Life is crazy enough for a two parent family, but what do you do if one spouse is a first responder and is always on the job? As hard as it is to be the primary parent, it can be done! Lots of women (and men too!) have found ways to make it work and keep everyone happy.
I myself am married to a firefighter who works at 2 firestations. We have 3 fur kids and are in the process of starting our own family through in vitro fertilization. It’s hard when you only see each other about 4 days a month. So I have learned that those 4 days he is home, to make sure we spend time with each other and everything else can wait. We do try to get caught up on household projects that I can’t do alone. But mostly we spend the day on the motorcycle or just hanging out at home. I do try to get up to the fire stations about once or twice a week to have dinner with my husband, just so I get a little bit more time with him.
Give 20 minutes to vent and leave it be!
What does this mean? This simply means that you give your first responder 20 minutes of uninterrupted time to tell you how their day (shift, etc.) went. Let them say whatever it is they need to get off their chest with absolutely NO JUDGEMENT! Then, after the 20 minutes is up, they must simply leave their job outside the front door. If you choose to, you can continue the conversation and offer advice on handling it. Those of you that don’t get too involved in your responder’s job, may not wish to do this.
Holidays can be flexible!
Those of us who spend most of our time away from our spouses have learned to adapt. Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean that they get a day off! We just celebrate the holiday either before or after, depending on their shift. Sometimes, they do get lucky and will get Thanksgiving or Christmas Day off, but we don’t count on it.
Find happiness in the little things!
This means just be grateful that they are able to come home to you. Life is precious and we often take it for granted. Curl up on the couch after dinner, take a stroll around the neighborhood. Volunteer together at your local charity. Just do it! Life is too busy to always stop and remember to take a deep breath. But if you don’t breathe, you don’t exist. So breathe in your partner and live the life.
Put Passion where it belongs!
This means that you are in control of when, and where you do it! Those that have children, may opt to keep it in the bedroom or hire a sitter for a night away. Hey, nothing wrong with that! Those who don’t have to worry about prying eyes, this means you have free rein. Use your imagination and get creative! Mood strikes while you’re making dinner? Turn off that burner and head to the dining room. Spontaneity goes a long way to keeping a spark in the relationship. Don’t feel like passion always has to be scheduled. Who cares if you have a headache or had a long day, sex is the cure all for that!
Make it Count!
Love your first responder and make sure everyone knows it! They risk their lives everyday to protect others and we are the ones who pay the price. You have their love and loyalty to family on your side.
Stay safe out there Responders!!!!