Posted on April 24, 2012 by meganegerton
Patience for Yourself and Others – Tip #425
For our family, the toughest part of the deployments was when my husband got back. It wasn’t because we weren’t happy to see each other (we were) or that he hadn’t been missed (he had been very missed) but almost everything had changed – we had changed, routines had changed, likes and dislikes were different, and he had changed and had experienced things we couldn’t understand and vise versa. We were impatient with each other and most of all ourselves. There were big gaps to fill, some changes to be made (once again) and somethings couldn’t go back to the way they were before. This made our relationship and our family life challenging for longer than I would have expected.
Being patient with others sometimes is much easier than with yourself. We can often forgive others for things we have never considered forgiving ourselves for. When your family member comes home it is once again another change and adjustments need to be made and it can test your patience and frustrate you like nothing else. Many families think that it should just easily flip back to the way things once were but it can’t . You have learned things about yourself, discovered different ways of doing things and had experiences that you have not shared. You need to be patient with yourself first and foremost and this will help you to be more patient with others too.
* When you are angry, frustrated or annoyed with yourself – ask “Would I be this way if it was someone else?”
* Take time each day for yourself, to be honest with yourself and how you are feeling and forgive yourself if they are not the nicest of thoughts (we all have them)
* Don’t respond to people or demands immediately – let them know a timeframe in which you will get back to them and then take at least a few minutes to think about whether or not it is something you want to do, need to do or could say ‘no’ to
* Before you even get up in the morning tell yourself that it is okay if you make mistakes, get frustrated, angry or annoyed – you are human and everyone feels these things
* Be patient with your family, they are going through the changes too and feel many of the same things you do (even our youngest family members or pets can really struggle with changes in routines)
* Teach your family to be patient by talking about what tests your patience, your reactions and how you are learning to be patient with yourself (talk the talk and walk the talk)
* Each day think of one thing you wish you could have done differently or hadn’t done at all and forgive yourself
For more information about our tips, books and resources, go to: www.WhileYouWereAway.org
Filed under: Military Family Support - Tips from the 101 Tips books, Re-integration Tips, Teen Tips Tagged: | military, military families, military life, patience, re-integration, reunion, self care