Military Homecoming Preparation: Ease Stress With 3 Helpful Tips
Military homecoming preparation can be fun, but it can also cause some stress. We are all full steam ahead with H-day preparations! I’m starting to feel a bit overwhelmed as well as excited, but with the following simple tips, I’m sure it will be a wonderful occasion!
I have just been hit with the urge to “nest” and start cleaning everything. Pippa is starting to think about trying to roll from tummy to back, so she can show dad. She’s got some time left to get that down. Also, the vet put our dog, Copley, on a diet. So now she is “working on her figure” for daddy to come home. Haha.
In addition to my military homecoming preparation, I’ve got a week of travel over Thanksgiving coming up, a daughter staring solid foods any day now, and a messy house. Eeek. However you are feeling as the time draws near, here are 3 tips to help you (and me) prepare for the amazing moment.
1- Communicate About What’s Coming
There’s no such thing as a “perfect” homecoming, except for the fact that he’s home. I’m not saying it can’t be enjoyable and incredibly exciting. It’s just that no matter how you imagine it will be, something will be different. And that’s ok. If you communicate ahead of time and know what to expect, things can go very smoothly.
For example, you may be picturing that when the plane pulls up, he’ll get off right away and be in your arms in minutes! It could happen, but last time for me, hubby was one of the last ones off. It was so hard to wait!
Also, you might be thinking that you’ll have all his attention and head home right away. For us, he had to run around, find his bag, and take care of a few things in the office before we could leave. No big deal, but if you’re expecting something else it could be disappointing.
The homecomings between different branches can be quite different. Even in the Navy it depends on if he’s on a plane and what type of plane, or a ship. So if you’ve seen homecomings on TV or YouTube, try to find out from someone who has done what you’re about to do so it’s more accurate. Talk or email ahead of time with him as well as other spouses so you know what to expect. That will save you a lot of wondering and potential disappointment.
2- Get Beef, a.k.a. Stock the Fridge
You have probably heard the saying, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” And I have found this to be true! LOL. It is fun to hear my hubby talking about all his favorite dishes that I make and restaurants he loves… all the things he can’t wait for when he gets back.
Even though you may be starting to think about all the things you want to clean and organize, try to think about what HE is going to want.
As I mentioned, I’ve got that “nesting” bug and want to organize stuff, do last minute projects, and make sure the house is cleaned up. But in reality, that’s for me more than for him. And it’s fine to prepare the house and myself. I’m just remembering from other deployments that he may not even notice the cleaning or the organizing. But chances are that at some point he’ll be ready for a good home-cooked meal.
Grocery Run & Chili Recipe
It helps to plan a few meals out and then make a quick trip to the commissary or grocery store right before he’s due back. Of course, keep in mind for your military homecoming preparation that plans do change fairly often. Freezing a lasagna or having a few meal plans that aren’t perishable is helpful.
Also, stocking the fridge can help ease the stress of the first few days’ schedule. When he is sleeping or resting or unpacking, you can throw something in the crock-pot like this very simple beef and bean chili from Martha Stewart. (hubby’s fav!)
3- Dressing To Impress… But Who?
Ok, I’m sure we all do it. We “notice” other women’s outfits. There’s nothing wrong with noticing. But what about when noticing turns into comparison? Our insecurities can come out in a split second:
“Am I overdressed? Or maybe underdressed? Oh look, Pam wore a skirt. I should have worn a skirt. Sally looks amazing! Do I look that good?”
Our brains whiz around with thoughts bombarding us. We probably can’t even control it. But what do we do with those thoughts?
Who are we really dressing for, anyway?
It’s hard to remember sometimes that at homecoming, it’s all about our man. And even then, he’ll be so excited to be home, the outfit will just be icing on the cake. Or off the cake, at some point. LOL.
This is easier said than done. For me, even though I know he thinks I’m beautiful, I still have those little thoughts of, “What will he think of how I look?” I can’t help it. Plus, I had a baby right before he left, and he hasn’t seen my post-baby bod yet. There are definitely some areas that have not returned to how they were before!
I can easily stress over it more than I should, but I’m turning over a new leaf on this fourth deployment. My goal is to be proactive and plan ahead, give myself a couple options, and then once I decide, I will not worry about it! That’s my plan. I’ll report back on how that goes.
Of course, it just dawned on me that now that I have an infant it might be wise to throw option B in the car in case of a blow out or spit-up explosion. I’m glad I’m thinking through this now!
Remember, our men love us and we don’t have to compare ourselves to the other women standing around at homecoming. Just be you and that will be the best gift you can give your man!
Ok well now that the subject of clothes came up, I need to look online for a red cardigan! I hope you have a wonderful day and an even better homecoming.
P.S. If you’re looking for more homecoming tips, grab my free Top 10 Military Homecoming Do’s & Don’ts List!