Last week on Preparing for Deployment, I tasked you with making a list of things that sucked during patrol (are you still writing?) and sharing it with your sailor so you could come up with some solutions together. What did you come up with?
My list looked something like this …
- The kids missed him a lot … so next time he’s planning to make videos for them, leave more cards and notes for them, and perhaps planning a big fun surprise for the kids while he’s gone.
- I missed him a lot … so next time he’s going to work on more cards, letters, videos, etc for me as well. (YAY! <3)
- I really missed having him to “download” all my problems of the day (and hearing his “download” as well). We haven’t really come up with a good solution for that one since we both agree that email is NOT the place for that. I’m thinking of some kind of journal situation? I don’t know … #workinprogress
A few days after he returned I brought up the topic of having this kind of conversation with him. He did not seem overly enthused. So instead of sitting down for one big “Come to Jesus” meeting, I just wove some of these concerns into our everyday conversation. I didn’t want him to feel like he had done anything wrong; I just needed him to see what our needs were. The outcome was pretty great!
This week, I’m talking about the things that sucked for him during deployment that I can make a little better next time. Again, we didn’t really have a sit-down conversation, but as he’s told me about his patrol experience, I have been taking notes. For instance, my sailor is a pretty picky eater, and since the food on subs is notoriously … ummm … not five star … I’m making a list of foods and snacks that he can take with him next time and sending at least double what he took last time. I also think his halfway box and any maildrops will be more centered around food to make sure he’s getting what he needs. Nobody likes a hangry Josh. Nobody.
Another thing that sucked for Josh was a lack of communication. He didn’t really complain about it, but when I acknowledged that I hadn’t emailed him as much as usual he certainly didn’t disagree. I had a hard time with emails this time due to long periods of alert time (when he couldn’t email me back). During the next patrol, I have to try harder to send emails daily. I know it means a lot to him, but sometimes it’s just hard to write and write and write when you’re not hearing back. I have a few ideas for this one, but no concrete solutions. This topic will definitely come up again later on the blog.
Finally a problem we both have is that lack of closeness during patrol. Being so far apart it’s tough to really connect. I found a great idea over at Life’s All About Little Adventures for a Deployment Date! As Stephanie says on her blog, “Who says you can’t have Date Night with your special someone just because he is deployed or away?” I have a great idea for a deployment date that will be fun, keep us connected, and help with the lack of communication. Sadly, because my sailor is super awesome and actually reads this blog from time to time, that will have to wait for another post later on as well so I don’t ruin the surprise! 🙂
So now it’s your turn! Talk to your sailor. What sucked for him? Did he run out of toiletries? Did he break his only pair of ear buds? Did he forget his iPod? Did he want more communication? Better communication? How can the two of you solve these problems together? I’d love to hear what your lists are like! Comment below or on the Facebook page!
If you liked this post, share it with your friends ’cause sharing is caring, right? 😉 And come back next week for more Be Prepared tips!