The Homecoming Post

Ready for Homecoming?

We all spend lots of time during deployments envisioning the homecoming of our loved one. It’s what we count down to.  It motivates us. We’re working toward it day in and day out.

Sound familiar?

There is so much good when it comes to homecoming, but reintegration is not all roses and sunshine…

What about the parts that we’re worried about:

We asked in our private FB members group about what they are worried about when it comes to homecoming and here’s what they said:

-Michelle said, “I worry about my son’s reaction. My 6 y/o is doing well. But my 4 y/o does not understand time. We can only email and he can’t read yet. Several times he has talked about when Daddy was alive or about Daddy being dead. I try to explain to him that Daddy is alive just far away on the boat. It seems to work but then these comments resurface a few weeks later. I worry about homecoming that my son will not recognize him or accept him into his life right away and how to deal with that. 🥲

-Ashley said, “Just in general… readjusting our routine and groove to add him back into the fold”

-Nicole said, “My kids’ abilities to readjust. My oldest is autistic so changes to routine can be very hard for him. My youngest always has big emotions and I worry they will be too big for him when Daddy gets home. They were only 3 1/2 and 2 for our last homecoming so they don’t remember any of it. Now they are 7 and 5 1/2 so they are much more aware of the situation”

-Lauren said, “Just worried about it being awkward and uncomfortable I’ve heard it to be. Both my husband and mother in law have said it will be and I hear it elsewhere too. Worried about patience with each other and really just how weird it will be.”

-Rebekah said, “This is his first deployment since we’ve been together (3 years) we lived together a few weeks before getting married and then he deployed 17 days after that. I (kind of) joke “hope he likes me when he gets home” because we honestly haven’t had much opportunity to just be together. I like boundaries, rules, routines. I have no idea what to expect. I definitely had big anxiety about this at one point and this page helped HUGE! ❤️ you ladies are definitely blessings! You’ve showed me strength that I never knew was possible.

I’m just a few days away from seeing his face and there are so many unknowns, and still some fears. BUT what I know is we survived with 3 kids (I have his and mine) ages 12-14, 2 JH graduations, I bought a car, dealt with all 9 Murphy’s Law incidents from broken appliances (I even repaired 2 of the 3 myself), furnace, and frozen water lines, one kid had surgery, 7 combined sports seasons later, 1 hunting season, integrating teenage kids together (not a process that’s complete, nor one I’d want to start over 😂) establishing my role with a new child, going from being a single mom of 2 to mil wife of deployed airman of 3, a lot of 2 steps forward and 1 step back, and all the while he did all the awesomeness that he did where he is… through faith, grace, patience and love we can do anything! So in this final leg of the race I really quit worrying who has what emotion and when it surfaces, we will deal with it at the time as needed and best of all we’ll do it together! I’m finally ready to embrace the hot mess express and roll with it!”

 -Tiffany said, “Having them come in and undo all the good you’ve done as far as being independent.

Also how do you deal with the resentment? Like when he comes back from drill, I just need a break. I don’t want to be touched. I don’t want him to kiss me. There’s like a whole lot of I’ve handled it all including issues with the kids. I don’t want you near me because I need to decompress before and I can reunite with you. I need space. Or I’ll explode at all I had to deal with. He doesn’t understand that. So, after the year long deployment will be a challenge. I can’t just go into lovey dove-y mode.”

 

What are you worried about when it comes to homecoming and reintegration?

 What are your top tips to make Homecoming/Reintegration go smoothly:

We also asked our Brave Crate Besties their #1 tips for Homecoming.  Here’s what they shared:

-Amy said, “I think it’s important to clear the calendar!!”

-Sarah said, “Chat with your service member to make sure you know what they want homecoming to look like (guests, plans, etc.) so you can make the appropriate arrangements.”

-Hadley said, “Help unpack together and do a special dinner just the two of you. It was so helpful to be able to put everything away and have him home and just be together again.”

-Katy said, “Be present and have NO expectations.”

-Nicole said, “Make your household family the priority, let go of “Hollywood” expectations and find ways to enjoy just being together again while readjusting to having your spouse home”

-Lori said, “This is our first deployment with kids. My goal is to allow my spouse to parent and make sure there is one on one time with each kid. I am also getting them involved with preparations”

-Annie said, “No expectations and they take a lot of naps/sleep that first week.”

-Shannon said, “My number one homecoming tip is to have multiple separate lists! Make a list of favorite snacks and drinks to stock up on for their arrival, a list of chores to get out of the way so you can focus on alone time, and a list of things to do or shows to watch while you help unpack and reintegrate! It was super helpful and I kept them on the fridge and crossed them off as I went along. Great time to do large loads of laundry, de-clutter and deep clean!”

-Rebekah said, “I have a beer fridge fully stocked, his shop is cleaned up and ready for him, his side by side is gassed and washed up, smoker and meats are ready, his toiletry items are back out… all the things that I know he’s missed! When I talk to him he tells me he doesn’t need anything, or expect anything he just wants to see us. I just want it ready so he doesn’t feel like he’s jumping into a bunch of chores.”

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