When our service member leaves, our lives change. We are left to hold down the homefront, pay the bills, keep the house in order and take care of the kids. Sometimes we get jobs, go back to school, or both. We do what is necessary to keep busy through the time our spouse is away.
What happens when our spouse comes home though? Are we expected to go back to how things were before the deployment started? Are the kids going to remember mom or dad? Is our spouse going to come home and jump right in?
When my husband came home from Iraq in 2008, reintegration was seamless. It was almost as if he just took a step back and watched me. He did his best not to mess with the routine I had our son and myself on.
My husband returned from Afghanistan almost a month ago, and I wish I could say reintegration has been as easy as the last time. Don’t get me wrong, having him home has been great. I have my best friend back home, and adult conversation more throughout the day. However, we just haven’t found our stride yet. I’ve been exhausted, the kids have been extra spoiled since dad has been back, and he’s had the online portion of BNONC to do since he’s been home.
How do you handle reintegration? Are previous deployments different from each other? Are you and your spouse able to easily transition from being a one person household for the length of the deployment to be being a two person household (not counting kids)?