Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pre-Homecoming Jitters

Joel's homecoming is right around the corner... I know I keep talking about how close it's getting, but it's all I can think about right now.

The house is clean, some of his favorite meals are stocked in the freezer and his welcome home sign is up in the front yard.  We're getting so close to the moment I've been thinking about for the past 7 months - that moment that when times have been tough, has helped me to get through.  This is our third homecoming in four years, so I feel like I know what to expect.  But it's that knowledge that makes me nervous.

For those of you who have gone through a homecoming, you know that there's a lot of build-up to the event and then a whole lot of adjustment that happens for many months afterward.  I've done a few posts on our adjustment when Joel came home from Iraq in 2007.  You can read Part I here and Part II here, if you're interested.  I'll just say that the adjustment was tough.

So, I know going into this homecoming that we'll have an adjustment time - a time when Joel needs to slowly step back into his position as husband and father.  He'll need time to adjust to how things have been handled while he's been away.  He'll have to get caught up on all that's happened with family and friends over the last 7 months.  And I'll need to adjust to having my partner back with me.  I've handled all the parenting, finances, house decisions, car decisions, and goings-on with family and friends.  I've mentioned before that I'm a bit of a control-freak - very much a Type A personality.  So, as hard as it's been to be the one to handle everything at home while Joel's been deployed, I've been able to do it all my way.  There have been no negotiations, no conversations, no arguments - whatever I felt was best at the time, was the law of the land.

There will be a time of giving up some of that control.  And it'll be hard for me.  I know myself well enough, and I will think that when Joel asks "why" I did something, that he's really judging my decision making, rather than just trying to understand why I chose to do something a certain way.  I'm going to have to let go of my own will and learn yet-again, to partner with Joel in this awesome blessing called marriage.

We'll also have some adjustments getting back into sync with one another.  For the past 7 months, our marriage has consisted solely on email and phone calls.  Most of the topics we discussed were light-hearted and encouraging.  We told each other "I love you" probably a thousand times or more.  Nothing too-serious was ever discussed.  I'm happy that our marriage was incredibly strong when he left in July.  I'm counting on that to be a good place to build from.  But it's going to take some time to learn about each other after I know we've both done a lot of growing.  Because I know how bad a marriage can get from a deployment, part of me is scared.  I never want to get to that point again.  I never want our marriage to get so out of sync that the D word enters my mind.

I've asked a few close friends to start praying; that God would protect our marriage and that Joel and I would be patient and gentle with one another as we adjust to married life and family life together with our girls.  There will be some awkward moments.  But I pray that that awkwardness will quickly subside and that we're able to get back into the groove of married life.

Right now I still have a few things on my to-do list... those things keep me focused and strong, even though my body, mind and heart are tired.  I can't wait to leave for the airport and see him walking through those doors.  Most of all, I can't wait for him to come back home.


Janet said...

We look forward to this homecoming for you and will continue to pray for you all!! I'm sure we're like a lot of people who just think, "Hooray!! You'll be together again!" which IS wonderful, but don't think about adjustments and getting used to being together and working together. We will pray that it all goes smoothly!!
We love you!
Aunt Janet, Uncle Wil, & girls

Whitney said...

My Hubby keeps pointing out that I am constantly asking him, "What are you doing? Where are you going?" etc... It's a bad habit from asking my 2-yr-old nephew what he was doing at all times. I spent a lot of time with my nephew while my Hubby was gone. I have cut back on it...but I have to really pay attention to myself to keep from doing it. I can't wait for things to go back to normal.

I'm so excited for you!

CSJOKER said...

I'm so happy for you and your family, it's been really neat to get to know you through this blog. I've known Joel this whole time and we talked many times about our wives but its really cool to get to know what thoughts are going through our wives heads while we are overseas. We have been praying for you, your family and everyone else and will continue to do so. I will be there homecoming day to welcome them back, see you soon.

Jessica said...

We are still a few months out from our homecoming, but I have the same excitement and similiar concerns. We have previously been through a 15 months deployment and are currently in the mist of a 12 month deployment, but this deployment is different than the first. His experiences in this deployment have been rough and he has been in immediate danger for 90% of it. I'm scared of how war might change him. I am mentally preparing myself but I am hoping since we have an open communication about what he experiences over there in hopes to not keep his feelings bottled up inside, it will help.

I have no advice but I do want to say I know it can be difficult. All we can do is pray and be patient and see what unfolds in the next few months. You and your family will be in my thoughts. Know that you are never alone in this and that there is support out there...anonymous support. If you ever need anything or need someone to talk to, I am here. Feel free to message me anytime.

Anonymous said...

It was pointed out to me while he was on R and R that he knew how to take care of our son. We were getting ready to go somewhere and I asked our son if he had gone to the bathroom. Well hubby was the one getting him ready and hubby looked at me and said yes I made sure he did I know how to take care of our son. I had to explain to him that I wasnt checking because I didnt think he knew how but I was just doing part of my routine. I had gotten so used to taking care of our son all by myself that it was hard to included him back into the picture.

Hoping everything goes smoothly as you soon adjust to living together again.

Mowenackie said...

Homecoming is bittersweet. My husband got back from Iraq in March of 2007. At the time, we were not yet married. It took us over a year to straighten our relationship back out. It was hard. Things were different.

We got married in March of 2009 and he left for Afghanistan several month later. He came back in December of 2010 and though we are struggling a little, it is nowhere near as much as we did the first time around. I'm sure you and Joel are also stronger now. Thanks for this thoughtful post. Enjoy your homecoming!

Emmy said...

Oh I hope it is wonderful and that the adjustment is as easy as possible. Excited for you