Thursday, July 26, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Cops Wife

I love my husband and I am so proud of the work that he does.  That doesn't mean I always love his job.  I read the following article and many parts of it, really hit home.  I haven't had to deal with all of the things that are list, but I have missed countless holidays with my husband and answered the question "When will Daddy be Home?"  and then followed by, "Why isn't Daddy home yet?" more times than I care to count.  In addition, every time his shift changes we get about 3 seconds worth of notice in order to rearrange childcare and our life plans.  Every time this happens, I call one of my two friends, Jamie or Michelle, who are about the only two people on the face of the planet who understand exactly what I am talking about... because they too are married to police officers.  My heart swells with pride when I see how much my children admire him, and his uniform seems to have the same effect on other kids as well.  He loves his job and I am so honored to be married to someone with that much joy and pride in what they do.  Here's the article:

People have asked me, “So, what’s it like being married to a cop?!” “Do you get out of tickets?” “Do you know all of the cops and judges in the county?” “Do you get the inside scoop on the local trials?” “Do you get to run background checks on all of your friends and neighbors?” Well…. No, no, no, and NO! But I will tell you what it REALLY is like to be married to a cop…. It’s getting used to his swing shift schedule. It’s getting your kids used to his swing shift schedule. It’s spending weekends without him. It’s expecting him to be home at 2 am…. then waking up at 3am and realizing that he’s not home. And calling him to make sure he’s okay. And not being able to reach him. Panicking. Then finally hearing from him that he’s okay…. that he was dealing with a suicidal gunman who was holding 3 departments at bay. That everything is resolved, and he’ll be home…. when he can…. then trying to fall back asleep. It’s taking comfort in knowing that he works in a big department, where things often don’t get too exciting…. Until they do. It’s moving Christmas to the 23rd, so he can see the kids open their gifts on “Christmas morning.” It’s spending Thanksgiving …. and New Year’s Day…. and the Fourth of July….. and Memorial Day…. and Labor Day….. and all of those special days that typical families get to spend together, without him. It’s sometimes spending those special days at his station in between calls…. Because holidays are fun for most, but are often not for police. It’s going to family functions without him, even if it’s with his family. It’s trying to explain to those who don’t understand why he doesn’t come around. It’s hearing people question the strength of your marriage, when he’s “never around.” It’s sometime sleeping alone. And most times waking up alone. It’s often putting things on hold. It’s hoping you will beat the odds of a “police marriage,” when 75% of them fail. But understanding why they do. It’s helping him cope with a Chief who’s forgotten what it’s like to be a patrol officer. And a Board of Supervisors who make decisions for the department, but have never had to walk a day in their shoes. It’s picking him back up, after those people in charge refer to him as a “necessary evil.” It’s keeping the kids quiet during the day. And trying to explain to them why Daddy doesn’t sleep when they do. It’s being excited that you get to spend a day off with him…. And finding out that he has court….. or an opportunity for overtime…..or that his schedule has been changed….again. It’s watching friends get together without the kids, when you just can’t. It’s hearing about a fallen officer…. and being sad for his family….. while silently rejoicing that it wasn’t him. It’s longing for “normal.” It’s knowing that you are safe at home while it’s raining, or storming, or snowing, or icing…. While he has to be out in the elements. It’s getting an unexpected knock at the door while he’s at work, and thinking for that split second,“God, please no….” then feeling silly when it’s just the neighbor, or the mailman. It’s finding his socks laying on the floor and thinking, “Darn you!” and hoping that’s not the last thought you had of him, before…. It’s being resentful of this lifestyle, while pretending that it doesn’t bother you. It’s resisting the urge to barrage him with complaints about him, or the kids, or the house, or work…. Because he has enough on his plate the way it is. It’s FOP meetings…. And Association meetings…. And departmental meetings…. All of which seem to occur when he’s supposed to be off. It’s realizing that he’s never really “off.” It’s the politics. It’s trying to not make him feel guilty about all of these things, because you know he does…. Even though you can’t help but be angry about them. It’s realizing how precious the time you have together really is, because most of the time, he’s awake while you’re asleep or asleep while you’re awake, or somewhere in between. Rare are the days that you are actually on the same schedule. Yes, it’s all of these things. Despite this all, it is also wonderful. Knowing what he does for this world….for the community…. for our families…. for our children. It is worth it.

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