About Me

Fort Bragg, NC, United States
I'm a stay at home dad raising four beautiful children. I am the proud spouse of an Army Lieutenant Colonel. I do my best to keep up with the kids and all of their activities. I enjoy playing the bass and the occasional bass guitar building project. You can follow me on twitter if you so desire...@ArmySpouse007.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Redeployment and Reintegration Part 6: The New Normal

Now that we are in our second week of school and second week of my wife being back to work, this is a good time to take a look at how things are and get an idea about what "normal" is going to look like. To me, one of the hardest things about this whole process is having to get used to doing things differently now that she's home. A year's worth of routines, habits, and traditions are gone. They've been replaced by a new set of "rules" that govern the way we live our day to day lives. So far, I have to say that things have been challenging for me. To be bluntly honest, it isn't easy. I've been trying to get used to the sharing of responsibilities around the house, and doing my best not to watch over my wife's shoulder with a critical eye. I've got in mind how I think things ought to be done when it comes to the kids. So many times I've had to bite my tongue and walk away. As you can imagine, letting someone else "handle" your kids isn't easy, even if it is your own spouse. (Remember, she hasn't had any input or experience with them for a year.)

It is so important to allow our spouses to have a role in the raising of our kids. Now, I can't speak for anyone else, but I know that for my wife that involvement was paramount. She'd missed so much while she was gone and was absolutely craving the very things that used to tire me out! I think it is hard for us to realize or imagine being deprived of our kids for a year or longer. The danger, then, is trying to keep a hold over everything. All we end up doing is isolating them from their children. They need to be a part of their lives and we need to divest ourselves of some of that responsibility. You want to sink your marriage? Stifling your spouse's role in parenting is an easy route!

Obviously, finding out which roles each of you will play is the hard part. That's why I continue to harp on the fact that reintegration is a no-joke process. So many don't realize all that is involved with finding the "new normal" in our homes. It isn't just about raising kids. It is about fixing dinner, doing the laundry, reading the bedtime stories, doing the grocery shopping... you get my drift.

I've said this before, and it is worth repeating again and again: A strong marriage will get you through a deployment. Hard work and dedication to that marriage will get you through reintegration and lead you to a stronger marriage. Before you know it, life will become normal again.

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You can follow me on Twitter if you so choose... @Armyspouse007

3 comments:

  1. Thanks Tim, good read. Going through this right now.

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  2. It is so hard to relinquish that control. Resentment can sometimes play a part in that, too, but as you wrote, the sharing is very necessary. Nice job!

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