August 31, 2011

4 Months Home and Parenting

Let me start by saying that for the past week or so I haven't known what to write.  I try to compose a post, and it just doesn't come out right so I delete it.  So here I go trying again.

My husband has been home from his last deployment for FOUR months now.  Can you believe it?  I can't.  We've had a lot going on in those four months--some things I've shared on the blog and others that I haven't.  It has been a stressful reintegration.  I could go into all the aspects that were hard, but I'm just going to tell you about one.  The one that has been the most difficult for our family.

Pat missed most of Ryan's first year when he was gone on his second deployment.  In between that deployment and the most recent one Pat had a very stressful and demanding job.  He frequently came home after Ryan (and then Sean too) was in bed.  We were lucky to have the weekends together but often spent it catching up on housework and errands.  Pat deployed again missing most of Sean's first milestones, and leaving behind a 2.5 year old Ryan.

Now that Pat is back home and trying to get into the swing of being a Dad, he's finding that suddenly he has a 3.5 year old and a 1.5 year old yet he feels like a new parent.  He really missed so much in these few years.  I've come to realize that the first year or two with a child is like an introduction to parenting.  It prepares you for what is to come and helps you understand your child's individual personality.  You learn so much in that time period.  Pat does not have that introduction and learning period to rely on.

Pat doesn't know what to expect or how to react/interact with the kids.  Sean is still young enough that Pat's been able to figure some things out pretty well, but with Ryan it's been a challenge.  This has created a lot of stress for me because I often feel like I am refereeing between 3 children when really it is two kids and their Dad.  The strain in the relationship of the children with their father is causing strain between husband and wife too.

But I'm very thankful that after four long and hard months, I'm writing this post in hindsight.  We've finally made the progress that was needed to make things finally feel normal.  Pat and I did lots of talking (and arguing sometimes too) about this.  It took time and patience.  It has been a difficult situation for me as a mother to watch.  It has made me re-evaluate just how much stress and stain I am willing to put my children through and made me contemplate changes that Pat and I could make to help them.  I question at what point I will say enough is enough.  I've also come to wonder if the deployments are harder on the children the older they get or if there are just phases/ages in which they are very hard.

I am thankful for finally making it through the storm of reintegration, but I will not sugar coat how hard it has been.  There are so many different aspects to reintegration and the process is so personal, but I want everyone to know that they are not alone in the struggles.  Whatever the challenge is for you, I am willing to bet someone else has felt the same way too.


Shelly

9 comments:

Briana @ Sweet Carolina Grace said...

We had a rough time, especially because Waylon didn't want to listen to his daddy - he just wanted to have fun with him. It took so long for him to be able to discipline him, and that was frustrating. But, we were just patient (and argued quietly, haha) and it all worked out eventually. Everything is much better, now. :) I don't know how it will be as he gets holder - fingers crossed!

Jill said...

I really love your honesty!!! I think each stage of parenting with deplyment has its own struggles. And the hardest part for us has been reintegrating my husband into his role as father after I've worn the mom/dad hat for some time and have changed some of the household rules. It's hard for our spouses to re-learn what the household expectations are and where they fit into those as a parent.
Lots of patience and love required! Hugs to you.

Lisa said...

Our girls were 9 and 11 when Ron returned from deployment. It was difficult for our family as well. There's issues with every age I think.

I'm glad you guys have turned the corner and are making good progress. Thank you for being honest--I know there are many out there who struggle with similar things, and it is indeed important to know they're not alone!

Jessica said...

Oh how I appreciate your honesty...
I can so indentify with everything you wrote.

So glad that things are improving!

The Fischer Family said...

Glad to hear that things are getting better. I know it's been hard, but sometimes that's when we learn the most about ourselves! And I think we've seen you grow over these last 4 months! Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Menopausal New Mom said...

Such a difficult life for everyone with your husband back and forth. I'm very blessed and reading your post drives that point home even more. Thank you.

And I'm glad you joined our blog hop today. I dropped by to follow you too.

Happy Thursday!

Kelly @ Stay at Home Trader said...

Oh my gosh. I can't imagine. I have several friends in your same situation, and it is definitely so hard. I'm following you from the blog hop on Menopausal New Mom.

I look forward to reading more and following your great story.

You can follow back at:
www.stayathometrader.blogspot.com

XOXO

~ Kelly

MSRheinlander @KUWTR said...

I know how hard it can be but as your motto says... Patience!! I hope that it continues to get better and easier for y'all!! Thanks so much for linking up with TFC : )
~Melissa

sstone said...

Thank you so much for all the difficult things you go through with your husband being in the military. I appreciate your sacrifices very much as well as your husbands. I'm a new follower from sit and relax.:)
http://everydaygameplan.net

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