Dealing with issues at end of deployment Q's — The Bump
Military Families

Dealing with issues at end of deployment Q's

We're an Army National Guard family and we live very close to DH's family.  DH's first deployment will be ending soon and he'll be returning home.  He's only seen LO in person for a total of 5 days out of the past 7 and a half months - 2 days when LO was born and 3 days before going overseas. 

How do I tell DH's family that I want it to just be me and LO when I go pick up DH?  I haven't physically been in the same room with him since the beginning of October and that was the last time he held LO.  I'd like a little bit of time with just the three of us before I have to share him with anyone else (that, and MIL is overly dramatic and makes everything about her... think "MY BABY has returned home!!").

For those who also live close to their families, how do you deal with visitors (particularly those who come over unannounced) shortly after your soldier returns home?  DH's family doesn't seem to understand boundaries, so it's not likely that they will call before coming over and it is likely that they will come over frequently (possibly daily or every other day for like the first two weeks if allowed since he'll be off work for two weeks after returning).  What is the best way to deal with that when what you really want is some time to get used to not only being a married couple living under the same roof again, but also working as a team to raise a baby?

 So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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Re: Dealing with issues at end of deployment Q's

  • I would talk it over with your husband make sure you guys are on the same page. Nothing worse than an overbearing MIL that will take your wishes then use them against your husband to get him to cave with guilt. I would tell her that you guys really need time to reconnect as a family and need a few weeks to re-adjust. He isn't going anywhere anytime soon and if she/they could honor your families wishes. If he is coming home on a Monday offer to have a family dinner Wednesday so he could see everyone. Ask your MIL to watch your son so you can have a weekend away. She would probably like it to feel needed by you guys. 

    Needless to say there is no easy answer. Just know you have to do what is best for your family :) 

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  • Yeah, my MIL is a master manipulator.  I don't trust her as far as I can throw her, so I know that if I talked directly to her and asked her to give us some space, she'd try to make DH feel guilty and say that I said they "weren't welcome" at our house or something (she's known to twist words around). 

     So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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  • Talk to your husband.  Get him to send an email to his mom and other family members asking for respect and space during home coming.  My MIL and FIL moved here to be near us several years ago.  He had deployed several times before they moved here.  She had these visions of going to a home coming full of other families and running to him when he got off a bus.  H said hell no. 

    When he comes home from a deployment, I am the only one who has the info on the date and time.  Sometime in the next few days, we will either invite everyone over for dinner or we will meet everyone out at a restaurant.  My MIL was crushed the first time we did this, but it was far easier for us to set the boundaries via a mass email so she couldn't turn it around on me.  She still blamed me for it, but my FIL agreed with us and wouldn't let her continue to blame me. 

    Another option would be for him to tell them that only you and the baby will be there for home coming but y'all will visit with them for an hour after the ceremony if it isn't too late.  He also needs to set out the limits for when people can come over during his off time.  He needs to explain that he needs time and space to decompress, to spend time with his child and reconnect with you. 

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  • Yeah, I'm sure that MIL will probably blame me when she figures out that I'm not planning for them to go with me to his homecoming.  I'd send out a mass e-mail, but (if you can believe it in this technological age) 3/4 of DH's family don't even own a computer, much less e-mail.  I'm probably going to have him call his parents when he gets to the mob station and talk to them.  I've talked to FIL some and I haven't said that they "aren't welcome to come with me" but I've said that "LO and I are going to go pick up DH when he's released" several times.  MIL can't take a hint, but FIL is much more adept at reading between the lines.

    As far as the random visits, DH's grandmother and great-aunt proved my point earlier.  They just randomly showed up to see LO - no call, nothing but a knock at the door.  DH is definitely going to have to set some boundaries... it's his family that shows up randomly.  My family lives 3 and a half hours away.

     So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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  • imagesami1784:

    Yeah, I'm sure that MIL will probably blame me when she figures out that I'm not planning for them to go with me to his homecoming.  I'd send out a mass e-mail, but (if you can believe it in this technological age) 3/4 of DH's family don't even own a computer, much less e-mail.  I'm probably going to have him call his parents when he gets to the mob station and talk to them.  I've talked to FIL some and I haven't said that they "aren't welcome to come with me" but I've said that "LO and I are going to go pick up DH when he's released" several times.  MIL can't take a hint, but FIL is much more adept at reading between the lines.

