When our firefighters are out there giving, it means we are giving too. Our time together, that is. Firefighter wives across the country are home on holidays cleaning, prepping, wrangling children, keeping up the holiday cheer while their firefighters are at the station running their tails off on a smorgasbord of calls. Loneliness can be felt on both sides.
Can I give some hope for those of you who are newer to the fire life and just learning to experience this? This year we will be apart from our firefighter on Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after. Yes it’s kind of weird to know that lots of other families will be off having holiday that day and it will be me and our 4 kids. But we are so much better about that than we used to be. Because we get to have a family day all day on Wednesday. No school and no work. Our kids are older now and can understand and appreciate that. It. Gets. Better. It totally gets better. I promise!
But you may not be there yet. And it’s ok. We wanted to share in this article some ideas for getting through this holiday season.
One thing I never used to do early in our marriage was reach out to other fire families. It felt weird and scary. Until my blog with my lonely fire wife thoughts I wondered if anyone was even reading, blew up into this amazing community of other fire wives who felt just like me. Here’s one of my favorites. Just last year, Elaine, a fire wife joined the Fire Wife Sisterhood on Thanksgiving. It was a powerful experience for her personally and for her marriage and we wanted to share it with you all:
“My husband heard about FirefighterWife.com when he was on shift one day. He had watched some of the Mercer PTSD YouTube videos, and really liked what he saw.
Thanksgiving of 2014 I was home alone with a toddler, my first of many holidays where he would be on shift. I had NO clue he knew about Firefighter Wife until I woke up on that Thanksgiving morning to my husband telling me he signed me up! He wanted me to be surrounded by ladies who “get” the fire life and could pick me up! I was so overwhelmed at first, but the admin team and the ladies in the group made me feel welcome. I shared my emotional feelings in the Fire Wife Sisterhood Facebook Group and had such wonderful feedback. These girls actually knew what I was feeling and helped me figure out a how to make it through that first Thanksgiving. Coming up on my one year anniversary in the Fire Wife Sisterhood I’m extremely thankful for the friendships I’ve made.
It started off with my first spring Rescue Pack. I was paired with Peggy. I was in a different season of life. A two-year-old and the crazy schedule! That veteran Fire Wife was my first Sister, and I’ll always hold her close to my heart. This is why I recommend becoming a supporting member so you can receive benefits such as the Rescue Packs. You really get to know other girls.
Then I went to Flame Fest, what is now called Commitment Weekend. I was so scared because I had never, ever left my son, and I hadn’t been on a trip with my husband alone in almost three years! Plus, I only had one Sister I felt close with. Wow! I was so wrong. I met girls that weekend, and the relationships were instant. These girls truly are my family. They would drop and do anything for me and my family.
In one short year I’ve gained more family and friendship than I would have ever imagined possible. My marriage wasn’t in trouble when I joined. It was the fact that my husband knew I need the Fire Wife Sisterhood for me to understand the brotherhood in the fire service. I’m forever grateful for this community and will never be able to pay back what it has given myself and my family.”
It’s so hard for words to express the true friendships that develop in the Fire Wife Sisterhood. But maybe this holiday is your chance to connect and feel that love. Use these links to join the Fire Wife Sisterhood or Honor Guard (our community for firefighters who are devoted to their marriage and firefighting).
Over the years we’ve shared many great articles over the holidays. Here’s a round up of the best. We hope one of them connects with you today.
Sometimes holidays have to be rescheduled in a fire family.
It is a fact. It is part of the life we choose to live. We know our families won’t always be able to celebrate on the calendar date of the holiday. Want to know what other fire families do when holidays are rescheduled?
Planning for Thanksgiving Firefighter Wife Style – Maybe your family’s Thanksgiving this year isn’t on actual Thanksgiving Day. Maybe you are freaking out about how to feed a large crowd. Maybe your extended family doesn’t understand what it is like to have your firefighter work on Thanksgiving. Don’t worry! You got this!
Celebrating Thanksgiving without Daddy – Are you wondering how to make your family holiday work when it won’t fit the “Norman Rockwell” painting this year ? Don’t fear! There is hope! You can change the day for you, your spouse, and your kids, too. You can create a beautiful, extraordinary, unique holiday for your fire family.
Christmas has been Rescheduled – Ho! Ho! Hoooold on a minute! What do you mean Christmas isn’t on Christmas? Throw that calendar away and let your Christmas Spirit dance through the not-so-normal holidays!
One of the most asked questions in our community…..what’s a good gift for a firefighter? Stay tuned! Our Holiday Gift Guide will be coming soon!
Every year we pull together the best gifts for firefighters and their families. Then we share them with you! If you are coming up short on ideas on what to buy for Christmas, hang in there just a little longer and we have some inspiration to send your way!
Follow Firefighter Wife on Pinterest!
Did you know Firefighter Wife is on Pinterest? Not only are we on Pinterest, we have a board with some pretty awesome DIY ideas for Christmas gifts! Follow the Fire Family’s Christmas board below.
Oh, hey, a long holiday weekend away from family is a good time to get distracted by some Pinterest projects!
One of our favorite and easy to do meaningful, done for you, gifts. Pretty much anything from our friends at Dating Divas!
The Dating Divas have created a fun, crafty, and decorative Christmas Countdown not only for your spouse, but also one for your family! Take the stress out of planning a countdown and use one or both of these festive printable countdowns to share the season with your spouse and family!