When most people think of a solider coming back from a deployment, they think of the videos and pictures they’ve seen on social media or talked about on the news. A person in uniform, kids to be surprised, and lots of tears.
Don’t get me wrong, those always bring a smile to my face and the waterworks of pure happiness that those families are finally reunited after being apart, but what you rarely see is what happens after that initial high.
When it was getting close to my husband coming home from his deployment I did all of the things I thought I was supposed to do; decorate, make ‘Welcome Home’ signs, clean the house from top to bottom, stock the fridge and cupboards with all his favorite foods and drinks, buy a new outfit, etc.
Needless to say, I did all the things. In the end though, while they were nice, they didn’t really help prepare us for reintegrating my husband back into our family after being gone for so long and during a global pandemic.
For starters, our almost seven month old was now almost fourteen months old and getting into all of the things. Kaz and I had gotten into our groove of living life just us and Ailey. We had certain ways of doing things and a schedule (or as much as you can have with a toddler).
When my husband got back, we had a few weeks of him not going to work and being home with us. The first few days I think we were all riding on clouds of adrenaline and pure bliss from being reunited. When the dust settled (like it always does), we found ourselves stumbling. If you know me you know that I get set in my ways, I like routine, and knowing what to expect.
With all of the trainings, schools, deployments, etc., over the years, I’ve had to learn how to be pretty self reliant. This deployment was no different, and I had gotten so used to doing everything by myself. If I didn’t do something, it wasn’t getting done. With my husband being home, it was harder than I thought it’d be to let some of those go and fully accept that I didn’t have to be a one woman show anymore.
Now almost two months post deployment, I’d be lying if i said we weren’t still trying to figure it out. Here we are, just doing the best we can for ourselves and our little family.
It’s one heck of a crazy ride, but I wouldn’t want it any other way!