Months have gone by since you said goodbye to your loved one. You’ve weathered the ups and downs of deployment, shipped out numerous care packages, said “I love you” to grainy Skype screens and snuggled the dog on the lonely nights. You are ready for homecoming! But military homecomings aren’t just what you see on the news; the reality of a homecoming can be very different. Your military homecoming may not always turn out perfectly, but it can still be a great day thanks, in part, to following some important tips.
Military homecoming tips military spouses need to follow
Wear clothes and shoes you feel comfortable in.
You haven’t seen your loved one in months so it’s only natural that you want to look your best when the big reunion takes place. “Looking your best” is different for each person so I won’t even begin to suggest what kind of outfit to wear to your military homecoming. However, it’s important to select something you feel comfortable in and will feel comfortable in throughout the entire day. Military homecomings can happen in just about any environment: outside, inside, good weather, bad weather and everything in between. You should take that into account when you’re planning an outfit so you’re not freezing while waiting for the plane to land.
Go all out with decorating a sign and the house. Or don’t.
I’m a big proponent of homecoming signs and will likely always make one for my husband’s homecomings, I recognize that for some folks, it may not be too high on the priority list. And you know what dear reader? That’s completely ok!
If you have the time, energy and resources to make a sign and/or decorate the house, do it. If you don’t, your loved one will still come home and still be happy to see you. The most important thing is you’ll be back together, not what snarky sign is on the door to your bedroom.
Make the decision to invite extended family and friends together with your loved one.
The topic of who should be invited to military homecomings is definitely a controversial one among military spouses. Many feel that those first few moments back together should be shared just between spouses and children. Others take a “more the merrier” approach and believe in inviting extended family.
Ultimately, the decision on who should and should not be present is yours: you and your loved one who is returning home. Have an honest discussion about the pros and cons of adding members of the family to the homecoming. People will understand your decision, especially if it’s made with your loved one.
Don’t put too much pressure on the moment (or the ones that follow).
There is a lot of buildup around military homecomings and expectations are usually pretty high going into that moment. Those high expectations can result in a bit of disappointment if things don’t work out exactly the way you’d envisioned during the long months alone. If you’re able to temper your expectations a little bit so they’re realistic (but you’re still excited), you may find yourself more satisfied with homecoming.
You and your loved one have each been through a life-changing event! So much happens during a deployment, including on the home front, that can change the people involved. It’s completely natural to need some “get to know you” time once reunited before things feel completely normal at home.
Give yourself grace and avoid comparing your homecoming to the others.
Did your deployment unfold exactly like your neighbor’s or friend’s? No? Then why should your military homecoming? If you are constantly focused on what everyone else is doing or not doing, you won’t be enjoying the time you have with your loved one. Don’t worry if everyone made a sign, but you didn’t or if your friend is taking her husband on a post-deployment vacation, but you aren’t. Each couple is unique, each relationship is unique, each deployment is unique and so it each military homecoming.
Military homecomings are exciting times after the long, slow days of deployment! It can be tempting to over plan and place high expectations on the much-anticipated reunion. But following a few tips like the ones above can help you have the best experience possible!
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