My husband had been gone for six months and to say I was excited about his homecoming would be an understatement. The house was clean, his favorite beer was in the fridge, the “welcome home” banner was hung. . His homecoming went perfectly.
The next morning, he went out to run some errands, but ran into a bit of an issue. For some reason, his car was dead and needed a new battery.
Ok, that reason was likely because I hadn’t driven it in six months.
Fine, that reason was definitely because I hadn’t driven it in six months.
Whoops. You see, my husband drives a stick shift and I do not. So when he’s deployed, it doesn’t get driven terribly often (cough at all cough) and clearly starting it a few times a month was not enough. Lesson learned. Maybe I should have let him relocate his motorbike too with the likes of vehicle transporters such as CarsRelo, he would have been able to get about without having to get a new car battery… Whoops.
You see, the kicker about deployment is that life goes on and juggling it all solo sometimes means you drop a ball or two, no matter how many deployments you’ve been through. And that’s ok. None of us are perfect when our loved one is home so why should we expect to be when they are gone?None of us are perfect when our loved one is home so why should we expect to be when they are gone? Click To Tweet
So when you do screw up (which you will eventually), what should you do? Yes, learn from it and look for ways to keep it from happening again (if that’s even possible). But the most important thing is to not beat yourself up about it! At the risk of sounding a little cliche, it happens to all of us and tomorrow is another day. You are doing the best you can.
And just to prove that you and I aren’t alone in the land of deployment screw-ups, some of my favorite fellow military spouses shared their biggest ones:
I’ve done the dead battery so many times I had to get the self charging jumper cables. Usually my screw ups are all car related! I only end up on the sides of highways during deployment. Here’s one for you: I booked a ticket to Spain before hubby found out he would not be getting leave during that port call. Luckily Delta was kind enough to give me a refund. Sigh. -Kayla from KaylaRoof.com
I also locked myself out of our car, and he had the other key on deployment! I have had lots of sick kids and emergency room visits. But perhaps the biggest mistake was when I tried to send cake in jars in a care package. They must not have sealed correctly and arrived moldy. Yuck! -Lizann from Seasoned Spouse
Does trying to start the lawn-mower count? Tried for ages on the front lawn, with the kids watching and waiting. After quite some time, a passerby eventually offered to start the mower for me (no offer to mow though). Got the job done and decided I wouldn’t be doing that again, so until the boys are big enough, I will pay someone to come mow. Luckily, it’s easy to find someone on websites like https://www.lawncare.net/service-areas/california/, so I won’t have to embarrass myself in front of the kids again! Turns out I didn’t have all the steps in the sequence. – Leanne
Does TDY count? This last time I locked my keys in the car when I brought my newborn daughter to her doctor’s appointment. Don’t worry she was not in the car, but I did have to wait outside with a colicky newborn for roadside assistance. -Kara from Foxtrot & Pennies
How does hitting one of his trucks with the other while parking in our apartment lot sound? LOL Then I also backed out of an office alley parking lot driving his truck and hooked the back bumper on the wire that holds the light pole. It was pretty scary. I had to have people help me get it unattached. – Melissa from Insure the Heroes
My husband has to head on a last minute deployment a couple years ago and he didn’t have a chance to deal with his motorcycle. So I just covered it in the garage and we both forgot about it, except it was never winterized and come spring, cost a small fortune to repair from the damage of the gas and oil left on it all season. – Kim from She Is Fierce
The water pump started leaking on our Land Rover. Somehow, my husband figured out what was wrong with it when I sent him a video and told me to have it towed to the mechanic we use. Easy, right? Except that I somehow got the name or address of the shop wrong, had it towed to the wrong place and didn’t realize it until they called and tried to charge me over $1000 dollars to put my car back together when it needed a $300 water pump replacement. There was a lot of back and forth, but in the end my husband ordered the part himself, had it overnighted to me to bring to the mechanic so that we only paid for the labor. Our regular mechanic very nicely checked everything over for me for free (and replaced a hose that the guy had attached incorrectly). – Kristen from White Gloves Optional
During my husband’s 1st deployment my Mom continuously kept screwing up my husband’s e-mail address and she (she was using a common mis-spelling of his 1st name). She ended up writing this O-6 (not my husband) so much by accident that she eventually even sent him a care package and a card for Veteran’s Day. – Christine from Her Money Moves
The TDY story I have is – I traded both our cars in for one since we were moving to Germany. In the changing of stuff over to the new car I managed to forget not one but both garage door openers, I had my keys BUT! The screen door for the front door was locked and can be only unlocked from the inside and the back door had the dead bolt on and can only be unlocked… from the inside. At this point it was after the dealership closed so I couldn’t go back. So I had to break into my own house by climbing into the kitchen window over the sink, all the while hoping the MPs wouldn’t drive by (they did routine drives behind our house) and while my 2 year old and 2 month old waited in the car. – Fran from Freeborboleta
1) My daughter broke the shower handle, I panicked, and we couldn’t turn off the water!!
2) My mother thought she was helping him by washing his motorcycle gear while he was gone. It was his rain gear and was not supposed to be dried in a dryer…yep – ruined! – Kelsey from Anchored Together By Land, Air or Sea
So join us in owning up to our biggest deployment screw-ups and share yours in the comments below!