Shhhhhhh! I have a big secret to share! I really enjoy days my husband is gone at the fire house. Sure there are some when Murphy strikes hard and I just NEED him to come home. But if he was here almost every day and we shared a bed almost every night, I truly think life might get a little stale. It might be a little more difficult to spice things up. And exactly when would I catch up on my reading and hobbies and paint my toenails guilt free?
Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not wishing him away. But we’re 12 years in to a minimum 25 year gig and you must find the silver linings. And this has to be one of my most favorite perks of the fire service. We miss each other just enough when he’s gone for a 24 or 48 and appreciate that moment when you are back in each other’s arms again.
Actually, 24/48 schedules may be the best deployment ever.
The first night back you’re so happy to be once again warmed up next to his body in bed. And the second night you’re realizing he won’t be there tomorrow. So basically he’s either coming or going. (Catch that?) Saying “Hello Love” or “So that you don’t forget me until the next time”.
It’s easy to get whiny and feel like every day is a day he’s gone. Or at least those are the days when everything piles up on you. But just give me a stretch of 5 of 8 days at home when he’s been sick, or taken some time off and by about day 4, I am secretly realizing how much I miss the “me time” I get to enjoy on his shift nights. I’m missing going to bed exactly when I want to. I miss the special routines the kids and I have together. I miss having quiet time in the house to read after the kids go to bed. Not having to watch some silly man show on TV. Not having to smell him (seriously girls, sometimes you have to admit. Boys stink!) Oh, and I can hog the hot water if I want to.
Plus there’s the “I’m used to it factor” when he is home and we can take things for granted.
When we’re home together for more than 44 hours (because by the time you factor in drive time to station that’s whatcha got left), I truly think we don’t tell each other we love each other as much as when we’re apart. When he’s on shift I do find we text sweet nothings to each other more often. And we always have a very intentional good night call where we share about each other’s day. When we’re both at home bustling around together it can become just that. Grand central station and it’s suddenly 5 pm and you haven’t hugged since waking up that day! And forget an isolated conversation because with 4 kids also wanting a piece of Daddy, it can be tough to find a moment to talk alone. (maybe I should try going out into the garage and calling his phone?)
I want you to take this post right now and bookmark it, file it away, print it off and post it, screen capture it, whatever works best for you. Then set a reminder in your calendar next time he is on a long shift to remind yourself to ENJOY SOME ME TIME and to enjoy the effect of absence making the heart grow fonder while he is at the station.
Instead of getting irritated or jealous of that husband working the 9-to-5, you get to soak in that warm feeling of pride you get when someone asks where your husband is and you say “he’s at the station.” You know. Climbing tall ladders. Operating heavy machinery. Saving lives. What’s your husband doing today?
Then convince him to facetime you from the bay in his bunker gear. Hellllllooooo! That’s all yours girls! Women all the around the world fantasizing about firefighters and you got your own soon to be back home in your bed before the sun turns round again.
Yes dear. I miss you like crazy when you’re gone but then again that’s sort of the point. I get all filled up and renewed and mostly excited for that moment we touch again. Giddy butterflies like when we first dated as I count down the nights until we sleep naked together again. Anticipation might just be the best foreplay ever.
Now if you are a new fire wife you might thing I’m a crazy loon. Because certainly when I was that newlywed I felt like I was competing with the firehouse for some time with my new husband. Until I flipped that switch and realized this is what I signed up for. Embrace it because it’s part of who he is. And as long as I resist it, those phone calls while we are apart will be filled with tension and hurt. Go with it sister! Look at the silver linings! There are so many perks to being married to a firefighter.
And that’s exactly what we are going to focus on for the next few weeks here on the blog. It’s spring. Love is in the air. The birds are chirping. The sun is warming. Flowers are budding. And we’re shaking off the ick of winter. Spring is for lovers. So it’s time to GET OUR LOVE ON.
Kick it off with The Dating Divas “Marriage Makeover” conference (details here)
And then follow along here as we inspire and lift you up with all the silver linings of being a fire wife. The perks and benefits that come along with the job and totally outweigh all those irritations that can cloud our view.
For some more reading
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- Family First, FDIC, or Both? - April 20, 2018
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- Ways to Honor a Retired Fire Wife - March 24, 2017