R&R should stand for rest and relaxation for your soldier who has been deployed overseas. However, many soldiers and military families find the time to be incredibly stressful because of all of the time demands placed by other family members and friends during his short break from deployment.
When it comes time to plan for R&R, it is important to be open and honest with everyone who may want to see the military member during his break. Above all, everyone should agree to abide by the wishes of the military member keeping in mind that this is his time to relax not be tired out from running from place to place.
If possible, arrange for any visits to occur where those visiting will come to him. The last thing he will want to do is spend even more time on a plane or hours in a car going from house to house. At least let him enjoy his time in his own home.
If he has kids, they should have special time that is reserved only for them and doesn’t have to be shared with other family members or friends. Make sure when making plans that this time is regarded as sacred and don’t let others intrude on this parent-child bonding experience.
As far as husband and wife relations, this is also very important time and there should be time set aside where others are not being entertained. Perhaps parents or friends can watch the kids for a few hours or even overnight so that you can enjoy some time together as a couple alone.
It is inevitable that everyone will want to see him while he is home. If possible, set guidelines ahead of time and decide on a 3 or 4 day period where you will accept guests in your home. This allows others time to see him and spend time with him but also protects the immediate family time that is needed as well. It is a fair compromise for all.