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.
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.