How to Give Support to the Police Wife Who Does It All
I am going to generalize here and say that for so many police wives, our lives revolve around the law enforcement lifestyle. We don’t know what a 9-5 job looks like and we tirelessly plan around rotating shifts and schedule changes.
While many of our officers pull their weight when they are off, it is the days they are working that are so hard on us.
While we do take on so much around the home or with our children, we also are impacted by our officer’s job mentally too. We deal with being lonely when our officer is working, fears associated with his career, and the feeling that our officers are never fully off-duty.
Police wives often take care of everyone and everything around them, that they put taking care of themselves last. Because law enforcement is a lifestyle that impacts the entire family, it is important that you check in with the police wife in your life to make sure they are taken care of too.
Here are some great ways to provide support to the police wife who does it all:
Check-in: Be intentional and spend 2-3 minutes checking in with your spouse each day. Ask how they are doing, see if they need anything or recognize how hard they have been working. A little check-in can go a long way and it helps keep communication active.
Allow her time for self-care: While it may take some work around busy schedules, coordinate some time for your spouse to have self-care. Whether she enjoys going for a run while you watch the kids, taking a bath at night, or it means you pour her a glass of wine, trust me, she will appreciate the sentiment so she can relax and work on herself.
Show appreciation: Once my officer and I took the time to see what each other does during the day, whether it is big or small, we appreciated each other so much more. Be sure to tell or show your spouse how much you appreciate what they are doing. Being recognized is sometimes all we need to feel like we are appreciated.
Plan a surprise: I don’t mean some elaborate trip or grand gesture. While that sounds nice, many of us would be just as happy with a little love note left on the kitchen counter or for you to pick up one extra household chore for the week. Or maybe pick up breakfast after your shift.
Sometimes when things are unexpected (in a good way), they stand out just a bit more.
Make time for your spouse: We know your schedules are often unpredictable, but all we ever want is time with you. Set aside some time where you can enjoy each other’s company.
I bet she would be totally surprised if you said, “Don’t make plans Tuesday night. I’ll explain later.” Put the kids to bed, watch a movie on Netflix and order Chinese food. Again, nothing elaborate, it is the thought that counts. We love when you think ahead and can plan around these crazy schedules.
Encourage your spouse to have time with friends: It is truly hard for us to find “adult” time with our friends. Life gets in the way, yes, but again, planning around a schedule other than a 9-5 can become difficult.
Encourage the police wife in your life to go out with her friends from time to time or possibly introduce her to the wives of your co-workers. Being able to find friends that understand this lifestyle is very hard and we often feel like we loose friends because they just don’t understand.
Again, we are all in this together. Your spouse holds the line at home when you can’t be there. So make a promise to give a little extra support to the police wife that does it all. I am certain, she will appreciate it!
Rebecca is the owner of Proud Police Wife, a blog that provides support and resources to police wives and their families. She is a police wife of 12 years and resides near Washington, D.C. with her family. Rebecca began writing and providing resources for police wives about 18 months ago when she found a lack of support for the law enforcement community, especially the spouses. Her goal is to help fellow police wives find balance and build a strong, spousal community.