I want to share a word of advice if any of you are friends with a police family, specifically a police wife:
Don’t bother trying to “get it” because you really can’t unless you live it. But maybe try to bother to be kind and supportive because it really helps.
I am so grateful for Sam’s job. We are very lucky he has a good job that he enjoys.
Sometimes it is hard to let it always trump our lives though. It is necessary to do that, I get it and respect it.
Doesn’t mean I always love it. And when people around me are less than supportive of that it can get discouraging.
In theory Sam’s job IS an easy schedule. Monday through Friday, business hours. Really great. But that isn’t all it is. Anything weird, extra bad, creepy, yucky… Sam gets called back to work for it. And it never takes a minute, it takes hours.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m totally fine with it. I knew what this job would be like when Sam got into police work and it actually works well for me.
I have always been an independent gal and I like to take charge of situations (shocking, I know).
I am capable of parenting by myself and I like to think I’m usually quick enough on my toes to come up with alternate plans when Sam’s job takes him away.
Plus, it has given us a blessing in disguise because it is very difficult and sometimes impossible to schedule time away from home. I have lost track of the times we have loaded up in the car and that blasted Bat Phone has gone off and Sam has had to jump in his car and go to work while I sit with the crying kids and go to Plan B or times we have been on the road and had to turn around and go back. Which is why we don’t plan trips often, so he doesn’t feel guilty and the kids don’t cry. Plus, think of the money we save on gas. Love it. Plus, I’m a homebody and I like to be at home with my family much more than I like gallivanting around.
(And secret hint: Sam makes it out to be no big deal when he gets time off to go somewhere, but it is really tricky for him sometimes and he has made some sacrifices in the past to swing things. He plays it down, but it really is tricky for him.)
Also--- and you can call us weird and we don’t mind--- but we get along really well because of the funky hours. Absence does make the heart grow fonder and being the lead on the household and the kids works well for me most of the time and Sam jumps in and takes point when he is able. For us, this job and the odd hours are a good thing that makes us pretty happy.
But, sometimes it can be a drag.
Guess how many doctor appointments Sam has been able to come to for this baby? Bagel (that means zero just so you know). He even missed the BIG ultrasound, which he has never done and I was so sad that he missed it. Honestly, I’m just hoping he is able to attend the actual birth. But I’m not holding my breath.
But besides big events, there is the cramp on my social life.
I sometimes actually want to go out and be social. It is rare but it happens. And it is nigh impossible because I swear that phone KNOWS when I am wanting to go somewhere and just to spite me it will go off!
Take last night. I was supposed to teach a class in Idaho Falls . Kids are in bed, I take off and drive the nearly 40 minutes to my location. I get there… and Sam texts me and tells me the Bat Phone went off and I need to hurry home.
There was no way I could make it fast enough and I was in a panic. Luckily my parents stepped in and my dad went to the house (and even told me to just do my thing and come home when I was done which was a relief) so that was okay.
But, someone there was rather snotty about it and made me feel awful . Not sure what this person’s deal was but apparently nothing in our tiny town could be this big of a deal for me to have to run and surely other officers could step in.
Not only does that make me feel bad but it makes me rather upset. People, bad things happen, even in small towns. Be grateful for the officers who clean up those messes so you never have to see them. Because it is a yucky job; being the “Trash Collector” of human beings and their bad choices. But someone has to do it.
And someone has to be married to them and support them so they can keep doing it and still be well adjusted people. And that someone makes sacrifices that are small in the short term, but every so often feel kind of huge. This someone is willing to do it and totally can. But it would be nice if people were more understanding of it… even though I know it is impossible to fully understand.
This holiday season, when you see cops out there working, be grateful for a minute that they are there so you will be safer. And remember, while they are working, their family is doing things without them, including Thanksgiving Day and Christmas morning. Including birthdays and anniversaries. Including during baby ultrasounds and long awaited hair cuts. You don’t need to do anything big about it, just remember. (This goes for firefighters and Emts and doctors too. Anyone who is in the line of work they are in… saving lives.)
Alright. I feel better. I think I’ll find a snack and wait for the man to get home. Or at least to tell me it is going to be awhile and to go to sleep. That will work too.