When schedules conflict, it can be hard to find time to be with your officer. Especially when kids are involved. LEO has one work schedule, spouse has another. Then kid’s are either in daycare or in school. Factor in sports and other extra-curricular activities. IT’S NOT EASY.
Many LEO families find themselves balancing around their officer’s schedule. It’s common. But, again, NOT EASY. Generally speaking, there is no 9-5 schedule. Mostly just shift work. So, if that is your life, day in and day out, then how can you possibly create a routine? A routine that works for EVERYONE.
I wish I could say we have a magic answer that solves it all, but sadly, I don’t. It does take work. I don’t want to sugar coat things for you because that would not be helpful. It took my family years of trial and error before we figured out what worked best for us through each season of life. Remember, what works for you, may not work for another police family. Slowly try to make some changes. Stick with what works and toss what doesn’t.
Here are some helpful tips for creating a routine as a law enforcement family:
MAKE A CALENDAR. Whether you use a calendar on your phone, a white board for all to see, or a paper planner, writing down everyone’s schedule for a week or month is most helpful. I keep a calendar on my phone, so I can receive alerts and so I can get to it quickly. I keep it monthly for everyone in the family then I talk with my LEO at the beginning of each week to go over the schedule for that week.
I also have a bound calendar to keep track of the each person’s schedule is our home. My favorite calendar, that I have been using years, is the Erin Condren planner. I use the Life Planner, which gives me a variety of ways to customize the calendar for what works best for me. I carry it almost everywhere and I love the notes section for adding quick reminders for myself. You can use my link and receive $10 off your FIRST order at erincondren.com.
CREATE A TIME OF DAY TO BE TOGETHER. This one is definitely a toughy. Granted, it can not happen every day for most and I get that. But try. There are absolutely some days, maybe 2 or 3, in a row that we don’t get to see our LEO. However, when we do see him, it is mostly in the mornings. Our LEO isn’t always home in the evenings, so night time routines are on me. So we make the best of our mornings. The kids love cuddle time with Daddy, he helps makes breakfast, takes the kids to school, etc. We love the mornings now for this special time and the kids count on it. Our kids absolutely know it is a routine.
USE OUR POLICE WIFE RESOURCE BINDER TO STAY ORGANIZED. This binder has it ALL. It helps your family stay organized on a day to day basis, but it also provides you with information to keep you organized in case of an emergency. You don’t want to get through police wife life without it. See what’s inside the resource binder here.
Grab the All-in-One Police Wife Reference Guide
Grab this handy reference guide for all things police wife! From important dates & events to resources for law enforcement- all in one place! Subscribing also gets you access to my weekly newsletter full of tips and encouragement.
We won’t send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
Powered by ConvertKit
CREATE ONE DAY/AFTERNOON PER WEEK TO SPEND AS A FAMILY. A lot of times, this can be in the middle of the week as an LEO family. Your LEOs “weekend” is during the week. Take advantage. Restaurants and stores may be less busy. Movie matinées are cheaper. You get my point. It doesn’t matter what the day is, just find one. Even better: put those phones away, shut yourself off from the media, and just be a FAMILY.
SPLIT THE HOUSEHOLD CHORES. This is about using your time wisely. I leave notes or texts for my hubby often. I need him to help get certain things done when we know he is not going to be home for a while or at night. He is good at taking care of the dog before work, getting trash taken to the curb or dump because it is not easy for me to do it with 3 little kids. It’s all about support.
I also try to think ahead. I don’t do my chores right before my husband is leaving for work. I chose to spend that time with him and save chores for later.
Why do all this? Why is it helpful?
Some days it can be hard to get through those long shifts. It is way easier to be planned and know when you will see your LEO again. A light at the end of the tunnel! Have something to look forward to. It helps our kids TREMENDOUSLY. We both tell them our family schedule and how many more days until “family time” and until “daddy is off”. We count down “how many more sleeps”.
Before kids, we weren’t as good at planning our schedules out. It was stressful. I would think he would be off on a Thursday, but come to find out, he had court. It created arguments. I felt frustrated with his job. It just wasn’t healthy. Having a schedule and routine is a much easier way to live and deal with shift work.
Bottom line: try to use your time wisely and make the best out of the time you have. And communicate with your spouse every day. A routine is healthy and it can take the guess work out of those rotating shifts!
Let us know what routine works best for you and your family. Do you have any favorite routines as a family?
FREE Police Wife Guide- Top 10 Ways to Rock Police Wife Life
Learn to rock police wife life with these 10 easy tips! Join over 20,000 fellow police wives who are learning to rock it and feel supported with our help each week! Once a week I will provide you with even more ways to feel encouraged and supported for your law enforcement wife journey with my newsletter.