“Tis the season for XanaX”
I am going to start off this blog with stating – I am in fact prescribed XanaX (and I hardly take it) for my anxiety but Christmas is the most frequent time of year that I in fact depend on it to control my panic attacks.
Anyways, I am currently driving from North Carolina to Michigan (well Andrew is driving) and I am working. But several years ago I read a blog written by a military spouse about the stressors of going home and it very much so resonated with me. Last year when I went to repost it, it was no longer available so this year I have decided to write one myself.
Christmas is HARD. I begin to stress about planning out Christmas is October – yes you heard that OCTOBER. A lot goes into making a 15 hour drive and a 2 week at home “vacation” with multiple families involved. Often times Andrew could or could not be in country and that is a whole other level of planning or actually not planning because whoever knows what will happen with the military.
The sad part of Christmas is that it USED to be my favorite holiday and it has become such a hassle and stressful situation that I dread having to drive home. I do try to stay as positive as possible about going into the holidays but when you are driving 15+ hours and then you arrive and have to drive all over to see people it is exhausting
So if you want to know how you can help your military family enjoy their trip home this holiday season I can give you some tips.
- Go see them! This is probably the biggest stressor for most military families when traveling home. If your military family member just traveled to come home for the holidays they are exhausted. Often times the moment block leave starts we get right in the car and drive/fly home. When we arrive to our designated space we are tired and sore from the drive and want to relax but still want to see you! So come on over to where we are staying and say hi. The last thing we want to do is jump right back in the car and drive 45 min to an hour after we just traveled for ever and a day (yes being dramatic). But it is such a nice gesture to make time to go where we are so we don’t have to jump back into the car. Traveling is hard as it is so by coming to see us when we arrive we are so grateful for.
- Don’t wait for us to ask to see you. Yes, we love all our family and friends but sometimes it is hard to reach out to everyone to make plans with. The best thing you can do for your military family that is coming home and send a quick text and see when you can see them. I know I try to text everyone when I am home but often times I am missing someone and no I don’t want you to feel left out but my mind is so jumbled with traveling and packing and seeing people that sometimes you can fall through the cracks in my brain. But I don’t want anyone to feel bad because it is never intentional.
- Make the time to see us. Ok so we know you are busy and we know you have schedules but we miss all of you so much and want to make sure we get optium family/friend time. And we really do appreciate it that you take the time after work/school to visit us. We come home solely to see all of you and there is no point to come home if we don’t even get to see you. We keep our child up later so they can have the opportunity to have family time and we hope you would make an exception while we are home too.
- Don’t be surprised if we are grumpy. We try really hard to be cheery and happy when we are at home but we too are not sleeping in our own beds, have our own schedules, and often times in the cold when we are used to being warm. So if we are not always full of smiles it’s ok and we are still happy to be home but it is stressful and sometimes we do have grumpy faces. I promise we are still enjoying your company.
- If our spouse isn’t with us. Yes it is hard, yes we hate it but no we don’t want to hear “well you knew what you were getting yourself into”. I think those words are the hardest to hear after your spouse is deployed or gone for training. Yes – we do understand what we are signing up for but no this does not make it any easier. We still miss them like crazy and we still have moment when we just want to cry and talk about that it is hard without this reminder. Just be a listening ear and be there for your military spouse friend or family member.
So those are just somethings to remember while your military family comes home. It is always so joyous to see everyone but there are somethings that can make it easier for trips home.
Shirt by Pressed A Creative Space