    As far as the random visits, DH's grandmother and great-aunt proved my point earlier.  They just randomly showed up to see LO - no call, nothing but a knock at the door.  DH is definitely going to have to set some boundaries... it's his family that shows up randomly.  My family lives 3 and a half hours away.

    I have several aunts and ILs that do this.  I put a sign on my door that says, "Please, no unexpected visitors."  I refuse to open the door when people show up.  I got cussed out the first time.  I then had to rudely explain, in detail, what goes through my mind when an unexpected door bell rings while H is deployed and why.  They started calling before showing up. 

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  • imageiluvmytxrgr:
    imagesami1784:

    Yeah, I'm sure that MIL will probably blame me when she figures out that I'm not planning for them to go with me to his homecoming.  I'd send out a mass e-mail, but (if you can believe it in this technological age) 3/4 of DH's family don't even own a computer, much less e-mail.  I'm probably going to have him call his parents when he gets to the mob station and talk to them.  I've talked to FIL some and I haven't said that they "aren't welcome to come with me" but I've said that "LO and I are going to go pick up DH when he's released" several times.  MIL can't take a hint, but FIL is much more adept at reading between the lines.

    As far as the random visits, DH's grandmother and great-aunt proved my point earlier.  They just randomly showed up to see LO - no call, nothing but a knock at the door.  DH is definitely going to have to set some boundaries... it's his family that shows up randomly.  My family lives 3 and a half hours away.

    I have several aunts and ILs that do this.  I put a sign on my door that says, "Please, no unexpected visitors."  I refuse to open the door when people show up.  I got cussed out the first time.  I then had to rudely explain, in detail, what goes through my mind when an unexpected door bell rings while H is deployed and why.  They started calling before showing up. 

    Yeah, I think that's a good idea.  I can usually handle unexpected visitors during deployment if they knock.  MIL likes to just waltz on in the back door when she comes over and that drives me bananas.  I'm here by myself with the baby.  As far as I'm concerned, my first reaction when someone just comes in the door is that they mean harm... especially since I know it's not DH coming through that door. 

     So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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  • imagesami1784:

    Yeah, I think that's a good idea.  I can usually handle unexpected visitors during deployment if they knock.  MIL likes to just waltz on in the back door when she comes over and that drives me bananas.  I'm here by myself with the baby.  As far as I'm concerned, my first reaction when someone just comes in the door is that they mean harm... especially since I know it's not DH coming through that door. 

    That's unexeptable.  My mom used to do that.  I didn't know she was in my house once and heard someone in my hall.  I came out at her with a knife and nearly stabbed her.  Between that and me learning to keep all the doors locked, we don't have that issue any more. 

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  • Is he de-mobing somewhere close? I de-mobed about 3 hr from my hometown, DH de-mobed across the country. If there's some distance to his mob site, I'd just drive out there with DS and not tell them until we got back. Then YH needs to change the locks and tell them that y'alls are setting some boundaries, especially now that DS is here. Ditto the others and make sure you and YH are on the same page. 

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    CJ 05/29/2013

  • imageiluvmytxrgr:
    imagesami1784:

    Yeah, I think that's a good idea.  I can usually handle unexpected visitors during deployment if they knock.  MIL likes to just waltz on in the back door when she comes over and that drives me bananas.  I'm here by myself with the baby.  As far as I'm concerned, my first reaction when someone just comes in the door is that they mean harm... especially since I know it's not DH coming through that door. 

    That's unexeptable.  My mom used to do that.  I didn't know she was in my house once and heard someone in my hall.  I came out at her with a knife and nearly stabbed her.  Between that and me learning to keep all the doors locked, we don't have that issue any more. 

    I know that feeling!  The other weekend, I'd arrived home from my class and MIL and FIL had been here watching LO.  They left to go to town and I was in the kitchen with LO eating some lunch.  Both the front and back doors were unlocked; we always use the back door and that's the door visitors come to as well.  I heard the front door start opening and I about came unglued.  My first reaction was to look around quickly to see what I had that I could defend myself and LO with.  I was prepared to take down whoever was coming through that door until I saw it was MIL.  I told her if she's not coming to the back door, to make sure she knocks and that I know she's there.  She said she knocked, but knowing her behavior with the back door, I'm fairly certain she didn't.

