I had a pretty riveting conversation with my toddler the other day.
“Sweetie, can you say mama?”
I’m super stubborn. I don’t know if it’s because I’m the youngest in my family, or if it’s the German roots coming out, or what it is, but even my mom said I was her most difficult child.
Part of it’s passion. If I’m on a path I’m excited about, it can be hard to dissuade me. Some of it is just hard-headedness and not wanting to give in.
This part of my personality isn’t always a good thing – but on some occasions, it can be a huge asset.
Take marriage, for instance. When I got married, I knew it was forever. I promised we’d make it work come hell or high water, and that divorce was not an option. People told me marriage was hard, but I thought maybe they were just doing it wrong, and that I could do it better.
To my credit, I think we have a pretty great marriage. We’re going on 4 years without major incident, so that’s good 😉 But that being said, even though I love my husband and love being married to him, it’s just as hard as I was warned it could be.
Between financial difficulties, chronic pain, and a job in law enforcement, our marriage has a lot going against it. Our combined chances of divorce are somewhere around 90%. Yikes.
I love date night. I love the excuse to get all dolled up like I used to before we had kids, and I love having some quality time with my husband. It’s nice to feel like myself again, and not just “mommy”.
And the time and money investment pays off. After we go out on a date, a lot of the day-to-day irritations seem not so bad for a while.
But with my husband’s job, date night can get complicated. It’s hard enough to coordinate a time that will work for his schedule, but add in not only finding a baby-sitter but paying for one? Frustrating.
Especially because with my husband being a police officer, he’s not about to let me hire just any 12-year-old off the street. He has to size up the babysitters first to make sure they’re not secretly druggies or otherwise questionable.
I have a big announcement to make: I’m now going to be contributing to My Joy-Filled Life once per month! My Joy-Filled Life is a blog that is centered around homeschooling, but even if you’re not a homeschooling mom, I think those of you who are moms will really enjoy it. They post lots of fun activities for kids, recipes, homemaking tips, and articles that will encourage you when you’re feeling low.
If you enjoyed my previous general motherhood, homemaking, and/or encouragement topics, you’ll love the posts I contribute over there. Whenever one of my posts goes live, I’ll be sure to let you guys know so that you won’t miss it! If you’d like to know in advance when I’ll be posting, I’m scheduled to contribute a post the first Friday of each month.
The post that was published today is one that I was inspired to write after gardening recently. I realized that a lot of our literal planting season mirrored some lessons I needed to learn from the metaphorical planting season our lives are in.
While I see a lot of our “plants” beginning to grow, I know from recent first-hand experience how hard it is to plug away without seeing results. I wanted to share my experience to hopefully encourage those of you who are also in such a season.
Funny enough, I’d been thinking about these lessons but hadn’t considered writing a post on them until I was asked to be a regular contributor to MJFL. As soon as I got the email saying that I’d been chosen, I got to work writing it and managed to have the article finished within a day or two! I just love when inspiration strikes like that.
Anyway, if you’d like to check out my post, here’s the link: When You’re In The Planting Season
I hope you enjoy it!
The first time I’d ever heard of Rosie the Riveter was when I was about nine years old. My fifth-grade teacher had a big poster on the wall of her classroom that proudly proclaimed, “We Can Do It!” She referred to it often, almost as often as she’d refer to her hair as “silver, not gray”.
She said the woman in the picture was Rosie the Riveter and that she was her inspiration. She often told our class, particularly the girls, about how Rosie was a hard worker and how she did what she had to do at a difficult time in our country.
Do you know how hard it is to find individually wrapped candies that are either blue or wrapped in blue? Way harder than I expected. I thought I’d at least be able to find a blue raspberry candy or something. I mean, there was something funny about Mary Jane candies – but those might make a good 4/20 gift. I swear, police officers and stoners are equally likely to make pot jokes – just in completely different circumstances.
I really wanted to put something together as a gift for the department for Police Week, and I was hoping for something clever – but it just wasn’t happening, apparently. So, I went with an old standby: Hershey kisses.
Just 8 hours after my son was born, after more than 30 hours of hard labor followed by a C-section, my husband was back at work.
It’s just the first of many times the job has had to come before our family.
I know what it’s like to feel resentful of my husband’s job (and sometimes my husband by extension), but I realized that my son may feel the same way someday… and that worries me.
I know I can’t protect my son from all the pain in the world, and I know the difficulties of police life aren’t things I can fully take away, but the one thing I don’t want is for it to affect his relationship with his father.
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I remember the first time I saw my husband in his uniform. It blew my mind.
I mean, not only did he look super handsome (there’s something to be said about a man in uniform, after all ;)) and he’d shaved his face completely for the first time since I’d known him, but it reminded me of the new person he was becoming.
That uniform signified the new power and responsibility he had. It signified the commitment he’d made to protect and serve, no matter what it cost. Whether the cost was just a much-needed day off, or his safety, or even his life.
But that uniform also reminded me that with that commitment, I was now second in his life. Don’t get me wrong – when it’s his choice, I come first. But when it’s not? The job always comes first. No matter whether I’m sick, no matter if we have a newborn… if the world needs him, he’s there.
It’s a lot like being married to Batman, I swear, and there’s nothing more frustrating than when I need my husband and that bat signal shows up and takes him away.
Because of all the sacrifices he has to make for the job, the statistic that we only have a 25% chance of making it is ever-present in my mind. With every frustration I experience because of the job, I remember how important my marriage is to me. Being one of the 75% of law enforcement marriages that doesn’t make it is not good enough for me.
Because you know what? I’m determined. I’m not one to just give up in the face of adversity. In fact, the harder things get, the more determined I get to be successful. I want to beat the odds, and whatever it takes, my marriage is worth it – especially now that we have kids.
At times, the statistics about law enforcement marriage have scared me. Overall, though, they’ve been a catalyst to make me more careful, more intentional about caring for my marriage. It forces me to realize that the marriage of my dreams isn’t going to happen by chance. It’s going to happen because we worked for it.
If you want to divorce-proof your marriage, these 5 things are what you’ll want to focus on.
Sometimes, my husband has days that just straight-up suck.
Granted, we all have those. I have those. But his sucky days always seem just a little suckier than my own. (How many times can I use the word “suck”?)
Seriously, though. I might complain that our son would not. stop. throwing. tantrums. all day long, but when he gets home and has gotten into a fight with someone high on drugs or seen something he really, truly wishes he hadn’t, that pretty much takes the cake.
I can’t tell you how much I admire him (and his fellow officers) for the sacrifices they make. I’m glad they’re willing and able to do the things I’m not.
There’s a lot of bad press about cops lately. Have you noticed? Who am I kidding: of course you have. It’s impossible to miss… unfortunately. There are countless articles that call the police power-hungry, over-militarized, trigger-happy, insensitive, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
If you’re anything like me, they strike a nerve (to say the least!)
You know your husband. You know his friends. You know them as people who feel called to law enforcement because they want to make the world a better place. You know how their jobs touch their hearts, even when they have a hard time showing it.