- Sometimes you are going to cook lunch or supper and they will get called to a wreck or domestic dispute. Just take that yummy meal, put it on a plate, and put it in the fridge. He will come home later and will love your cooking then.
- When his phone rings at 1:00 am don’t freak out. Getting called out will not happen as much as you think it’s going to.
- Don’t plan anything way ahead. People are always asking me to do things 3 or 4 months in advance. My life doesn’t work that way. If it is something very important tell your husband he will need to take off but otherwise just wait. Hopefully people will understand.
- Holidays are just another day of the week for a police man. The fun days when everyone is getting together are my husbands biggest work days. Try to make the day special and start your own family traditions.
- Sometimes we will be right in the middle of a conversation and he will say “Can I call you back, I’ve gotta go get this guy” Just let them go and they will call you right back after they have ruined some poor speeding souls day.
- Never underestimate the power of a drunk to ruin your plans. Ugh!
- Although shift work varies from department to department, it still stinks sometimes. Make the time you have together count.
- Make time for dates. For us once a week isn’t possible but we try to go out as much as we can.
- Keep your kids in some type of routine. Keep bed times and supper times as close to normal as you can. Just because your husband is staying out until midnight doesn’t mean you all have to stay up too.
- Find things to look forward to when your husband is working nights. Go get that movie you love and he hates. I do most of my sewing and crafts when he works nights and I look forward to it every month.
- If you are a big scaredy cat like me, get a security alarm. I set it and can sleep knowing we are safe. We have ADT and I always feel good when it’s on.
- Be independent! Don’t be scared to go to that party with friends or church event without your husband. It can be scary sometimes but load the kids in the car and just go.
- Build a support system of friends, family, etc. who know that sometimes you will be without the husband and who will welcome you and help you out too.
- Let them take naps…they aren’t being lazy. Staying up all night isn’t easy. I have a bag that I put get ready stuff in for when I know I will need to get dressed while he’s sleeping. Then I just move into the other bathroom just for that day.
- Invest in some dark or blackout curtains. I took regular black ones and put them behind my pretty ones in the bedroom. It makes a huge difference and makes the room ideal for nap taking after a night of work.
- Plan your meals around your spouses shift work. Plan easy quick meals during the night shifts so that if they get to come home, you can just relax. Save your Pinterest inspired creations for when you have more time.
Deal with the Fear
- Don’t play the “What If?” game. They are probably fine and laying in bed in the dark thinking about every terrible cop show you have ever seen isn’t going to help.
- If you call them and they don’t answer, don’t assume the worst. Usually when my husband doesn’t answer he is doing something very safe and very unexciting. 🙂
- Always give hugs and kisses and say “I Love You” I like for that to always be the last thing he hears me say before he goes to work.
- Don’t let him tell you every detail of the terrible fight he was in or terrible wreck he just worked at night. Ask him nicely to tell you in the morning. I always take the devastating details better when the sun is up!
- There are lots of very silly stupid people out there. The good news is that most of them are scared to death of your husband and what is going to happen to them. This always makes me feel better.
- Don’t over share information with your children. They will find out about the dangers of their dad or moms job soon enough.
- Pray Pray Pray! I don’t know how I could be a Police Wife without my faith in God. I know that he is watching over Dane every second and that everything happens for a reason.
Be Proud & Supportive
- They have chosen this important and sometimes difficult and dangerous job. Make sure they know how proud you are as often as you can.
- Subscribe to XM radio if your husband is in the car most of the time. Dane loves his XM!
- Let them share their stories with their adoring public. I have stood as people lined up at church to hear what Dane did on a Saturday night. I guess they love to hear the stories and guys love to tell them too so it works out.
- People love to make the same jokes about what car they drive and not to pull them over. Just laugh every time even if you want to cry from hearing it for the 1000th time.
- Make sure your kids are proud of their dad (or mom). Go to their parent days dressed in uniform. Let them get in the car and pretend. Buy them all of the police clothes they can find.
- Respect all officers from other departments and teach your kids to do this too. I know there are friendly rivalries between the city, state, and sheriff offices but they are all working toward the common goal to keep people safe.
- Be supportive even when you don’t want to. It’s not always easy but help them as much as you can.
For more about dealing with fear, please check out this post too! Good little tips to keep you sane 🙂
What are your tips for living with a police man or woman?