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Homecoming Advice Needed!

It seems like every post I write these days has to do with homecoming, but I guess you could blame it on excitement…or nerves! I am so excited at the thought of having my husband back in my arms and knowing that he is safe once again, but I’m also terribly nervous about the homecoming and the days afterwards. My to-do list continutes to grow and I’m trying to find time to get it all done, even though I have no real date yet to know my deadline. The to-do list includes the typical things like thorougly cleaning the house, hanging the shelves in the bathroom and making room in the closet for my husband’s clothes to fit back in (I kind of took over a bit when he left). And I could stand to pull out that exercise video that I’ve been meaning to use for the past few months too…

But there are also other items relating to the homecoming that have been on my mind lately. I need to determine how many days I can take off of work once he arrives home, as well as what I need to do once I get “the call.” I also need to establish who will take care of the kids when I go to the homecoming ceremony. We are only allowed an hour together before they are whisked away for their demobilization, so we’ve decided not to bring the kids or even tell them that daddy is home yet. It just didn’t seem fair to them to only be able to see their dad for an hour after not having seen him for MANY months, only to have to say goodbye again. That also leads to wondering the best way to reunite the kids with their dad. Do we surprise them? Or do we just tell them?

And how do we welcome him home? Sure I know, with lots of hugs and kisses, which I can’t wait for. But what other things do we do to make it that much more special? I have the fairytale homecoming vision in my mind, but I am realistic and know that is just what it is…a fairytale. But I want it as perfect and memorable as I can make it. I’ve already ordered our “Welcome Home” banner and the kids have been making signs for MONTHS now to put up in our windows. I want to keep things simple for my husband, but still show our excitement and enthusiasm for him being home!  So many questions, and it’s getting overwhelming. So I’m asking for advice from all of the spouses who are deployment veterans…

How did you welcome your servicemember home after a deployment?

What did you do for the actual homecoming ceremony, as well as after they came home?

Did you take time off of work to be with them? How much?

Did you take a vacation as a family? As a couple?

Did you have a “Welcome Home” party?

If you have kids, did you surprise them? Is that a bad idea?

I love to hear homecoming stories, so I can’t wait to hear what you all did (or are planning to do) to welcome your loved ones home! Please share and help this homecoming “novice” with your advice!

About The New Normal

The New "Normal" (aka Kris) is an Army National Guard wife of 6 years, married for 12 years, momma to two fantastic kiddos and caretaker of the household zoo. While not juggling the house, a full-time job, chauffeur duties and the kids increasingly busy social lives, she enjoys running, reading and sewing. She continues to navigate the ever-changing life with the National Guard, having survived her husband's first deployment without pulling all her hair out. Now the family gears up for her husband's second deployment that is quickly approaching. With training missions filing up the remaining weeks before they say "see you later" once again, the family works hard between school, work and activities to stop and enjoy every minute they have left together. The New "Normal" blogs about daily life and the craziness of military life over at her personal blog - The New "Normal" - attempting to make sense of the insanity with a bit of humor.