You’re headed home after a deployment. It’s been a long time coming, and you deserve to celebrate. But it’s important to know what adjustments you might face after you get home — like how your children might respond to you after a long absence and how household routines might have changed. Knowing what to expect during the five key stages of reunion and reintegration can help make the transition easier for everyone.

Be patient.

You may feel out of sync or disconnected with your loved ones or friends after returning home. Fatigue, a change in pace and adjustments to new routines can lead to frustration and short tempers. If you have children, they may have emotional outbursts or even be rude. Remember everyone is adjusting. Be patient — with yourself and your family. Keep the lines of communication open, allow everyone their feelings and give everyone time to find a new normal.

Relevant articles:

Prepare your children for your return.

The mixed emotions that often come with a deployed parent’s return can be especially confusing for children. On one hand, they’re excited to have mom or dad home, but they may also feel nervous about the adjustment. Learn more about what to expect and how to support children during reintegration.

Relevant articles:

Prepare to go back to work.

Service members can expect some challenges returning to work after deployment. Active-duty service members return to a military community where others have “been there, done that.” Members of the National Guard and reserves go back to the civilian work force where coworkers generally don’t understand deployment. Learn some simple tips to help smooth National Guard and reserves reintegration.

Lean on your network of support.

Don’t be afraid to ask for support as you transition back to the homefront. If you, your spouse or other family members are feeling signs of physical or emotional stress, it’s important to seek help — the earlier the better. These resources can help make returning home easier for everyone.

Relevant articles:

Relevant resources:

Sometimes returning home from deployment can be overwhelming. If you’re looking for assistance, contact your installation Military and Family Support Center. Military OneSource consultants are also available 24/7/365 to help you find the reintegration resources and support you need. Call us at 800-342-9647, use OCONUS calling options or schedule a live chat.