There is a lot of talk about how being a cop is who you are. It is more than a Job it is a way of life. Well as true as some of that is, it is also a bunch of poo.
At the end of the day being a cop is just a J O B.
Don’t get me wrong it is a Job that touches every other part of your life, and can totally take over at times, and consume everything else if you let it. But it is still just a JOB.
You are who you are no matter what JOB you have.
Not to say being a cop or being married to a cop doesn’t affect many other parts of your life. From what you cook, to how you spend family time.
But that is the big issue. . . Family time. Too often the wife left at home is left to do it all alone. Maybe in a lot of ways that is “Normal” The wife takes care of the house, and children, and such no matter if she is working or not.
Maybe it’s just more so in a police family. I see wives who are consumed with the identity of “police wife” I see others who look at this just as a normal 9-5 job their husband has. I think there needs to be balance. The guys need our support; they need to know their wife is behind them. They need to be able to stay focused on work. There are things the “other half” can do to help.
But there are things the cop needs to do alone. Turn off cop mode when coming home. Go off duty when on vacations, or even out to eat in town. But also, and more importantly would be to put family first. . .all the time. The responsibility for the children should never be only on the wife. . If she is working or not. It is not that caring for a child alone is physically, or intellectually exhausting (although it sure can be!) But it is emotionally draining. Feeling trapped by the limits a 5 year old puts on your life is often times balanced by the rewards, but no one can feel trapped all the time without going nuts.
Take this example. .. John is a cop. He works strange long hours, and is sometimes the only one out on duty. Sarah is a nurse for a small hospital; she works with several other nurses all the time. Little Matt gets sick and has to come home. . Who would pick up little Matt? Sarah right? Yeah seems about right. So now Sarah has the stress of her job, along with the stress of having to go home, and the stress of little sick Matt, where SHE will be the one to care for him. Any job seems less important than that of the cop. . .But it only brings added stress into the family, and Sarah is the one doing it alone, because John is still off being a cop.
I am not saying I know what is right for every family, and in some families the wife being the one to care for the kids is really the best option, but there does need to be some balance, and the cop in the house needs to be a part of things. . .no more single but married police wives. It’s a bunch of BS. And if that was really the case it’s not worth it. Family needs to be something both people work on. Maybe Sarah does always take off work, but John always takes Matt to football, or the DR, or whatever it is. Maybe they all take turns and see what works best, but if Sarah is always rearranging her schedule and John is not, well then Sarah could be doing it alone.