***No, I am not southern. But I have a handful of very southern friends so sometimes I like to pretend I'm cool enough to say "y'all". I am, in fact, not.
Yes, that is a baby foot on my head. As the sixth stage mentions, this is a time of despair.
I'm not gonna lie, this stage is pretty rough. You kind of can't fathom the thought of another month, week, or even hour of this damn separation. You might pull back a bit, choose to stay home and not really want to get out and be social. This happened for me around month five, when we still had four more to go. I just couldn't pull myself out of the funk, so I let myself be miserable for a bit. I'll give you an unpopular opinion: This is completely fine. If you need to just be sad for a bit, I certainly won't judge you for it. Order take-out for the third night in a row, wear that same pair of sweats all week, and slack on whatever's on your to-do list. I promise, the world will continue to turn. The caveat is that you DO eventually need to pull yourself out.
But PLEASE, if you are feeling crappy, send me an e-mail or message me on Facebook. I have zero going on and I promise to answer you in creepily fast time.
I promise this will come to an end soon, though. For the next stage is...
In all honesty, I've never experienced a deployment homecoming, so I don't have a ton of experience in this arena. While we've had our fair share of long separations, we've never gone this long without seeing one another. I have heard MANY perspectives about homecoming and how the following weeks can be tricky, navigating life together after doing it alone for so long. Regardless, savor this day and relish in finally having that special person physically in your presence instead of over FaceTime.
Military spouses sometimes get a bad wrap. But honestly, I have never met such a strong, diverse, and overwhelmingly capable group of badass individuals. Tackling a deployment just adds to that strength. We survive birthdays, milestones, anniversaries, losing loved ones, raising babies, even physically HAVING those babies, and so much more - many times, without the support one usually receives from a partner. And we are all still here to tell the tale. So wether you're at the "Anticipation" stage or the "Big Exhale", just dig deep, keep breathing, and throw that hair up in a top knot if you gotta - this time will pass and you will be better because of it.
Until then, I'm cheersing to you, from my couch, in my Mom Life sweats, with a glass of wine and a lap full of chips (not Cape Cod, I'm mixing it up with Kettle tonight).