More Tips for Military Families – #104

When You Get Back Jar or Box – Tip #104

Throughout my husband’s deployments I was always writing or saying “When you get back we will…”  When he got back, I realized later, that we didn’t do half of the things that we said we do and mainly because we had forgetten them or everyday life got in the way!  When they are back from a long absence or deployment it is easy to get right back into the everyday routine and let the little things keep you busy.  Things have changed – your family has changed and so have you.  Sometimes the changes are so small you don’t see them, too big to talk about or left unsaid thinking it is better that way.  Talking, spending time together and fufilling some of the promises you made are really important steps to getting your lives together back on track.

* Create a box or jar just for this purpose

* Decorate the jar/box any way you wish and write on it “When you get back”

* Each day or week (or when you think of it) write down something you would like to talk about or do when they are back

* If they write promises put them in there too – if it is an email print it, if they say it on a video conference or phone call write it down after the call and put it in the box

* Include things that you think that they would really enjoy and not just things that benefit others (I would definitely be tempted to write “When you get back you will watch the kids for 9 months while I have a pedicure and massage and watch my favourite TV shows in silence!)

* Don’t make every promise a big one – the should be realistic and fairly easy to accomplish

* Let your friends and family know that you are doing this and explain that you might need their help from time to time to fufill these (people can sometimes think that now your loved one is back, you don’t need the help – you do)

Some ideas for the jar/box:

- When you get back, you can sleep in for as long as you like

- When you get back,we will go to the movies

- When you get back,we will talk about what the hardest thing for me was and what the hardest thing was for you was

- When you get back, I will make dinner and do the dishes

- When you get back,we will take the kids on a holiday together to  _______________

- When you get back, I will make you breakfast in bed

- When you get back, I will talk to you about what I want to talk to you about  _______

- When you get back, I will give you a back massage

- When you get back, we need to make a plan for our finances and set some goals of things we would like to do

- When you get back, we can go to the comedy club in ___________

Come up with ones that would fit your lives, budget and interests.  It is easy to say that you will do something but when you write it down you are making a bigger committment to do it and I truly believe this will help you with re-integrating your lives back together after being apart for so long.

For more information about our tips, resources or books go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip of your own, write to: Megan@whileyouwereaway.org

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One Response

  1. Love it! I think I will have to do something like this while we are deployed. Sherry can have one for her and the kids and I can do one while out of the country.

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