A is for Adding/Subtracting Family Roles
With any family, there are roles that a husband and a wife have. As my sister and her husband refer to them, blue and pink jobs. There are also a few that are referred to as “purple” jobs. Traditional pink jobs are the housekeeping, cooking, child rearing, etc. Traditional blue jobs are the yard work, auto maintenance and repair, home repairs, etc. With military families, the roles change all the time depending on deployments and field training exercises.
For the spouse that stays at home, they become more independent. They take on all the pink and blue roles. You become the mother and the father. One of the blue jobs in our family is taking the trash out to the curb for pick up. In the beginning of this deployment, I would forget to take the trash out every other week! And recently, I installed a new car battery! And when I soldiers come home, they have to work themselves back into our lives.
For the solider, they give up all the jobs that they did while at home and start new ones in the battlefield. They completely change their role from husband/father/solider to just soldier. Their mind is focused on mission.
With homecoming, it can be stressful on both parties to change roles again. We try to slowly switch roles. My husband takes the garbage role back (and boy am I thankful) first. And little by little, we get back to they way we were. It just takes time. The hardest role for us to get back to is mother and father. I think the reason it’s harder is because of the children. The children are the ones that make it harder. They are so use to Mommy being the “go to” person in the house that they have a hard time knowing that Daddy can help too. In the end, they come around too!
Note: I am using information that can be found at www.battlemind.army.mil along with my own experience and interpretation of the information given. I do not have any formal schooling on this topic. If you are married to a soldier and need help with redeployment, please contact your post’s mental health clinic, chain of concern or unit chaplain.