Picture it: Homecoming is tomorrow. You bought the perfect dress. You hired a photographer. Your house is spotless. The “Welcome Home” banner is positioned. You have a few saucy items from Victoria’s Secret tucked away. After missing your husband for the past however many months, you’re bursting at the seams to run into his arms and kiss him until you can’t see straight. This joyful phase of reuniting belongs to you and your man.
Or does it?
What happens if your in-laws want to be there to welcome their favorite servicemember home? Shouldn’t you include them in the homecoming festivities?
On one hand, you are the spouse. You are the one whose life was turned upside down by the deployment. You had to become a single parent. You had to do all the yard work. You had to sleep alone. You had to worry about whether or not the most important person in your life was coming home. Your title as spouse, your job on the homefront, your many sacrifices all earned you the right to keep this special time to yourself. In cases like this, it’s perfectly acceptable to be selfish.
You and your husband need time alone to get to know each other, to become a family again without the added stress of having to host other people. Reintegration is filled with overwhelming changes for everyone. Having extended family around would do nothing but add to the list of overwhelming adjustments.
And do I even need to mention that you probably want some privacy to get your money’s worth out those Victoria’s Secret goodies?
However, on the flip side, your in-laws love your husband too. Although they didn’t make as many sacrifices on a daily basis as you did during the deployment, they still lost sleep worrying. They’ve also missed him for however many months. They made the time and effort to send letters and care packages. They felt stressed and helpless. Don’t they deserve to be present at homecoming and share the days that follow too? What’s the big deal sharing a few days with his parents when you get him all to yourself once they leave?
We recently asked this very question about in-laws at homecomings on our Facebook page, and we got lots of mixed answers. While most of our readers seem to favor the “just us” homecoming approach, many readers prefer the inclusion of the whole clan of loved ones. Others advise asking the servicemember what he prefers, but still others warn that asking him to choose between you and his mother is too much pressure the poor guy just doesn’t need.
So what do you think? Should in-laws be a part of homecoming? Would you want your in-laws at homecoming?