Even though you never thought the day would come, the end of the deployment is almost here. Your spouse is coming home and it is time to prepare for his or her homecoming.
You know there is a lot you need to do, but how do you get started? What if you miss something? Everything is going to be OK, I promise.
Here are 5 things to think about when getting ready for a military homecoming.
1. Find an Welcome Home Outfit. You want to look good when your spouse sees you for the first time after months apart. Picking an outfit has always been one of my favorite things to do. Depending on the season, I have worn anything from a summer dress to a nice sweater and jeans. You want to be comfortable but it can be a lot of fun to pick out something new and a little more fancy than you would be used to. If you have friends who are also getting ready for homecoming, you can all shop together.
2. The Kids. If you have children you need to decide if you are going to have them at the homecoming with you. Keep in mind that you will be waiting for a few hours and if the flight gets in at 2 a.m. having someone come over to your house to watch the kids while they sleep might be a good idea. You could also have a night with your spouse before he or she sees your kids if you have a good babysitter to watch them. Every homecoming we have been to has had an area for the kids to play, which is nice and can keep them occupied during the wait.
3. Make Signs. Holding a sign when you see your spouse coming off the plane or into the building is a lot of fun. The FRGs I have been in usually have a day to get together and make signs. You can also make them at home with your kids or even have one made.
4. Clean the House and Car. You will want to spend some time getting the house and car cleaned. If it’s in your budget you can hire someone to clean the carpets too. Try not to stress about how clean the house is. Your spouse will be fine if your house does not pass the white glove test. However, coming home to a clean house when you have been away for a while is a great feeling so I always try to do a deep clean before my husband gets home.
5. Relax and Remember. It can be easy to lose your cool during this time. The weeks before homecoming can be very stressful. Remember that times and dates can change. They can do so by the hour, the day or even the week. I have heard of soldiers being delayed by 2 weeks or even longer. Try to stay calm and take everything day by day. Remember to relax when you can and still stay busy until the end. The last week will drag by and you might go crazy if you don’t have anything to do while you wait.
Homecoming can be one of the best days of your life. Try to remember that the details will all work out, no matter how crazy it gets. Prepare yourself for changes and look forward to good times together again.
What advice would you give to military spouses preparing for a homecoming?