     So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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  • imageBacon+lettuce+tomato:
    Is he de-mobing somewhere close? I de-mobed about 3 hr from my hometown, DH de-mobed across the country. If there's some distance to his mob site, I'd just drive out there with DS and not tell them until we got back. Then YH needs to change the locks and tell them that y'alls are setting some boundaries, especially now that DS is here. Ditto the others and make sure you and YH are on the same page. 

    He's de-mobing about 7 hours away and then they're coming back in state to do reverse SRP.  I don't know that I can get DH to change the locks, but we can definitely keep the doors locked and not answer the door if we're... enjoying our time together while LO naps!  Though I have threatened to show up to the door in whatever stage of undress I might be in if his family shows up unannounced during that time!

     So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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  • My DH is AF and deploys frequently.  We are stationed in the same town as my family and are only 2.5 hours away from his family. The first time he deployed his family showed up unannounced the day before he left, even though we had made a special trip out to see them the weekend prior.  After that we decided that no matter what his entire last week home before leaving and his entire first week home after the deployment is only for the two of us (three once Grace is born in June).  The next time he deployed we strictly enforced that rule even though it did make a few people in both families really upset.  It's not like we don't give everyone a chance to say their goodbyes in person before we start our personal week.  We're really glad that we stood our ground on it.  It's what's best for our marriage and our own growing little family.  
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  • imageTomHope2011:
    My DH is AF and deploys frequently.  We are stationed in the same town as my family and are only 2.5 hours away from his family. The first time he deployed his family showed up unannounced the day before he left, even though we had made a special trip out to see them the weekend prior.  After that we decided that no matter what his entire last week home before leaving and his entire first week home after the deployment is only for the two of us (three once Grace is born in June).  The next time he deployed we strictly enforced that rule even though it did make a few people in both families really upset.  It's not like we don't give everyone a chance to say their goodbyes in person before we start our personal week.  We're really glad that we stood our ground on it.  It's what's best for our marriage and our own growing little family.  

    Yeah, the day DH deployed, his sister showed up about an hour and a half before he had to leave (to go to his parents' house because they were driving him to the mob station) and stayed like 30 minutes... while I was trying to prepare lunch and was trying to spend time with DH before he left.  I was not a happy camper. 

     So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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  • Talk to your DH and tell him to talk to his mom.  For the love of God though, please tell him not to "blame" you.  Tell him to explain just as you did here, but from his POV.  "I want it to just be my wife and child to pick me up because I've only seen the baby 5 days total.  I want some time with them and then we'll see you."  If he says, "Sami wants it to just be her and the baby. . ." then it will cause a backlash for you. 

    You are not unreasonable.  Your DH also needs to address the boundary issues.  Hell, I don't even live anywhere close to my family, and I've already told my mom the rules if/when we move closer to home, lol.

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  • imageLissa832:

    Talk to your DH and tell him to talk to his mom.  For the love of God though, please tell him not to "blame" you.  Tell him to explain just as you did here, but from his POV.  "I want it to just be my wife and child to pick me up because I've only seen the baby 5 days total.  I want some time with them and then we'll see you."  If he says, "Sami wants it to just be her and the baby. . ." then it will cause a backlash for you. 

    You are not unreasonable.  Your DH also needs to address the boundary issues.  Hell, I don't even live anywhere close to my family, and I've already told my mom the rules if/when we move closer to home, lol.

    Yeah, I'm sure my MIL thinks I'm being unreasonable if she's gotten the message yet that I don't want them with me when I pick DH up.  Heck, my own mother thinks I'm being "unreasonable" by wanting DH's time for the first few days home to be spent with me and LO.  Mom hasn't dealt with military.  Dad goes away for one... count it, one.. week a year (and not even a full week) for a conference for his work.  She really has no idea what it's like to not see your spouse for months on end and how it is to have to share him with everyone else who wants a chunk of his time right after he returns home.  Her thinking is "after a few days, the novelty will wear off... you can wait it out."  She doesn't realize that we have to not only get used to him being home, we have to figure out basically how to work as a married couple again and now as parents as well. 

     So there's this boy. He kinda stole my heart. He calls me "Mom"

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