PTSD In First Responders: The First 4 Steps To Take

Hey guys!  This is a guest post from Tatyanna of A Pop of Life on helping the one you love cope with the trauma they encounter as a first responder.  This is the first of hopefully several posts on the subject, because it’s an important one to address.  If you’re currently in this situation, I hope this helps you!

There is a call of duty that drives the bold and brave to sign up to become first responders. The job requires a dedication to the welfare and safety of members within the community. Individual needs are essentially put on the back burner. This bit of courage sometimes can result in unexpected consequences.  Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can present itself in the lives of first responders and their families long after the job has finished.

I’m a wife to a career soldier. How does this differ from being a wife to, let’s say, a banker, a businessman, or even a teacher? It means the possibility of post-traumatic stress is very real and probable in my husband’s line of work.  He has numerous tours under his belt which increase the likeliness of PTSD becoming a part of our lives. I’ve noticed a good deal of people try to shy away from the topic or even feel embarrassed to admit that it has become an issue within their family. This shouldn’t be the case.

The Only Father Your Kids Need Is The One Who Tries.

My husband walks in the door and gives me the look that says, “don’t ask”.  Uh-oh.

He gives me a quick kiss, kisses the top of our son’s hair, then walks to the other room and closes the door.

Days like this are so hard.

And I always find myself feeling conflicted.

Can’t he see I need a break, too?  But then again – I know his job is hard.  Then again, so is mine.  It must be nice to have someone to pick up the slack all the time.

And on top of that, I wonder if my child is going to be ruined because we don’t have the “perfect family”.  Because Daddy doesn’t come home every day ready to be super involved with him.  Because sometimes he doesn’t see Daddy for days on end.  Because Daddy is married to his job just as much as he is to his mom.

I worry a lot about the effect his job has on our son and his relationship with his dad.  I want them to be close.  I want A to have a role model he can look up to.

5 Must-Read Books for Police Wives

Since I’ve been feverishly working on writing my book (possibly a good choice of words, since I’m writing this with a stuffy nose and a fever right now ;)), I’ve been thinking about books for police wives… and man, there are some fantastic ones out there!

I wanted to showcase them all in a post for a few reasons:

  1. Seriously, they look incredible, and they deserve to be showcased.
  2. I hope one day my book will make it onto one of these lists – I guess I can start with adding it to my own when the time comes 🙂

How To Trust God When You Don’t Understand His Plan

About a month ago, things were looking really lousy around the Everly home.

It was like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong.  We were sick, A was going through a sleep regression, J had lost his job (more on that at another time), our car was acting up, and so on, and so forth.

The whole time, I couldn’t stop myself from asking: God, where the heck are you?

33 Creative Ways to Make Learning More Fun: Guest Post

Hey there! I just wanted to let you all know that my latest post for My Joy-Filled Life is now live.

For those who aren’t familiar, My Joy-Filled Life is a blog primarily for Christian homeschooling moms.  They have lots of tips and tricks to make homeschooling more doable, and encouragement for moms who are struggling.

As someone who is planning to homeschool in the future, I’m a big fan… which is why I really enjoy writing for them!

My latest post focuses on the creative things you can do with your kids as a homeschool mom.  Because you don’t have to have a lesson plan suitable for 20-30 kids, you can tailor what you want to teach to suit your kids’ interests.

7 Thoughtful Gift Ideas for Police Wives

Honestly, I’m not much of a gift person.  If there’s something I want, I tend to just get it myself – I don’t want to have to depend on other people to get it.

And I don’t like having a lot of crap I don’t use around, so getting me something less utilitarian doesn’t work all that well.

So…. My husband often has a hard time shopping for me.  While he likes buying me stuff (yay!), he gets a little stuck sometimes.  And there’s only so many bags of mini peanut butter cups a person can eat.

So even though I normally target my posts to you women – this time I’m talking to your husbands.  So go ahead and forward this to him if you think he might get stuck this year, too 😉

3 Ways To Have a Merry Christmas Without Your Husband

As a police wife, you get used to doing things on your own.

You go to family parties alone.  You go to church alone.  You parent alone.  It becomes your normal.

But one thing that’s really hard to get used to?  Holidays alone.

I mean, maybe it’s just me, but I love Christmas.  From the moment Black Friday comes around, I’m ready for Christmas everything to come around.  I love everything about it

I want to drink hot chocolate, watch A Christmas Story, snuggle on the couch, drive around looking at Christmas lights, go to Christmas parties, enjoy nearby events like Zoolights, the whole nine yards.

However, none of those things are very fun by yourself.

Is the Dollar Shave Club Worth It?

Can I admit something embarrassing?

I was super nervous about my husband having to go clean-shaven for the academy.

I mean, I’d never, ever seen him completely without facial hair.  Ever.  I was kind of worried I wouldn’t like it.  I was also worried he’d be upset if I didn’t like it.

