When you return home from deployment, everyone is excited that you’re safe and that they get to see you! But as a family, you also have to navigate delicate processes together. Reconnecting with a child you haven’t seen in a few months and who has grown and changed can be challenging. It can also be awkward figuring out who is responsible for what at home – do you go back to the old chores you had before you left, or are there new ones that need your attention? Do you remember how you and your partner like to address team efforts such as disciplining children? All of these adjustments can be stressful. Of course, you are happy to be with the people you love, but that doesn’t mean the stresses of work and the stresses of reintegration are not real.
Luckily, mindfulness includes multiple strategies that can help manage the stress linked to reintegration. We have organized these ideas into a table that includes: the specific family tasks you are navigating, the mindful parenting skill that can help, what the skill might look like, and the logic behind why that skill will be helpful.