Question #3

Hey yall! Sorry I took a day but apparently Baby Boy 2.0 decided to throw me a curve ball and I had some serious sciatic pain yesterday. I walked around like a Disney witch all day and couldn’t really move but praise sweet Jesus I’m better today! That was weird. I didn’t have any of that with Bud.

Ok so question number 3 is from my dear dear friend Sarah. Yall this girl is the epitome of natural beauty inside and out. I’ll see her after she hasn’t been sleeping for several nights and she still manages to look so peaceful, graceful, and drop dead gorgeous. I love-hate it since I look like I’ve been bitch slapped by a panda bear after just one night of bad sleep.

She asks:

Martha, I want to know how you and Sam reconnected after him being gone for so long. How did you establish the new “normal”, having two parents present in the house, even the mundane things…and how did little Bud adjust to it?

Well Sarah, when two people love each other and haven’t seen each other in 10 months…… jk. But for real, we’re pretty sure 2.0 was conceived the night he got home, TMI? Deal with it.  This is a really good question because it is a weird, exciting, but often times hard time reintegrating into a life that’s familiar, while not familiar all at the same time. Let me explain. Our life was awesome, I love being married and so when Sam first left, it was very strange. And then it became not so strange, it became the norm. I ate what I wanted (cereal for supper yay!), we lived by our own schedule, I got used to sleeping alone, I kept the our life, finances, etc. all in order, and I got used to raising Bud by myself.

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Then he comes back and its so exciting and I felt complete again but, it was weird at first. I forgot how it felt to have him next to me in bed (aka, sharing the covers). I would parent Bud without including him and he didn’t want to jump right in because he felt he hadn’t earned the right (I’ll touch on this later but I think its important for the soldiers to observe for awhile before jumping right in). But all of those things we had mentally prepared for and we adjusted very quickly, much better than some of the horror stories I hear. I think the only thing I had to be intentional about was continuing to do the little things without him. Because I just did it without thinking, I’d be holding Bud, cooking supper, and trying to put groceries away all at once. And several times Sam had to stop me and say, “I’m here! Let me help!” I wasn’t excluding him out of spite, it was just the life I had gotten used to so I’d say that was the thing that I had to be most intentional about, including him.

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my hunk

But honestly, as long as we communicate well and honestly, we avoid a lot of issues that most couples face coming back from deployment. If he was having a hard day, he’d tell me and I would create a peaceful environment in the house. I’d keep a grateful and joyful heart about fixing big suppers again and doing laundry because it meant I had my husband HOME to fix suppers for and clean his clothes. Everything was put into perspective and I really believe (obviously with the Lord as our anchor) with healthy communication and a grateful heart, there isn’t much that can’t be conquered.

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bonding over R&R

 

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some more R&R love

Now, for Bud. Sam left when he was 7 months old. He came back when Bud was around 18 months old. HUGE DIFFERENCE. And if we’re honest, Bud didn’t really understand who or hell, even WHAT a “Dada” was. He was quite familiar with grandfathers and uncles but not a Dada. But Sam and I prayed constantly for that transition and to no surprise, God answered those prayers like a boss. There was a supernatural connection between the two of them and I believe Bud remembered the time he had with him during R&R. Luckily, they gave Sam some time off when he got home so they were able to really bond and Bud could see that Dada was a part of our every day routine now. It went really well but like I said earlier, Sam was really good about being hands off for a few weeks and just being a play partner and observer in the other day-to-day stuff. It’s important to include them in the little activities like bathtime, bedtime routines, and meals but not to leave them alone for the first couple of weeks. He earned the right to discipline, etc. and I think that made a HUGE difference because if soldiers step in right away with disciplining, then the child is thinking “Who is this person just yelling at me!?” and that becomes their first association. Also, they have come from a very intense environment so their voice can be tense because that’s how they have HAD to communicate over the year but a child doesn’t understand that. So slow and steady won the race for us on that one because they are closer than ever and Bud loves his Dada. It still melts my heart when we hear his keys at the door and Bud starts yelling, “DADA! DADA!”, it’ll never get old after not having that for 10 months.

All in all, Sam and I frequently look at each other in wonder that we are so blessed and that our transition was so smooth. That man has my heart and I’m beyond grateful for his safe return. Our life is so much better with him in it.

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I got another question about ways I kept Sam fresh in Bud’s mind while he was gone and I’ll try and knock that out tomorrow. Thanks again for the questions and wish us luck as we travel to Monterey for the weekend to see my KATE!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Any other military spouses out there that have any advice for surviving that homecoming transition? I’m sure some first timers would love to hear it!
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  • Mari Robinson

    It’s amazing how much I didn’t mind doing laundry after my hubby got back from deployment. After deployment, I appreciate our time together SO much more! Some advice would be to be patient and remember things aren’t going to go back to the way they were immediately. Like you said, slow and steady wins the race. Most importantly, just enjoy being together again!

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