So I waited outside the bathroom with bated breath while he shaved.  The suspense.

Luckily, I thought he was just as handsome as ever.  Phew.

But the experience was a great reminder in why he didn’t shave before.  It’s not just because he prefers to have some facial hair: it’s because he has coarse hair and super sensitive skin, so shaving is pretty unpleasant.

And because of those two factors, blades aren’t something we could skimp on.  If we did, he’d definitely feel it.

Poor guy.

But because of that, we had to spend a lot of money on razors.  Phew, they’re super expensive.  So when we heard of the Dollar Shave Club, we figured it was worth a shot.

Is the Dollar Shave Club Worth It?

Cost

First of all, your first box is only $1 (with free shipping).  That includes one handle and 4-5 cartridges (4 for the 4x or Executive blades, 5 for the Humble Twin), so if you for whatever reason decide it’s not for you, you’re only out $1 for giving it a shot.

When we ordered our first box, we ordered an extra handle with it since we were planning to share the subscription anyway, so the total cost of our first box was $7.

After that, each box is $1, $6, or $9, depending on the type of blades you choose.

Because my husband shaves frequently and has such sensitive skin, we tried the Executive blades first.  Even the $9 box was still a great bargain, considering the comparable Gilette blades we had been buying ran for about $12-15 for four blade refills.

 

Quality

Unfortunately, the Executive blades weren’t my husband’s favorite.  He only got one good shave out of them before it was too dull and got clogged up with hair.

Based on a few reviews that recommended the 4x for sensitive skin, we decided to give that one a try.  Thus far, they’ve done the trick – and it doesn’t hurt that they’re even cheaper.

He uses the razors in conjunction with Art of Shaving products, which are a big reason he doesn’t have crazy issues with razor burn anymore – but these razors don’t seem to aggravate his skin, which is great.

But if you have sensitive skin, too, definitely give the 4x a try instead of the Executive.

As for me, I don’t have super sensitive skin and don’t shave my legs daily – so I’ve really never had an issue with the blades.  And I can go 2-3 weeks without changing it out.  So I could probably deal with the Humble Twin and be fine – but it’s not worth getting a separate box right now since I go so long between changes 🙂

 

Convenience

My favorite thing about the Dollar Shave Club is how easy it is to manage your account.  If you want to change your plan, get blades more frequently (especially if you share a box like we do), add any products or postpone shipments, you can do so painlessly in their Membership Settings area.

That means you can change or cancel your subscription without having to call and go through automated systems, then talk to an associate that tries to persuade you to stay.

None of that.  Which is a huge selling point in my book.  I hate having to deal with customer support even on a good day.

They also send a reminder email prior to shipping each box, so if you want to postpone that box or add anything to it, you’ll be reminded about it in time.  That’s great for me, because I don’t want one more thing to remember on my own. I have enough of that 😉

 

So the answer to the original question: is the Dollar Shave Club worth it?

In my opinion, absolutely – especially if your husband shaves frequently, whether that’s for law enforcement, firefighting, or even working at an office.  It’s the most cost-effective way to get a good quality shave.

However – skip the extra cost for the Executive blade for now.  The 4X does a much better job 🙂

Even if you don’t change your blades every week as they suggest (I sure don’t!), you can get the first box, then postpone shipment until you need blades again, without any sort of hassle with customer service.

 

If you want to give it a shot, you can get your first box for only $1 here!

 

Have you tried the Dollar Shave Club?

Hmm.  Good to know.  My husband's a police officer and shaves every day and we spend a fortune on razors.  Haha.

3 Ways to Be Happier, Even When Life Is Hard

Let’s face it:  Life is just hard sometimes.

And it’s the worst when it not only comes out of left field, but also everything decides to go wrong all at once.  It seems like it’s never just one thing, know what I mean?

It’s like, sure, the car might break and we’ll think we have that covered, then BAM, we’re sick, then BAM our fridge breaks… on and on until we’re crabby and miserable.

Maybe that’s you right now.  I don’t know.  But does it help you to know you’re totally not alone?  It happens to everyone.  Promise.

Whatever it is, I get it.  It’s sucky to be in a season where you want so badly to be happy and you’re just… not.  Where it seems like everyone and everything is out to get you.

Even when all that’s happening, it’s still possible to be happy.

10 Gifts For Police Officers (That Will Actually Get Used)

This post contains affiliate links.  Read full disclosure here.

I know it’s still a smidge early to be talking about Christmas, but I personally start thinking about Christmas way earlier than December.  To be honest, since most of my gifts are handmade, I start the planning process around December 26th each year.

But I wanted to help you guys out in case you’re not sure what to get your husband this year.  I know gift giving for men can be hard, but I think giving things to a police officer, you have a small advantage because there are certain things you know he’ll love and use regularly.