When I got married in 2008, I knew I was signing up to be a police wife. What I didn’t know, however, is what that really meant.
For the first 2.5 years of our marriage, my husband worked an 8 hour evening shift from 3 PM – 11 PM. He also worked Every.Single.Weekend. It wasn’t ideal, but we made it work. Even though I was typically asleep by the time he got home, we were at least able to sleep in the same bed each night.
His next assignment was a specialized position as a School Resource Officer. He enjoyed the work, and we loved that he had a “normal” daytime schedule and had weekends off. Although I did worry about his safety to an extent, I knew that he was fully trained and capable of handling any incident that may happen at the school. After his 5 year term at the school expired, he transferred back to the patrol division.
The department switched to a 12 hour schedule, so he now works from 6 PM – 6 AM on a 3/2 split. This has been a definite adjustment for our family. The silver lining about the night shift is that I’m asleep during the majority of his working hours, so I don’t really have the time to worry about him. I do say many prayers for his safety, and I’m always so grateful when I hear the door open at 6:20 AM when he gets home.
Although Turner knows that daddy is a police officer and goes to work to drive the police car and help people, I don’t think he’s at the age where he can grasp the concept of daddy not being home at night. Recently, Turner woke up crying during the night, which is highly unusual. I went to his room to rock him, and he cried and cried for his daddy. It broke my heart! I explained that daddy is at work and that he would be home very soon. I closed my eyes and said a prayer that my words were true. Although I try not to ever think about the worst case scenarios, I my mind does occasionally go there.
On the flip side, I love that my husband is active in the community, and I know that he is truly a great officer. It warms my heart when I see him handing out “Junior Police Badge” stickers to little children, and I love hearing stories about how he helps citizens when he responds to their calls.
If you haven’t done so lately, please thank a police officer. Many of them are working hours that are not compatible with their family life, so they are sacrificing a lot to be there to protect our communities. And please don’t complain if a police officer writes you a speeding ticket. Just don’t speed next time and you’ll have nothing to worry about. 🙂