maybe even a candle or two!
Take an oath to start taking better care of your body and the best place to start is by cooking. Not only will your body thank you but you can't help but be happy when your home smells of yummy herbs and spices! No matter if you are an experience cook or just learning, cooking is a therapeutic way of dealing with stress and it keeps your mind active.
5. Have friends over
To me a full house is a happy house. I cannot stand the silence of an empty house, it makes me lonely. That is what we want to avoid people. loneliness! So start putting those cooking skills to work and invite friends and family over for dinner parties, weekend cook outs, cooking lessons etc. Surround yourself with positive people and you will stay positive yourself and your house will shine!
6. Devote your time
If you have kids and/or pets - devote your time to them. There is nothing worse than walking into a house and seeing a depressed dog or kids that need more attention - it makes the house feel heavy. Share your heart and soul with your real babies and fur babies and trust me, your house will be full of positive energy!
7. Take a trip(s)
Get out, good lord get out! Go out into the world and get perspective, it does a world of good to step back a bit to really see what is going on. It doesn't matter how big or small the getaway is, just do it. When you arrive back home, implement your new thoughts to create a happier home life. Home is where the heart is so make it a good one!