So I know what you are thinking, “this is not what I signed up for”. When you are married and have an involved spouse, it does not always seem “fair” to be parenting alone so much of the time. Let’s be real here, shall we?
We live a VERY unique lifestyle. One that many do not understand nor do they try to understand. Many do not understand why we (police wives) show up to events without our spouse. I often feel like, people who don’t know me, think I am truly a single parent.
As police wives, we too, go through so much because of our spouse’s law enforcement career. One part of that is parenting alone most of the time. It is an unfortunate piece of the law enforcement puzzle.
Let me say this: Being negative or mad about your spouse missing out, or being absent for life events, will only make matters worse. It will get you nowhere. Besides, who wants to be mad AND alone? Yeah, don’t sign me up for that. Yes, it is okay to feel annoyed from time to time, I feel it, too. I won’t lie, it pulls at my heartstrings when my daughter constantly asks me when daddy will be home or if daddy will be present for an event. I, too, get sad having to explain the same situation over and over again. While I may feel sad, at times, I am not mad. Not at all. I know that what our husband’s do and what they give up is beyond amazing. They are the true heroes in this world and I am forever proud.
With three little ones I am always figuring out ways to rock this “solo” parenting lifestyle as best as I can. Remember, I am beside you on this journey. I don’t have all the answers, I can promise you that. I can just let you in on what has worked best for me.
How to be the BEST “solo” parent you can be:
In my house, sticking to a schedule and routine seriously helps. I try to stay ahead of the game, as best as I can. I have all activities written down (most of the time 🙂 ), I try to know my husband’s schedule, and I have diaper bags, snacks, lunches, and book bags prepared in advance. I am also a fan of lists. I write lists for just about anything and everything. I like the sense of feeling accomplished, so being able to check things off a list is motivating for me. Try to plan ahead as much as you can when your spouse IS home, so when he is not, you can just roll with it.
Now, I know this seems counterintuitive to being prepared, but I promise you it is not. Being well-prepared is super helpful, but just know that if what you had planned didn’t work out, then don’t get upset. I learned to let a lot of things roll once we had kids and let even MORE things roll once we had three children. Don’t sweat the small stuff and you will be fine. If things don’t work out exactly as you planned, it’s seriously going to be okay. You are ONE PERSON taking care of one or more other little human beings. At the end of the day, if your children are safe, well-fed, and
maybe clean, then you have succeeded for the day! Everything else you can worry about when your spouse is around.
Find your new normal.
Just get this into your head, now. Finding your new normal in ANY police wife life experience is a must! Get used to the fact that you will be alone a lot. There is just no way around this one. I am not going to tell you what you want to hear. This is about working with what you have and what you have is a husband that works crazy hours and you are navigating “solo” parenting. Understand now that you will be taking your children to events, alone. You will be putting them to bed, alone. You will be eating dinner, alone. Not every night, I hope, but many. I promise, this is not meant to be harsh. I just don’t want to create a false sense of hope for you as a police wife. You can do this and the best way to do this is acceptance.
Like I just said, you have to just come to terms with being alone a lot, so why not own it? Be on your A-game and rock that “solo” parenting like I know you can! Believe in yourself and others will follow suit, including your husband. People will be thinking, “I don’t know how she does it?” because you do it so well! I believe in you!
I know that this is another reason you were meant for this life! You are strong enough to carry out the role as a “solo” parent while your spouse is out protecting the streets. Take it day by day, hour by hour, if you need to. God only knows, I do! Your house may be dirty, dishes piled high and laundry unfolded, but you are caring for some very important little people, so let it ride. I hear it gets easier as they get older? Maybe? 😉
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