To a law enforcement family, time is precious. I am sure time is important to non-law enforcement families too, no doubt. But in a law enforcement family, we treat time a little differently, you see. We protect and count every second. We count every second our spouse is out keeping the community safe. We count every second until our officer walks through the front door. We count every second we have with our officer until shift starts again. We count every second our officer is home with us safely. Every second counts.
As a police wife, we do a lot of things alone, a lot of the time. We do household chores, bedtime routines with kids, doctor appointments, holidays, family events, gatherings, and so much more. It is just our way of life and we learn to get used to it. But things are different when our officers are home; we cherish that time.
Protecting our Time
When our officer is home, we want to be selfish. We are allowed to be selfish. We want to protect our time with our officer as much as possible. We don’t want to spend the few hours we have running around and having time fly by. We want quality time together as a family. We want to soak in every minute and for time to stand still. Many people who are not law enforcement just don’t understand this- even family and friends.
Let me explain it this way:
As a law enforcement family, we look at our schedules each week and try to find little blocks of time where our officer is not working. “Little blocks of time” – not days, like most families. We may only get one hour per day. Some days, we may have the morning to spend with our officer before he leaves for work in the afternoon. An entire day off is few and far between, it seems.
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A police officer’s days off are not protected. They are often filled with trainings, court, the range, getting called out for special assignments, and more. So the chances that an officer has a consistent schedule, with planned days off, is sometimes slim.
Learning to say “no”
Due to all the inconsistencies of our officer’s schedule, we sometimes have to say “no” when we are invited to events and social gatherings. While we attend some family functions and gatherings with friends, there are times we just have to politely decline. It is never personal- ever. It comes from a place of love for our officer and desperately wanting time as a family.
We go to many events without our officer and some with him, as a family. But due to our schedules, we simply can not do it all. While you are spending holidays as a family, we are missing an important person from ours. While you are enjoying fireworks on Independence Day, our other half is protecting the streets so you can have a good time.
Our officers are tired; physically and mentally. Our family is craving time together, that we just don’t ever seem to find. Therefore, we just have to say “no” on some occasions.
A Message to Our Family and Friends:
While you may still not understand our reason for saying “no”, I hope you can respect our decision. Please don’t make us feel bad. Please don’t judge our decision as a family. Please just know, we love our officer greatly and quality time is what we are seeking. Our decision to say “no” is never malice nor an excuse. Please just try to understand.
Fellow law enforcement families:
Please share this with your friends and family. While we love our friends and family and want to see them, we also desperately want them to understand the reason behind why we say “no”. Please use this post as an explanation on a situation that is very misunderstood.
Time is so important for a law enforcement family, so read about ways to make use of your time, as a police wife, when your officer is working.
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