Patience… with yourself! – Tip #450
For our family, the toughest part of the deployments is when my husband comes 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, the kids had changed, likes and dislikes were different, and he had changed and had experienced things we couldn’t understand and vise versa. There were big gaps to fill, some changes to be made (once again) and some things 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 (I thought we would be back in the swing of things in a few months, it actually takes us just over six!).
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. Many families think that it should just easily flip back to the way things once were but it can’t because a lot of has happened and not only have things changed in the home, you have all changed. You have learned things about yourself, discovered different ways of doing things and had experiences and feelings that others have not.
Tips for taking care of yourself:
* 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 – 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
* Ask others for help and don’t let people assume that all is well because your family member is home. Share the frustrations and other emotions you are experiencing.
* Teach your family to be patient by talking about your feelings, reactions and how you are learning to be patient with yourself
* Time does heal all wounds but it will take until the end of time if you don’t practice patience with yourself and with the other people re-adjusting too
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