Monday, September 3, 2012

Different Kind of Life

I've started to run into a few different outlooks, or possibly attitudes would be a better way of wording it, from people around us towards the way Blue and I live. Not everyone. There have been many supportive people during this transition, but once-in-awhile I've noticed this seeping in.

It's not that I feel that they don't like the way we live, they just don't understand it.

They don't understand what it's like for Blue to work 10+ hours doing a job that isn't, by any means easy. It's physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. Then he comes home to let his body and mind rest. Then he wakes-up (depending on which shift he's working these can be switched) for a very little bit of down-time, eats something and heads to the station to start over. This routine goes for 5 or 6 days in a row. When he actually does have a set of days off, he's either working a side job or working on our house renovations, trying to get the bulk of them done before Baby Blue gets here in November.

As a wife, I try to support him the best that I can and I'm still learning what this looks like. I try to keep the house somewhat quiet when he needs daytime sleep. I don't ask anything of him when he's on shift. I don't have lists for him to do on top of working 10 hour days. I realize that a lot of my things have to wait until his time off, or I need to do them myself. I've become very independent.

We can't always make it to family dinners, church or time spent with friends. We're no longer weekend warriors. Planning a get-together usually need to be done weeks or months in advance. Unless it's only our immediate family involved, spur-of-the-moment plans are practically non-existent now. The Boy and Waffle can go days without spending significant time with their father. When they're in school they can go his whole evening shift without seeing him (pictures, phone calls and texts have to suffice).

I'm fine with this way of life. More than fine. It's different and unusual, but it has so many perks that it's hard to see the downsides. What I find irritating is when people just can't seem to wrap their minds around the fact that we're okay living like this. It doesn't bother us. Sure, it was an adjustment, but one that we were happy to make. It's not that I expect everyone to understand a life they've never lived, but it's hard to be talked at, or down-to, with this 'you poor dysfunctional family' attitude a lot of the time.

Does anyone else ever get this? How do you deal with it?


  1. My hubby was on graveyard for 5 years straight. He had almost no seniority and worked nearly 70 hour weeks for most of it. We also had our 3 children (a singleton followed by twins) during those years. It was rough and stressful, but we made it to what we could and tried to find time to do stuff together.

    Now he's on days, has promoted and doesn't have to work quite so many long days, but I doubt he'll ever have weekends off or most holidays. Luckily, our family understands. We try to work around his schedule (and my soon to be BIL who's a paramedic/firefighter), but when we can't, we take pictures, celebrate on different days and drop in at the station if we can. It helps to know you're not alone. That there's lots of other public servant families dealing with the same issues, but it's still hard when your kiddos are begging for daddy and you know he won't be home anytime soon.

  2. I get this about 80% of the time. It really is a completely different life from the "norm" and I think it's hard for others to wrap their heads around it.
    When I get this, I try my best to let it roll off my shoulders. I know that this is the life we love and that is all that matters. I put a smile on and let them have their opinions. I try and use a line of "This is our normal and we love the adventure it brings us." Take it or leave it.

  3. Over time you find your family will stay in it's own little bubble. I think finding other police wives through networking that can really understand what sacrifices not only our husbands make but our whole family makes is what has kept me sane, oh and having a blog to write about it.


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