Brown socks were flying in the air like a giant sock explosion just went off in our bedroom. He couldn’t find the one sock to match the other. I could tell he was getting frustrated. This is a typical pre-deployment in our home. Chaos, socks everywhere, gear sprawling across each room of the house.
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In the time leading up to deployment, we are trying our best to enjoy our last days together before he leaves. But you know what gets in the way?Stress.
I can’t tell you how many times he’s waited until the last minute to pack. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve waited until the last minute to realize, my power of attorney or ID card is expired. I can’t tell you how many times we waited until the day he was leaving to realize I didn’t have a current password to log into our bank account.
All this is fine and well.
Until it isn’t.
Here’s the problem.
Once deployment starts, we are no longer guaranteed communication. So if I don’t have what I need in place, it can take painfully long to get in touch with my service member to straighten things out. And you know what happens then? More stress.
The worst part?
All of this is completely avoided with a little bit of foresight and preplanning. You can skip over all the mistakes I made by grabbing handy pre-deployment calendar (see below) and start preparing a month in advance. When you plug along at it over a period of time there is less stress, less sock flying and more time to enjoy together as a family.
Much nicer. Much simpler. It’s what I like to call a small win.
Let’s break it down and keep it simple. Because I’ve seen the pre-deployment checklists with hundreds of things to do on it. It’s overwhelming.
- Get a financial game plan going with your spouse.
- Know how to log into financial accounts, pay bills, and manage investments.
- Know how to create and run a budget.
- Determine an auto game plan during deployment.
- Update insurance and registration. Keep in vehicle.
- Service vehicles.
- Keep duplicate sets of keys.
- Know where title of vehicle is and store in safe place.
- Update wills, power of attorney, special power of attorney
- Update ID cards.
- Keep all documents in a safe place: marriage cert, social security cards, birth cert, etc.
- Create list of emergency contacts
- Update family care plan
- Confirm DEERS, Tricare, dental and SGLI enrollment.
- Create resource list for yourself to use when support is needed
- Attend pre-deployment brief
That’s the short version of the pre-deployment checklist to help you get organized. But to make it even simpler, I created deployment binder for you.
Stop the pre-deployment chaos.
As a slew of brown socks covered our entire bed, I looked over to my husband and laughed. “Why do we do this to ourselves every time?” I asked. He smiled back with a familiar look. I’m not sure that either one of us knew the answer, except that we were both ready to get more organized. We were ready for a change.
A pre-deployment calendar and a document checklist goes a long way around here. Now we spend more time watching movies on the couch, enjoying a date night, and playing with the kids before he leaves. I’m not saying there aren’t a few days of sock chaos, but it’s getting better.
Want more on military life?
- The Real Reason Being a Military Wife is So Hard
- 10 Things Resilient Military Spouses Do Differently
- The Biggest Mistake Military Spouses Can Make
- 9 Relationship Truths Only a Modern Military Spouse Will Understand