Celebrating Dads…..Fire Life Style
Firefighting can be very much a family tradition. Of course we all know how having a firefighter in your family can shape your family journey. I especially love to honor Dad’s for just being dad’s on Father’s day.
Was your dad a firefighter? You probably have a lot of thoughts on this.
Is your husband an even more awesome dad than a firefighter? There are so many dad’s rocking it out with daytime parenting responsibilities on their off-shift days. Not many dads get to have that privilege. My husband was one of the few hanging out poolside in the summer. He picked out the other shift worker dads to chat up their daytimes (however dads chat it up…..I’m going to just leave that right there.)
“HONOR YOUR MOTHER AND FATHERING”
So it’s not so easy to juggle parenting sometimes in the Fire Life. We wrote a whole chapter in our book “Honor and Commitment” about this including….
- The disappointment of mandatory OT
- How much HE misses US when he’s gone that long
- Handling emergencies somehow seem easier with expert emergency handlers around
- The more valuable “waking hours” a firefighter dad gets to spend with his kids compared to a 9 – to – 5 – er
- Finally, those important character building discussions on the commitment and courage and integrity it takes to fulfill a profession like firefighting. Not all kids are blessed with a father who can share that firsthand.
Honor Your Fathering…Firefighter Dads
Whether our firefighter husbands are dads or our fathers were firefighter dads, we want to take this time to honor ALL the firefighter dads out there! Some of you even have generations of firefighter dads in your families.
Benefits of Fire Schedules
They constantly amaze us how they can juggle it all, usually with little to no sleep after a long shift. They have the privilege and the challenge of having extra daytime off with their kiddos when their schedules allow. Not a lot of dads can say they get to spend entire days with their families during the work week.
Our Mr. Moms can often cover all the bases for us, especially when both spouses are working. This is such a gift! Not just for the wives, but also the kids, who get some one-on-one time with dear Dad.
Not every firefighter has this benefit. For instance, Shanna B.’s husband is a wildland firefighter, “Hi from Oregon!! My husband is a FF here & we are just starting our busy wildfire season!! We miss him so much! It is hard to explain to our daughter!” Volunteer firefighters are often on call as well, which can make it hard for them to be the stay-at-home parent without adequate backup.
Another thing many firefighter dads do is adjust their schedules and workload based on their child’s age, childcare availability, and spouse’s work. Some firefighters forego the second part-time (or full-time) job they take on just so they can be at home to see the priceless first steps, recitals, ballgames, or other momentous childhood moments.
Taking a part-time firefighter position is another thing some families decide to do for that season of life. David and Lisa G. followed this plan, “Lisa went part-time after we had kids. Having one of us available was important. We try to be at all their special events. I’ve tried to work a second job, but it is too much.”
The opposite can happen too, and they can get a second job so their wife has the ability to stay home. This is a big sacrifice for the firefighter as well as the wife and family. They miss their families when they are at work and sometimes feel left out because of it. But we do what we have to for our children’s sake, and fire families are so full of love and strength! Caroline C. said, “I stayed home for 14 years and my hubby worked at a fire department and worked a second job for us to make it. It was super hard but we’ll worth one of us home. I have been working and in college now for 5 years. Graduate nursing school in august so things will lighten up.”
Fill the Love Tanks
With all the juggling of schedules to cover the kids, it can be a big challenge to squeeze in date nights.
Do whatever you can to keep the dating alive, because every one of us needs our love tanks full to be the best parents, firefighters, employees, wives, and husbands we can be!
Commitment Weekend is a hot topic in the 24-7 COMMITMENT community right now. We wrapped up our first one in Colorado, and this weekend is North Carolina! So much fun, but more importantly, so much strengthening of marriages is happening! Ashley W.: “I definitely want to go to a commitment weekend. My FF kinda of gave me the eye roll but whatever. Hehe.” Don’t worry if he rolls his eyes! There are so many great things to do at a Commitment Weekend. Even if he isn’t into the Ball, there are things like couples massage classes and H.O.T for Marriage, and they are always located in places where you can have awesome adventures before and after the Commitment Weekend activities.
Celebrate the Firefighter Dads this Father’s Day
So how do we decide on the perfect gift to give the dads who give so much to their families while still serving their communities? Where do you even start?
Patricia D. had a great idea! “My husband is working Father’s Day so we surprised him early with corn hole boards we had another firefighter make for him. They will create a little more family fun in the yard when he is home!”
QALO rings are always a great gift, especially the Thin Red Line Series or even add a custom engraving to the inside of the ring. Read on below for more unique ways to surprise your firefighter dad on Father’s Day this year.
Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on the holiday, keep in mind, sometimes the most meaningful gifts are the most thrifty, Zachery F. said, “My best gifts were the hand written cards and small trinkets my kids gave me this past week.”
Whatever you do this Father’s Day, be thankful we have them here to be such a strength and backbone to our family.
Anna J. had an eye-opening reminder of just how precious our firefighters are to us. “How’s this for a shot to the nerves? I was home the other day from work while hubby was on his regular job and his fire pager went off for a fire at HIS workplace!! He and his colleagues tried to control the fire, but had to back out and call the fire department. I didn’t hear from him for close to an hour after the tones and I was terrified. He finally called and it was so awesome to hear his voice and know he was OK. I bring this up because with father’s day coming up, I’m glad that he’ll be around to see another one.”
The wives aren’t the only ones being thankful. Here are a few special thank yous from some firefighters who joined in on the LIVE video this week:
“Just to let you know, it is really awesome all that you’re doing, with all the sacrifices that a firefighter makes for the job and for the wife and family as well is sometime really hard. I have a very loving, understanding wife that supports me, and to be honest sometime I think without her I couldn’t even function! But anyways it’s awesome what you’re doing. #247commitment” Troy F.
“Wow! Who knew that this was such a need? Just to have a place where like minded people can share their joys and pressures of life. Nice work!” Christopher M.
Some of our favorite firefighter / dad related resources here include:
- Consoling a Child’s Heart – Firefighter Dads, Little Girls, and Broken Hearts
- Will you risk a lot to save a lot for your family? by Benjamin Martin
- Blended Families – A Second Chance At Happily Ever After
Photo Fun….. For the Firehouse Locker
Easy DIY Gifts
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