Welcome Home! {Behind the scenes}

Considering the vast number of our armed forces deployed over the last ten years, most people have rejoiced along with a military homecoming at some point.  It is a wonderful, emotional, priceless event that impacts anyone who witnesses it. For this reason, you will find a massive amount of “welcome home” coverage on the internet, news, and television – people love a happy ending!

What happens after the homecoming is rarely newsworthy, however.  Very few people discuss the downside of a military homecoming.  Have no fear – I will go there for you!

*You and your spouse will change in a year – sometimes for the better, but it could be for the worse.  It is almost never on the same exact path.  It will take time to get to know each other again and to learn the changes that you have both endured.

*Expect a huge change from your children.  Kylie had multiple potty accidents daily for the first three weeks after Kyle returned home to us.  She became clingy and whiny, continues to have nightmares, and begs not to sleep alone.  She cries any time Kyle leaves – even if it is just to take out the trash.

*If you are like me, you became super woman during the deployment.  You handled it ALL – you had a routine and a schedule that worked for you!  Be ready to change things when your spouse returns.  Kyle came home wanting to help but feeling as if he were always “in the way”.  He was in the way!  It wasn’t until I realized that my routine {that worked great for just me and Kylie} needed to be modified to accommodate our new family size.

*Never forget that the transition is very difficult for them as well.  Kyle came from a hazardous environment where “work” was the priority 24/7 and carried that mentality home with him.  All of the noise, distractions, and chaos of family life can have devastating effects on a soldier returning home.  Ease into things – try not to take it personally if it takes them a while to make that transition.

*Communicate!  Discuss your fears, struggles, and failures along the way.  Explain why you’re feeling challenged and be sure to listen when he does the same.  Miscommunication is probably our number one issue these days.

*Patience is priceless.  Your kids will come around, your marriage will soar again, and your routine will run like clock work soon enough.  You have to believe that, be positive, and be patient.

I have been battling all of the above recently, and came to a breaking point a few days ago.  My tears took over and held me captive for most of the evening.  I realized that sometimes, a good cry is just what a girl needs to overcome an obstacle and push through.  I was washing my face before bedtime and vowed to not beat myself up about the breakdown.  I made another promise too – I won’t forget the very best part of our military homecoming.  He came home.

This picture was taken by Tiffany Hall of A Mother’s Eye Photography

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4 thoughts on “Welcome Home! {Behind the scenes}

  1. I am so glad to see this after our talk a few days ago. You are doing a phenomenal job! Thanks for sharing this…it is important for “us” to know that the happy ending takes work. I’m proud of you guys!

  2. Thank you so much for writing this. One of the things I love about you the most is that you are never afraid to be open and honest about anything.
    I’m so sorry it’s been a rough transition for both of you. Anytime you want to talk/vent/whatever, don’t hesitate to call. Love you girl!

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