If your spouse or another loved one works offshore, you might not see them for weeks at a time. Working away from home can be stressful, and the nature of offshore work itself is challenging. You’ve been holding it all together at home, and on top of it all, you might be worried about their safety while they’re gone. There’s no better distraction – or something to look forward to – than their homecoming. You can make their return home extra special with a little preparation, using one (or more!) of the ideas listed below.
To show you missed them and how much you care:
1. Recreate Missed Holidays
Spending several weeks offshore, miles from civilization and home, your spouse is bound to have missed a holiday or a birthday. If so, you can recreate the special day with candles, decorations, gifts, and all. If you have kids, they’ll love the extra celebration!
2. Dress Up
Take this opportunity to wear something new or an old favorite so you look and feel your best when your spouse arrives home. It’s a little way you can show that you care and have missed them.
An easy way to show your appreciation is with decorations. Balloons, posters, and homemade decorations (especially if you get the kids involved) around the house and in the yard can make homecoming even more special.
4. Plan a Date Night
Once your spouse is home, setting up a date night is a great way to spend some one-on-one time and reconnect. Get out of the house and go to one of your favorite spots or find a new one and spend some quality time together.
5. Pick Up Their Favorite Treats
Offshore, your spouse probably didn’t have access to some of their favorite snacks and conveniences. Put together a box or basket with some of their favorites, or stock the fridge and pantry. Little things like candy or beer can make a difference.
6. Support Their Hobbies
Now is a great time to set up a fishing, camping, or hunting trip, or another of their hobbies that they may have been missing while offshore. Coordinate the timing (you might want to give them time to settle in first) and let them go enjoy themselves.
7. Plan a Home-Cooked Meal
Chances are that your spouse has been missing family recipes or other favorites that you can only get at home. Treat them to a special meal. Or, you can get all the ingredients ahead of time and cook together. Don’t forget dessert!
8. Do Nothing
Sometimes a quiet day with no plans is the best option after weeks away offshore. Whether you give your spouse a day alone to rest and do whatever they want or you spend it together, take some time to decompress and relax.
9. Write It Down
It might sound a little cheesy, but try jotting down a note every time you think of your spouse while they’re away. Save the notes so your spouse can read them when they get home. It’s proof they’ve been on your mind.
10. Book a Trip
Try to save up while they’re gone and book that trip you’ve been putting off. Whether it’s a road trip to the perfect camping spot or a flight to another state or country, it’s a great opportunity to have more time together before their next stint offshore.
11. Get Tickets to the Game
Get tickets to watch their favorite team or sporting event, or set aside time to watch the game at home. Grabbing nachos and a beer at the stadium (or at home) might be just what they need.
12. Finish That House Project
Is there a project around the house that you’ve been putting off for far too long? Try to set aside some time to get it done while they’re gone. You can even enlist friends and family to help, and then surprise them when they get home!
13. See Friends
Not everything has to be about family – your spouse has probably missed their friends, too. Make sure they have time for a night out with their buddies or plan a double date.
14. Keep It Casual
If your spouse doesn’t want to make a big deal about their homecoming, you can keep it simple and casual by inviting a few friends over for dinner or game night. It’s usually easier to catch up and reconnect when plans are low-key.
15. Get the Kids Involved
If you have kids, get them involved by having them make a sign or decorate for your spouse. Heartfelt messages from your kids can go a long way in making your spouse feel right at home.
16. Plan a “Yes” Day
Take a day where you and the kids have to do whatever your spouse says. A “yes” day can offer a much-needed break from plans that other people have made for your spouse after their return home.
17. Create Custom “Coupons”
Some of the best homecoming ideas are free. Create custom “tickets” or “coupons” for homemade dinners, favors, or more to be turned in at will. You can get pretty creative with these!
18. Let the Kids Cook
It might turn out a little messy, but letting the kids make breakfast or even a “fancy restaurant” dinner at home is a fun and thoughtful way to welcome your spouse. (As long as they don’t mind crunchy noodles or burnt toast!)
19. Tidy Up
See if you can set aside a little time to organize so your spouse can come home to a clean and orderly space.
20. Make a Slideshow
Even if you’ve been able to communicate while your spouse was offshore, putting together a slideshow, video, or photo album is a great idea to share special moments and memories. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy – it’s the thought that counts.
21. Pamper Them
Whether it’s as simple as giving them a shoulder massage at home while watching your favorite show or splurging and going to a real spa, let their bodies and minds relax for a bit.
22. Throw a Party
You can make it a surprise party on the day they return or a planned event a few days later, but throwing a party is a great way to make them feel special. Invite friends, family, and loved ones to celebrate their return.
In the end, the best thing you can do for your spouse or loved one is to simply be present. When they come home, focus on them, communicate with them, and make sure they know how much they’re loved. If they need a little space, don’t be afraid to give them some peace and quiet. If they want to celebrate, get out there and have some fun! Listen to their needs and try to make the most out of your time together.
Helping Offshore Workers & Their Families
Offshore work is tough. Workers have to spend weeks away from their spouses and families, in some of the most dangerous working conditions imaginable. Even with the ability to talk on the phone or video chat, being separated from family means missing special occasions, holidays, and other important moments. It can be stressful, even for a seasoned offshore worker. Making their homecoming special can help alleviate some of the stress and worry, showing them that family is always there when they return. At Arnold & Itkin, we believe in helping offshore workers and their families recover after serious accidents and injuries. There is nothing more important than helping people create better and brighter futures. And that’s what we do. No matter what.