homecoming and children — The Bump
Military Families

homecoming and children

How do you handle the homecoming embrace with a toddler? My husband is coming home soon and I read somewhere (I don't even remember where) that mom gets the first hug because kids need to see that. But wouldn't they see it after they got theirs too? And how do you keep a two year old from running to his daddy just to get your hug first?

I'm sure my kid will turn out fine either way, I'm just wondering how other wives/mommies handle it. 

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Re: homecoming and children

  • Don't overthink it.

    Military members are counseled to always hug their spouse first.  That doesn't mean that a secure person can't change up the order because he or she knows what is right for their family.

    I blogged about homecoming with a 2.5 and 1 year old.  My 2.5 year old DD got the first hug and it was PERFECT.  And unscripted.  The way it should be IMO.

    https://keepcalmandhaveacosmo.blogspot.com/2011/12/you-put-your-arms-around-me-and-im.html

    Married 6/28/03

    Kate ~ 7/3/09 *** Connor ~ 11/11/10

    4 miscarriages: 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014

    *~*~*~*~*

    No more TTC for us. We are done, and at peace, as a family of 4.

    "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” — Charles Dickens

     

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  • Don't over think it.  Do whatever comes natural.  Have you welcomed him home before?  Most people just look stunned and exhausted when they come home.  It's not a photo shot - its real life.  While you may remember who gets hugged first, he probably won't due to sleep deprivation and jet lag.  And no one else is watching because they're caught up in their own homecoming.
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  • I agree that you are over thinking it.  Just go with it.  

    I've never brought my kids to pick up my husband.  Nine deployments in 7 years.  They've never been. I am usually up there for hours waiting for him to be released.  I'm talking 3-6 hours.  My kids would be bored and miserable.   

    We use this as a time for us to reconnect.  The kids stay with a family member or sitter.  We spend that time together while he waits for release.  We get food, though sometimes it's a burger or IHOP at midnight.  We go home and then pick the kids up the next morning.  This also gives him time to decompress and rest before he becomes a living jungle gym.  Our kids are usually attached to him for days after he gets home.  It gives him a chance to breathe and settle in before life kicks in.  It really works well for us and for the kids.   

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  • I've never been to a homecoming, but I honestly would not bring my kids (at their current ages). They would be so cranky and that it'd just put more stress on the situation than needed. Waiting for the buses, sitting through the ceremony, etc etc, that's just too much sitting around time for LOs to handle. Get a sitter, enjoy your hubby, and have fun seeing the look on your toddler's face when daddy walks through the front door at home.

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  • Hmmm, I've never heard about the spouse getting the first hug.  In theory, I get that, but the reality is difficult to implement if you've got a young child who runs to daddy for a hug.  Perhaps mommy gets the first kiss?

    We have not experience homecoming with a walking/talking child yet, but at R&R, when we picked DH up at the airport, my DS saw his daddy and took off running, yelling for his daddy.  I got my hug when I caught up.  :)

    I think that letting things flow is important.  Your LO may be eager for a hug, or s/he may be reluctant and will want/need to follow your lead.  I think that modeling appropriate PDA is a helpful way for the whole family to learn to live together again.  Having your kid(s) see you hold hands, hug, share sweet kisses, and touch one another as you walk by helps reassure them of your roles as mommy & daddy.  

    Good luck on your upcoming homecoming! 

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  • Sweet pea. You're fired. I just spent the last 10 minutes bawling while reading your blog. :
    DH just came home from work for a few minutes and was terrified the doctor had called with bad news. I told him how sweet your blog was and he just rolled his eyes and said "pregnancy hormones". Hahaha seriously, very, very touching. You have a beautiful family.
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  • imageLilyLove29:
    Sweet pea. You're fired. I just spent the last 10 minutes bawling while reading your blog. : DH just came home from work for a few minutes and was terrified the doctor had called with bad news. I told him how sweet your blog was and he just rolled his eyes and said "pregnancy hormones". Hahaha seriously, very, very touching. You have a beautiful family.

    Awww thanks!  It was an amazing day! :) 

    I think that with all things homecoming, you really do have to do what is best for your family.  Like some PPs have mentioned, homecomings can be at all hours of the night and can incur long waits in some cases.  My DH is a carrier-based aviator so we know when they are scheduled to fly off the ship and have a solid 1 hour window of when they will get there.  It is also at a very reasonable hour for kids (daylight hours only).  I did have one homecoming (our second) that was at an airport and late at night.  We didn't have kids though so it didn't matter.

    Just enjoy!  I honestly thought my daughter would be TERRIFIED.  She is shy by nature and scared of loud noises.  The jet noise alone at our homecomings is enough to scare a full grown adult.  But the second I said "there's your dad" she went running to him like he hadn't been gone a day.  So you just never know! 

    Married 6/28/03

    Kate ~ 7/3/09 *** Connor ~ 11/11/10

    4 miscarriages: 2007, 2009, 2013, 2014

    *~*~*~*~*

    No more TTC for us. We are done, and at peace, as a family of 4.

    "Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching, and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be. I have been bent and broken, but – I hope – into a better shape.” — Charles Dickens

     

  • My oldest was shy, so I ended up holding both kids.  There's no right way to do it, so do what's comfortable.



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  • If the HC is in the middle of the night or really out of the realm of nap or bedtime my kids simply don't come with me. Out of the 3 deployments I've dealt with, DS1 was 6mos old at the time and it was daytime. I was holding DS1 so it was basically a group hug.  The 2nd deployment I don't remember what was going on or what time it was but the kids weren't with me so I didn't have to worry about it (I think it was held during nap time).  The 3rd deployment I'm not done with so we'll see what happens.
  • Thanks so much for all the input! I'll try to stop thinking about making it perfect since it doesn't go as planned anyway! 

    I have been through one homecoming but I only had a five month old...even that didn't go as planned. I'm just a planner, it's my nature to want to know how everything will happen :)

    Thanks again everyone! 

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  • I left the baby (8 mo) home with my mom... I lived with them during his deployment, and I went to meet him when he came back instead of waiting for him to come to us.

    Not sure what we'll do next time since we'll have two and DS will be older.

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