When James returned from deployment it was pure joy. But we’ve both had to give and get from each other to make sure that living together still goes well. Things have definitely changed in our lives since before deployment so figuring out new schedules and chores can cause some bumps in the road. Here are some things we’ve been doing to ease those bad days and make them all good:
Reevaluate the budget. Oh man we went a bit crazy upon his return. First of all it was Christmas so we bought awesome presents, and mailed them all off. Then we went on a vacation, which was much needed. We also made some impulse buys, well not entirely impulsive since we’d thought of buying them for awhile, like the couch below. And there was figuring out what we both needed and wanted to eat. Buying food for one is cheaper than two, that’s for sure! So we finally sat down and looked at everything. Our bills. Our spending. Our money coming in. And we hashed out a plan. We had done this pre-deployment so I could keep track of everything, but not post. I wish we’d done it a little sooner, but we didn’t do it super late either. Now we have a clear plan and that is a good thing!
Chores. There are things that we both do not like doing. Mine include: trash and hand washing dishes. His include: hand washing dishes and vacuuming. Instead of just saying it out right “hey I’ll do the dishes now, you do them tomorrow,” or whatever the plan would be, we both let them sit. Or just let stuff pile up. I’ll admit that I’m busy with school, work, and having a social life so sometimes things like cleaning get pushed aside. But when we would clean for a dinner party let’s say we loved how clean it was! So we started being more straight forward about expectations. Like, I put things in the dishwasher ASAP and would like if he’d do the same. He’d like me to hand wash stuff more. We both need to wipe down messes while cooking more quickly. It’s a work in progress. But we’re balancing them well I think.
Sleeping. I talked about this one before in my own habits, but it’s an issue. I get home late from class and he waits up for me, meaning he doesn’t get a ton of sleep before early morning PT. So we are working on going to bed earlier when we can aka the nights that I don’t have class and weekends when we can.
Time management. This is more me than him, but figuring out when I should be reading, doing homework, working from home, having girls nights, and spending time with James. It’s a lot but I’m making it work. Hopefully next quarter I will be more successful and not feel as stressed the last weeks before finals. Seriously, the quarter system is sooo fast!
Spending time together…and apart. After a few weeks of half days followed by block leave I was ready for my husband to go back to work. Sound kinda mean? Well I don’t mean it that way. It’s healthy to have time together and apart and having spent about 3+ weeks constantly together I needed some space. Space provided by work, school, time with our friends. I love spending quality time together, going on dates, sitting on the couch and watching TV, but I also love that we both have our own things: he goes and sees horror movies with the guys, I go grab a glass of wine or coffee with friends, it’s nice to have those moments too in order to stay sane and not drive each other nuts.
That’s just a scratch off the top of what we’ve been doing to fully reintegrate into life back together, what have you and your significant other done? Any tips?