When Tyler got his new job as a police officer, a friend (whose husband is also a police officer) sent me a link on Facebook to a page about LEO Families. I had NO IDEA what LEO stood for. (Law Enforcement Officer). It’s a broad term used for anyone serving the public in that capacity- from police officers, detectives, game wardens, etc. Well, now I’m part of the LEO family. And like most things, I have some thoughts about it.
For starters, I can say goodbye to “regular” schedules for Tyler. No matter what shift he is on, there is no 9-5-type option. He will work 10 hour shifts (4 days on, 3 days off)…and the rotations either cover CRAZY early in the morning, LATE into the evening, or OVERNIGHT. It’s ok. I can deal. We will adjust. But I’m struggling a bit picturing life in the future…what will this crazy schedule look like with kids someday? I can what-if myself to death…so I’m trying to just get used to it for now.
Along with the schedule is when is he supposed to get anything done? When he works from 9 pm to 7 am, he comes home and crashes. He sleeps until like 4 or 5, then eats, showers, works out, gets dressed and leaves again. When is he supposed to go see the doctor? Take the dog to the vet? Fix my dining room chair? Guess that waits for a day off…
The second is the sleeping alone. It’s not the worst thing ever…but I do find myself waking up more in the night when he is gone. I wake up, look at the clock, say a quick prayer, and try to go back to sleep. I’ve kept the TV on, turned it off, kept the bedroom door open, closed it, tried lots of things to make myself most comfortable alone at night.
Let’s also discuss the gear. SO MUCH GEAR. Guns, bullet proof vests, uniforms, baton, knife, flashlights, cold weather layers, hats, boots…it’s overtaking my house. We sort of have a mud-room system going on…but it needs to be organized and more in control.
I’m learning a new language. There’s talk of beats (which are numbered around the city). Someday I’ll know automatically where he has been when he tells me he was in 8 all night. There are PI charges (public intox) and other codes and lingo to learn. I’m doing a lot of googling.
When he gets home, I get lots of stories. Stories that were fun/exciting to him. Stories of busting the bad guys or exhilarating times when he was trying to help someone. Then he says, “But you know, I don’t tell you everything. You wouldn’t want to know.” Gulp. Lord, protect him.
Also much more laundry that I have to take care of. Sure, he can have his uniforms dry cleaned…but we don’t live in town so that’s not exactly convienent. So we wash them. On perm press, and they have to be folded RIGHT AWAY SO THEY DON’T WRINKLE. It’s just a load a week, so I can handle it…but more laundry. 🙂
I’m not complaining about any of this. But it’s changes. Some that I’ll have to adjust to. I’m so thankful that he has a job he’s happy with. One he looks forward to. One he doesn’t dread. But these are also things I NEVER would have imagined to be new challenges when we embarked on this journey. This blog is not turning into a full-time LEO wife blog…but it’s part of my life…so it’s going to be part of the space here too.
Thanks for listening to me ramble. 🙂