boy sitting in his baseball jersey deployment anxiety a tiny tribe blog

Deployment Anxiety: When Everything Feels Like It’s Crumbling

The goodbyes were tearful, the hugs extra tight, and then…silence. Nathan deployed, and the weight of deployment anxiety settled heavily on me. Here I was, a single mom (well, single-ish) to a rambunctious five-year-old, Eli, and my sweet one-year-old, Emma, with a husky named Echo who sheds enough fur to knit a sweater for a small yeti.

The first few days were a blur. Dinner turned into Dino Nuggets for the third night in a row, and laundry became a never-ending Mount Washmore, more like 5 of them. But hey, at least Eli’s baseball practice went smoothly, right? Wrong. A wave of guilt washed over me as I cheered him on. Here I was, enjoying a moment that should be shared with Nathan, and the sting of his absence, fueled by the constant hum of deployment anxiety, felt sharper.

Stress became my constant companion. Work deadlines loomed, my to-do list grew longer than a CVS receipt, and the pressure to be “Super Mom” intensified. Everyone needed a piece of me – Eli’s school, Emma’s endless needs, my ever-demanding job, and my family. Guilt, like a nagging mosquito, buzzed in my ear as my mother-in-law subtly (or not so subtly) complained about Nathan’s infrequent calls. 

Then came the meltdown. It started with a misplaced baseball hat, spiraled into a fight with the coffee maker, and culminated in a full-blown cry on the kitchen floor. The weight of everything – the loneliness, the responsibility, the constant feeling of inadequacy, all amplified by deployment anxiety – was simply crushing.

Here’s the thing, dude: deployment is HARD. It’s isolating, exhausting, and frankly, unfair. And the unsolicited advice?The kind that pushes nannies and housekeepers on you like they’re magic solutions? It can feel like a slap in the face.

Here’s the truth too: You are enough. You are strong, capable, and fiercely loving your little tribe. You might not be Wonder Woman, but you’re rocking your own unique brand of superhero.

So, to all the military spouses out there holding down the fort while battling deployment anxiety, I see you. I see the tears you cry in secret, the herculean effort you put in daily, and the fierce love that burns bright. We may not be able to control deployments, but we can control how we navigate them. Here are a few things that helped me:

  • Lower Your Standards (a little): Frozen pizza for dinner? Totally acceptable. Leave the dishes until tomorrow? No big deal. Give yourself permission to let go of some non-essentials.
  • Find Your Village: Lean on your friends, family (the supportive ones, at least!), and fellow military spouses. You don’t have to do this alone.
  • Take Care of Yourself: Schedule some “me-time,” even if it’s just a stolen ten minutes in the bathroom with instagram. Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s essential.
  • Remember, This is Temporary: Deployment may feel like an eternity, but it will end. In the meantime, focus on the small victories and the love that binds you together.

Deployment is a monster, but we are the monster slayers. We are the warriors, the nurturers, the glue that holds everything together. So let’s raise a glass (or a juice box) to ourselves because, dude, we are enough. We are strong, and we will get through this together.


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