I have now written over 140 tips for reunion but I decided it was time I chose a couple of my favourites and posted them. Please feel free to send me your tips on how you reduce stress before they come home.
1) Don’t stress yourself out by trying to make everything perfect or trying to accomplish all the things you thought you were going to while your loved one was away and didn’t get done – they want to see you and would rather spend time with a more rested version of you
2) Make space – make sure your family or friend is coming back to a home where they feel there is physical space for them – I had the habit of taking over the office “area” and tried to clean out this room before he came home so that it was another way to make him feel like he was wanted in the house and that there was room for him
3) Before they arrive home (if you have access to email) make lists of things you would like to do together when they return – this way you both you know that they are things that you both truly want me to do and will give you things to look forward to when you are together again
4) Organize pictures, letters and other special items so that your loved one can go through them when they are ready
5) Leave notes around the house to tell your loved one you are happy they are back, what you love about them, what you missed, what you are looking forward to (my kids and I did this and my husband was still finding them in his winter boots and other areas of the house months later which was good as it takes months to fully re-adjust.
6) Cook some meals ahead of time (ask others to pitch in and help) so that you have more time together when you are back to together and don’t have to put a lot of time and energy into meals
7) Read about BATTLEMIND so that you are more aware of what mind frame your family or friend may be returning with – there is also a Battlemind poster for spouses and family members too as you went through the deployment as well!
8) Grieve about the time you have lost and recognize that everyone has lost something through the deployment (at the very least you lost time together). Take the time you need to acknowledge your losses so that you can move forward together.
9) Eat at least one meal together every day. Conversation may be strained or difficult at first but just get into the routine of coming together as a family and friends at least once a day to reconnect and talk about the day’s events.
10) Take a honest look at your family’s finances and ensure that you are on-track (or at the very least know the state that things are in) so that it isn’t an additional stress. You don’t want to end up being in the situation where you are re-united, over spend and then have another stress to deal with (money). Track what you want and need and what you can afford and set some goals.
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