I was laying here trying to take a nap but my brain doesn’t seem to want to let me. I absolutely could use the nap since I happen to have both girls down for a nap at the same time! (miracles happen!) This past weekend has been a little rough. My 15 month old has been sick and my 4 year old woke up with the beginnings of Pink Eye. All this prompted me to write about something not every family goes through but something I know at least fire wives go through. It’s something I call being MRS. DAD.
Before we had children I never thought about the struggles I would face besides my own emotions of a husband who is always gone. I love my time with my husband and feel like there is never enough. Now that we have children I also have two little girls who are learning to navigate their emotions of having their father not be able to be home with them every day or every evening. There definitely has been some real times of rocking a crying baby in the middle of the night because she cannot understand why she is sad. But I definitely know because I am right there with her.
So, how do I help? What would my husband do if he was home. Now I am so thankful for FaceTime. It has saved me from having to handle a few breakdowns. For those that don’t know his normal shift is a straight 72 hours. And because of his 6 1/2 hour commute we pretty much loose another 24 hours But it doesn’t help when we’re on a 7, 14 ,21, 28, 32, 48, 56, 64…or however many day stretch. It’s in those long days apart that I have some major shoes to fill. Not only are my normal hard days as a mother a bigger struggle but I have to take on the extra tasks my husband would normally be doing. These things aren’t limited because I am still learning all the things he does that make a difference when he is home. I have had to strap my children on to get firewood, building a fire yeah that’s my normal, mowing lawns and other yard work, changing light bulbs, vehicle maintaining, and I know there is so much more. I could tell lots of stories on that. Fortunately I am not afraid to get my hands dirty and do these things.
Yes, it’s hard and at times I am on the verge of a breakdown. For me I wouldn’t be able to do it without the strength of God. And the help of family. But what also keeps me going is knowing the things my husband has to go through. There may be times when he has been up all night on a fire whether it be vegetation, building, or home. He’s had to watch people literally die in front of him after using all resources possible to save them, come upon cars wrapped around trees and automatically know it doesn’t look good, stage for a shooting where God knows what they are about to see. The important milestones he has had to miss of his little girls. I know there isn’t any way I could do what he does so with pride I take on my role as “MRS. DAD”. So, next time you see a firefighter smile and thank them you don’t know what they are going through. They are sacrificing more then you know. And so are their families.
To all my MRS. DADS keep on it ladies! Take pride in doing the extra things and don’t forget if you have children like me, those eyes are on you. Let them see your struggles but most importantly let them see you dust off and hold your head high. Let them see you support their dad because that will teach them the most valuable lessons they will ever learn.