May 4, 2011

Reintegration: the down sides

I'm back to my blog.  Sorry for my short absence.  I've missed reading all your blogs and hope to catch up soon.

As you've seen, my hubby returned from Afghanistan.  While I am overjoyed at having him home, I thought I'd write about the other emotions I've been feeling--the ones people don't talk about much regarding a homecoming.  Maybe homecoming hasn't met my expectations or maybe it's a bit different this time around.

Looking back, I didn't shed any tears at the reunion.  I was happy to have him home of course, but the whole process of the homecoming with two young children waiting for long amounts of time really felt like a difficult task I had to accomplish.  We left to go to the hangar around 7 p.m., and we were not home until after 2 a.m.  It was definitely an exhausting night.

Thankfully he had the next day off, but of course we ran around getting things done.   And now he's in the reintegration process before block leave starts.  Between the reintegration and command issues he's gone until 3-4 p.m. every day.  I know most people are thinking that is a short work day, which it is, but I am desperate for some real time off.  Next week block leave begins, but Pat is traveling to TX and DC to visit his wounded Soldiers.  I have two medical appointments scheduled next week too.  We also have to get Abbey in to the vet and schedule a follow up appointment for Ryan at his doctor.

I guess you could say I am feeling overwhelmed by what we have to do and have going on right now.  It's definitely overshadowing the happiness that I should be feeling, and that makes me feel bad too.

Reintegration as a parent is also challenging.  Pat understands how much he missed, but it is as if he doesn't understand how that has affected the roles in the house.  Pat would like to just jump right into being a dad and ruling the house, but Ryan is not ready for that.  It's a slow process, and I don't think Pat realized how much time it would take.

Maybe I failed at expectation management.  I'm also a bit sad that I've gone to bed alone most of the nights since Pat has arrived home.  While I get the kids ready for bed, Pat usually ends up laying down himself and falling asleep.  From 7 p.m. on, it is very much like the deployment is still going on around here.

I know this post sounds rather negative.  I don't want you to get the wrong idea.  I am very happy to have my husband home and safe, but I also want to point out after such a long absence things don't all just magically fall into place.  There is a lot of work to be done after a deployment.  I am hoping that after Pat returns from visiting his Soldiers we'll have some down time to really bond before we start our own road trip.

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kirstieJayy said...

im one of your newest followers from [ ] and i love your cute little blog!

like you say, things dont magically fall into place. nothing in life ever does.
you are already an inspiration to have come this far, and now he is home safe and well, things will get easier!

xstay strong x

Stacie said...

It is definitely work reintegrating but I can't imagine how much more difficult it is with little ones. Things will get better I know it! It's just a little rough right now but you will get through it. We've all felt this way after a deployment.
Wishing you less stressful days around the corner,
xoxo Stacie

Monica said...

Thanks for the honest blog post. I would much rather read how things really are vs having everything viewed through rose colored glasses. I hope the pace slows down for you soon.

Dana @ WhatWereWeThinking? said...

I don't think most people realize how difficult life is after the homecoming. My husband is a submariner. We would go weeks (one time almost 2 months) with absolutely no contact. Then, the boat pulls in and everyone's happy.

Until you get home and your sleep schedule is disrupted, you're routines are challenged, etc.

It's not easy but it doesn't mean you don't love your returning spouse. People need to read posts like this to understand the reality of war, of deployment, of the military family life. It's a new ballgame that doesn't include banners, balloons, & cake.

Nicole said...

I feel like I could have written this post myself. I actually had to admit to myself and my husband that my expectations of homecoming were obviously unrealistic. I am not sure what I expected but it wasn't what I got. I am happy the block leave is only a few days away for us and I am eager to get out of town with my husband and son and get that much needed family time that I desire so much!
Thank goodness block leave is right around the corner for y'all as well!

Lisa said...

I'm glad you shared honestly about the challenges. We struggled, as well, with that process and it was way more difficult that I ever expected. I'm hoping that you guys get some good family time together soon.

Jessica said...

reintegration is so hard...having done it twice now and will be doing it again in the fall. I completely understand many of the feelings and emotions you described. Will be praying for you guys Shelly

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

I do so understand (and that my hubby is retired) that time of adjusting...getting into the "normalcy, routines, etc" for each one of us...hubby, kids, me. After the longer deployments, it seemed like that adjusting took longer too.

But for the grace of God and truly our family's relationship in Christ, it helped us through some challenging times...the deployments, the "re-intergration periods", our son's diagnosis and treatment of a childhood cancer... (So very thankful that when the challenges of that occurred, my hubby was not deployed).

Blessings & Aloha!

We are out of town, so not able to do much blog stuff, but wanted to thank you for stopping by, linking up, and commenting for a chance to win one of the Personalized Sketches art that I do. nice to meet you! Hope you come back any time. We are in KY this weekend, visiting our three grown kids :o) Our last duty station prior to Georgia was Ft hubby was with 1/101st AVN. I still do a lot of farewell and thank you art from the different units there at Campbell. :o) Thank you for following...when we get back home, I look forward to coming back.

Michelle said...

I don't think it sounds negative. I think it sounds like life! I'm not military, so although I know what deployment and reintegration means, I'm not sure what "block leave" means. And I would imagine that you would be frustrated since your husband is finally home, but you still aren't seeing him b/c he's falling asleep at 7. It's lonely, even when they are around!! Hopefully soon, you guys can find some kind of "normal".

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