The 10 Best Ways to Make Use of Your Time When Your Officer is Working
It is no secret that being a police wife can be a lonely “job”. I often go from a high of spending quality time with my officer and our children on his days off (whenever they may be) to a low of feeling lonely and missing my spouse like crazy. There doesn’t ever seem to be a happy medium. Our time apart seems insurmountably greater than the time we have together.
When my husband started on the force, I was a First Grade teacher and we had no children. I worked many, many hours during the week getting as much done in my classroom as I could. I dedicated most of my free time (when my officer was working) to my classroom. Then summers rolled around….
I stayed so busy during the school year, but when summer arrived I felt lost. I needed ways to fill my time and not worry about my husband’s job, because that is exactly what I did. I spent so much of my free time wanting to call him, text him, check-in on him, and thinking about his safety. It was overwhelming and not helpful. My poor husband, would gently explain that he could not keep checking-in with me all the time. I finally took the hint and backed off a little, but I was left bored and still filled with worry. I needed to find ways to preoccupy my worry and time.
At first, I would shop or go out to keep my mind of things. However, shopping constantly or being away from home gets expensive. So I tried to find ways to occupy my very-busy mind that I could mostly do at home and didn’t cost money. I always felt this need to be close to my phone in case of an emergency. Realistically, is isn’t always going to happen, especially now that we have children, but I tried.
Here are my favorite ways to make use of your time when your officer is working. I have tried all of these, but was better at some than others, especially #8. 😉
- Spend time with family & friends. If you have family close by then a great time to see them is when your officer is working. You have to remember, you must go on with your life. It took me a while to understand this, but staying in contact with friends (who understand this life) and family really helped me.
- Re-organize. It may just be my Type-A personality, but I love a good purge and re-organization project. These can take a while and I never wanted to use up my time with my officer to do this sort of thing. So I always completed these types of projects while he was working. It helps pass the time if you have killer music on in the background.
- Get crafty. This is another one I didn’t like to do when my officer was home. I usually did crafts on the weekends he would work, because I felt I was “crafty” enough in my classroom, during the week. You could create small crafts for your home, a gift for your officer, play around on a Cricut making fun designs, or maybe scrapbook.
- Read a good book. When your house is nice and quiet, there is no better time to curl up with some coffee (my favorite is Blue Angel Coffee Company) and a good book. Right now I am reading Cuffs & Coffee: A Devotional for Wives of America’s Law Enforcement Officers. The devotionals really help to calm me if I am filled with worry over my husband’s job. I also love writing down my thoughts and reflections for each day.
- Exercise. A great way to actively burn off some stress is to exercise. Whether you join a local gym, run in your neighborhood (in daylight please and never alone), or watch work out videos from home, it all helps to keep your body and mind healthy.
- Journal Writing. Journaling (or a diary) is another wonderful way to let go of some of your stress and angst. It forces you to think about your thoughts as your put them down on paper and is a healthy release.
- Volunteer. Check out any options in and around your community. Volunteering your time is a positive that will keep you busy while giving back. It is a win-win. Places like churches, nursing homes, and community centers are always looking for help. This is a great option if you don’t have children of your own yet.
- Garden. Do you have a green thumb? I don’t, but maybe you do. I pull weeds, that is about it. But, if this is your thing, then I am sure your husband would love to come home to a beautiful yard filled with flowers and a fresh vegetable garden.
- Cook. I actually love to cook and entertain, finding the time with little ones is hard. You can use this time to make foods your husband would love to come home to or being surprised with on his shift. Or make things you husband does not enjoy and eat them all for yourself. 😉
- Get a pet. While I realize this costs money, having a companion, like a dog or cat, may be just what you need. We got our dog back when we had no children and I wanted to feel protected. She is the first to let us know if someone is on our property.
Now that my husband and I have children, my days and nights are spent caring for them. They keep me pretty busy and I don’t have a lot of downtime. If I do have downtime, then I spend it writing and emailing with my loyal subscribers. 🙂 If you have kids too, then be sure to read about ways to rock “solo” parenting. I have also gotten more used to his duties as an officer, so the worry has decreased, but it never goes away. I hope you begin to look past the worry and loneliness and find something for YOURSELF. It is important; you have to continue to live your life, even during the long shifts.
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