Military homecomings are kind of a funny thing. In the movies and on TV they are romanticized well beyond the reality. I always joke that there is a rise and fall of military homecoming. You are incredibly excited and the first few days go well, but transitioning back to everyday life presents a unique set of challenges.
Each homecoming is different. Sometimes things go amazingly well; other times it’s a bit of a bumpy road. It’s completely normal. But if you find yourself preparing for yet another impending homecoming, don’t stress yourself over making it magical.
There are several good ‘ole standby criteria I like to follow when it comes to military homecomings.
Preparing for a Military Homecoming
1. You didn’t burn the house down.
This is a great first start. And personally, I think it’s the Golden Standard. If you can knock this one out, you’re already doing an amazing job.
2. No one is in jail.
Even better, you are actually present for the military homecoming, as opposed to in the clink.
3. You didn’t do anything illegal.
If you’re not in jail, it might mean that you did something bad but didn’t get caught. So it’s also important to mention that you didn’t complete any illegal acts during deployment. Excellent.
4. You cleaned (maybe).
While you do keep a tidy house, you don’t go out of my way to make it spotless before homecoming. More than likely the homecoming date with change about 20 times and you’ll spend about 3 weeks driving yourself crazy trying to keep a spotless house. You realize it’s a far better use of time to aim for tidy and just diffuse some essential oils to help the house smell “clean.”
5. You picked up some wine.
It’s always good to relax on your first evening back together with your service member over a nice bottle of wine. The bonus? If the homecoming dates change (oh, and they will) you have a whole bottle of wine just for you!
6. If you have kids, they are all alive and well.
Major brownie points for keeping the kids out of the ER or Urgent Care. Triple major brownie points if the kids are all sleeping in their own beds before homecoming.
7. You stocked a few of his favorite foods.
While you are slightly tainted over military homecomings, you make an effort to put a few comfort items in the pantry. Making your service member feel welcome is a priority.
8. You spurced up a “new” outfit from the back of your closet.
You saved some money but not buying a new outfit. Let’s be honest, he probably cares more about seeing you without the outfit than with the outfit. You get all crafty and create an awesome military homecoming outfit from the back of your closet. It’s been so long, he doesn’t even know what’s in your closet anyway.
9. You didn’t drain the bank account.
Heck, you probably even saved a boatload of money.
10. You were faithful (oh…and you shaved your legs).
Military marriages are challenging, but keeping your eyes in the right direction is the most important step towards an ever-lasting military marriage. Years down the road when your military marriage is stronger than ever, you will feel grateful for honesty and fidelity.
And personally, I find one military marriage more than enough work for one military spouse. No need to add a monkey wrench into the mix.
Or hairy legs.
Want more on military life?
- The One Thing You Miss Most During Deployment
- How to Stay Sane and Happily Married During Deployment
- The Deployment Diet No One Talks About
- 10 Things Military Spouses Won’t Tell You About Deployment
What’s your best tip for a great military homecoming? Let’s chat in the comments!