You wait and you wait and you wait for the day your soldier gets home from deployment. Finally your life can go back to “normal,” finally you won’t have to shoulder all the responsibilities of holding down the home front. But homecomings aren’t always the fairy tale we build up while our loved ones are away, here a few things to remember as you welcome your service member home.
How to readjust after a deployment
Before your soldier comes home try to spend time talking about expectations for the homecoming. Do you want extended family present when your service member arrives home? Do you want to clear your schedule or keep in your routine? Most soldiers won’t have leave immediately after getting home, they will still have to go in to work for reintegration processing. Make sure you both have realistic expectations for what to expect after their arrival.
Balance of Power
After months of being the only one taking care of the household it can be both a blessing and, surprisingly, a nuisance to have your spouse back in the picture. While on the one hand you are so thankful they are home and there to help out with chores and other responsibilities, it can be hard to let go of the feeling of having to “do it all.” You may also resent your spouse for stepping in on things you normally take care of. Also, don’t forget your spouse may be dealing with feelings of not being needed anymore, take a moment to step back and let yourself NOT do it all, let your spouse step in and contribute.
Give Each Other Space
Don’t feel pressured to spend every single second with your spouse after the deployment just because you haven’t been able to while they were gone.Give your service member time to spend alone if they need it, I know my husband relished a solo motorcycle ride in the days following his redeployments as a way to relax and decompress.
Lastly, breathe. Thing will not be “normal” for a while…give your family time to adjust to the change. Just as it took time to adjust to the deployment in the beginning, reintegration has its own timeline and challenges. Don’t expect perfection-there may be challenges along the way. Give the entire family time to find your “new” normal.
Homecomings are truly the happiest of times for military families. Preparing yourself that there may be challenges associated with redeployment can help alleviate a lot of the stress of reintegration; however, if you find that you need help please don’t be afraid reach out to friends, family, or contact your doctor. There are also resources such as Military OneSource that can help.