Military Families

How did you adjust

My hubby has been on deployment for sometime and is coming back soon. 

As much as I miss him, I am scared we will have issues adjusting to life with a new baby as well as him adjusting to dry land, a new non-deployment work schedule, our OD, AND me not giving him as much attention as he is use to. 

Has anyone had a deployment baby and if so, how did you, baby, other children, and spouse adjust afterwards? Tips and hints are welcome! Thanks!  

Re: How did you adjust

  • Give each other some time for things to feel "normal" again.  We already had one child when H deployed, so it wasn't like he was totally new at the dad thing, but I'd say it still took a couple of months for us all to adjust to being a family of four.  There were definitely times I had to ask him to help out, and times when I needed to let him figure things out on his own (especially with the new baby) without butting in.  It's a balancing act.

    My best recommendation is to have a very frank conversation with him about your concerns before he comes back.  Don't let a lack of communication interfere with re-bonding as a family. 

  • Give him space and don't expect him to pull night duty the first night back Wink

    If you can talk about it before he comes back (what his expectations are, what your routine is), that might help.

    DH actually asked me to come meet him (without DS) when the plane arrived. We had a couple of days baby-free, and I think that helped him ease back in. I know that's not feasible for everyone, but it worked for us. DS was 8 months old at that point, so I felt okay leaving him with my parents a few days.

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  • I completely understand your anxiety - I went through the same thing a few months ago.  When DH left to go overseas, we had a 1 month old whom he had spent time around for a couple days at birth and a couple days before getting on the plane.  When he came back, we had an 8 month old.  Huge difference.  It took a while to adjust (about 3 to 4 months), and I won't lie - there were some issues, but strong communication skills helped greatly.  Don't expect him to do everything as you do it.  I recommend showing him how you do something - changing a diaper, getting baby dressed, bathing baby, etc. - and letting him take what he observes and figure out if that way works for him or if he needs another method.  Also, make sure that you take time for just the two of you as well.  Make it a point to have a date night, at least every couple of weeks - just as you need time as a family, you also need time as a couple. 

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  • Give him some space!  My DH was SO jet lagged, I basically let him live in the guest room for a couple of days until he felt ready to rejoin us. He needed time to let his body clock reset - so I kept food in the fridge & let him have a few days. It's not like he ignored us completely, he just had space if he was up in the middle of the night or whatever.

    DH had left when DD was 3 months old & returned a few weeks after her first birthday.  What worked for us was just her & I continuing our daily lives just as we had been and adding him in as HE felt ready. 

    Another thing to add: It took a good month before DD was willing to let him put her to bed alone. She had no idea who this guy was, you know?

    the good news is we've had two deployments since and each time has been easier for readjusting. :) You'll be fine!

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  • If you can be baby free the first night or two that will help. When my Hubby came home clean sheets was even a foreign concept. Let him move at his own pace. Dads typically take longer to bond with baby and as he has been away for a chunk of the pregnancy it may take even longer. He didn't have the constant "bump" around to start gearing him into Daddy mode.
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