I’ll be honest – my heart hasn’t really been into blogging lately.
I’m glad I’ve had some posts pre-written for the next few weeks, because the latest media frenzy against police is weighing me down… and I know I’m not alone. I know I’ve needed to write something on the topic, but I hadn’t really been able to figure out how.
I just feel like… what can I possibly say?
I actually wrote an entire post that I ended up deleting, because I just didn’t feel up to getting into the politics of the situation. It was written out of anger, outrage, and hurt, and that’s never a good place to write from. Nonetheless, if you’re searching for my opinion on the matter, here it is.
Police officers put their lives on the line every day. They deserve our love and support. They deserve the benefit of the doubt, and the right to being innocent until proven guilty. If they kill a criminal who has put their lives in imminent danger, it’s sad. It’s sad when people die. But the fault lies in those who break the law, not those who swear to uphold it and keep that promise. Those who target police officers are nothing short of terrorists, and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Politics aside, it seems the daily life of LEO wives is different. All through his career, you’ve known danger and death were a possibility. Every day, he’s put his life on the line. Now, it’s different. Now, death and danger feel suddenly imminent and not like just a mere possibility.
On Monday, I talked about how important it is to spend time taking care of yourself. If you want a strong marriage, it’s imperative you spend time improving yourself in addition to putting energy into your spouse and children. You can’t be there for them if you’re not there for yourself.
After all, an empty jug doesn’t have anything to give.
Especially when you’re a mom, the idea of taking care of yourself can feel a little foreign. You spend so much time on your little ones who need you for everything. Even when they go to bed, you’re probably thinking about how to prepare your house for the next day, cleaning up their toys or preparing food for them. It’s a never-ending job.
With so many responsibilities, it can be really hard to find the time to care for yourself. On top of that, first responders aren’t exactly paid top dollar, and it can be hard to justify using family funds on yourself.
I have a confession to make. I know I give a lot of marriage advice on this blog, especially advice for how to be a better wife. My confession is that a few weeks ago, I was being an absolutely lousy wife.
Don’t get me wrong. I had the best of intentions. We were facing financial difficulties and they stressed both of us out. I wanted to do what I could to make things better, so I got cracking.
I worked from sun up to sun down trying to make things better. If I wasn’t making progress, I told myself I needed to push harder. I didn’t think I could afford to spend any time on leisurely things, because time that I wasn’t working was time wasted.
Our toddler is like a parrot.
A highly selectively mimicking parrot.
Someone will give him, say, a piece candy. I’ll ask him to say thank you, and he just stares at me blankly.
When I stop short while driving because the idiot in front of me slammed on his brakes for no effing reason and I yell out an obscenity (or two… or three… and a threat maybe?) he can copy me so perfectly clearly, with such excellent diction, you’d think he’d been practicing.
Before I was married, I think I was the best wife in the world.
I would never nag my husband. I’d always have awesome dinners ready for him, whether I worked or stayed at home. I’d always keep a clean house. I’d never forget how much I love him. I’d never find him annoying. I’d never get worked up over the little things. My libido would never decrease, even after kids (ha ha ha).
I mean, they were great intentions… but let’s be real. Real life gets in the way of being the perfect wife… because there’s just no such thing.
I received a message from a reader the other day after posting this article from Melissa Littles on Facebook: The Police Wife Life: Selfish is Not An Option. It’s one I read shortly before J went to the academy and I felt it was a great preparatory article.
This reader, however, said she didn’t like it. She said it was depressing and scary. In fact, she said, after reading it, she didn’t want her husband to become a police officer at all.
Yikes. I wasn’t sure what to say.
As I mentioned last month, I’m a newly chosen contributor for My Joy-Filled Life! My Joy-Filled Life is a blog primarily about homeschooling, but also has lots of recipes and craft ideas, as well as encouraging posts mostly aimed toward those of the Christian faith.
If you didn’t catch it, last month’s article was called When You’re In the Planting Season, where I described the similarities between my first actual planting season and the planting season happening in my life.
This month, I wanted to write about service. I mention that a lot, but it’s because I think it’s so important.
Not only does service help those in need, but it also benefits those who serve. Like many others, I struggle with depression sometimes. The one foolproof cure for it is to do something nice for others.
I still remember the first time my husband and I were alone after having our son.
It was only a few days after coming home from the hospital, surprisingly. At the time, I was more interested in giving my parents a chance to spend time with A uninterrupted since they’d only be in town for another day or two longer. I wasn’t desperate for a break just yet.
Fast forward a few months, the desperation for a break started to set in. Note that I’m sure it would have happened sooner, but we were blessed with a super easy first baby who slept 4-hour stretches from the very beginning 😉 (Yes, it was awesome.)
That’s when I realized how freaking expensive date night could get.
You see, once my parents left, we didn’t have family around to watch our son. And he was too young for me to feel comfortable with just anyone watching him. And, of course, my husband having seen the things he’s seen is incredibly paranoid about babysitters, so he’s even pickier than I am.
It was rough. Because man, did we need date night – but it was not only impossible to arrange around my husband’s schedule, but it felt like just a regular dinner date was a fortune because of the cost of babysitting.
However – we totally found ways to make it work.
I heard this quote once that, if you want to make God laugh, all you have to do is tell him your plans. I feel like this is doubly true when you’re married to a first responder or a member of the military.
I was due with our son in late February. I thought for sure I’d go into labor early, because my mom and sister both had their babies between 37-39 weeks. By the time my due date rolled around, I was getting super antsy.
Then came March. People would ask, “When are you due?” I’d grumble back, “Last month.” I didn’t even go to church the last few weeks because I didn’t think I could take one more person asking “Where’s the baby?”
One reason I was getting so antsy is that my husband was due to have mandatory firearms training starting the middle of March. I wanted so badly for him to be able to take some time off with me and the baby, but that wasn’t an option with the training. It only happened once a year, and if he missed it, because he was in his probationary period, he could risk losing his job.
At the same time, I didn’t feel right about being induced. It just didn’t feel like the right decision for me.
When my husband went to the police academy, we didn’t live near the actual academy. The closest one was about 3 hours away, which meant he’d leave Sunday afternoon to drive there and return late Thursday night. He drove with 3 other new recruits in a department car, one of whom was a woman.
To be honest, I didn’t have any issue with that. I thought she must be super cool and couldn’t wait to meet her.
When I dropped him off at the academy, however, there stood a tall, thin Blair Waldorf look-a-like asking my husband if he’d like to join them for dinner.
Meanwhile, I stood there, four months pregnant in clothes that fit awkwardly because I still looked like I’d just had a big lunch. I, um, wasn’t feeling exactly confident.