Today, I received the biggest news since finding out we were pregnant over two years ago. I know many of the LEO wives out there will understand this one.
My husband is moving to day shift.
Having a one-year-old and a husband on nights has been miserable for the last year and some change. For me, but mostly for our son. He has been to young to understand, and he spends most of his time alone with me frustrated, pointing at pictures of his Dad, and trying to run up and hug every police officer we pass. My husband and I saw each other an average of one hour a day, and for my son, sometimes less when he goes to bed early. While I have dealt with the night shift thing (sometimes not as well as I could have), I have been praying for the longest time for God–if it was in His will–to bring my husband to days, somehow. Night shift has grown on me in that I’ve learned to handle the chaos and have found some pros that day shift doesn’t have, but ultimately, our family was suffering.
I can’t imagine how hard of a decision it was for my husband to request days. Coming out of a deployment, he craves the action of nights. He has awesome stats–some of the best in the department, and he’s only been there 13 months. He’s also so close to most of the officers on his shift. I know that my husband will be a little less enthused with day shift calls versus the crazy night shift ones. Ultimately, though, we have to put family first, and I guess that finally clicked. I’m so very thankful that he made this sacrifice for our family. Though the action may be less, the love and joy of our family will be more, and I hope that makes this all worth it for him.
I’m sure I’ll post about the being a night shift wife versus day shift wife come switch time (which isn’t until January), so look out for that!
It’s not easy to pretend otherwise. This morning, I lashed out at my husband for not cutting the grass on his two days off. While that did irritate me, it wasn’t about the grass. It was about the fact that he is about to be gone for three days (three more days the grass won’t get cut because I can’t cut the grass with a one-year-old alone in the house or running around a yard five feet from the road). The only time we’ll see him is the two hours or so that our waking/sleeping hours overlap.
I try really hard to be supportive of my husband’s job as a cop, but that involves a lot of pretending, and it eventually bubbles over. It’s so hard to pretend that it’s all good when I have to drag a crying one-year-old away from the door when his dad leaves for work. I have to pretend that it’s okay that I literally have to lock my son outside of our bedroom because he knows his dad is in there and wants in. I have to pretend that I enjoy tip-toeing around…and trying to make my one-year-old tip-toe. Ha. I have to pretend that I just love all the extra bed space to stretch out when I sleep alone. Really I still sleep on my side of the bed and feel every chill on my side where he would be. I have to pretend that I like going to functions without you and hear people ask, “David has to work tonight again?” Thanks for the reminder that my husband has been at 1 of the last 5 family parties or get-togethers. I have to pretend that I don’t mind taking on the entire house, our child, and everything else all on my own. Or at least 90% of the time. I have to pretend that I’m okay with the fact that I’m about to have to pack our entire house and move us on my own. I have to pretend that it’s okay every time I have to throw his dinner in the trash because he can’t stop by home and get it, and instead blows money on fast food all night. I have to pretend that I’m okay not being able to go to the gym or for a run when I want to because there’s no one to be home with M.
All that pretending is dangerous in a person. Lashing out over the grass is probably the best case scenario. The truth is, I don’t think a man with a young child should be working night shift. I think he should be there with his young family as much as possible during those hectic years, years when his child can’t understand why he’s gone. When M is 9…10…11, he’ll understand, and he’ll also be able to take care of himself, and night shift would be much easier on us. But right now, it just sucks.
Maybe the worst part of it is that my husband wants to work nights and has turned down day-shift offers. I’ll just keep pretending. Sigh.