Friday, October 16, 2015

12 Signs You're a Firefighter Wife

This past summer, here in drought-ridden California, wildfire after wildfire burned on and on.

To say it was a busy fire season might be the #understatementoftheyear.

And, as you know, where there are wildfires, there are firefighters.

My firefighter husband was deployed twice; the first time for 16 days and the second time for 10 days.

I'm part of several fire wives Facebook groups, and many of the wives shared that their husbands were also deployed two or three times this summer. 

Now, please don't misunderstand me: I'm not complaining about my husband being gone. Yes, his absence is hard on our family, but it's part of the job -- his job and my job.

See, if you choose to marry a firefighter, you have to be okay with the fact that he'll be gone sometimes. Routinely for a few days at a time, and occasionally, for a few weeks. 

But there's good news, too. Your firefighter husband will be home a lot, too.

My husband works 48 hours straight, but then he has 96 hours off. Two days on duty, four days off.

Brian has been a firefighter since we got married eleven years ago, and recently I gave some thought to how being the wife of a firefighter colors my world. 

What follows is a list of 13 signs that you might be a firefighter wife...

1. DAY OF THE WEEK | You have no idea what day of the week it is. (And when I say "you," I mean "me.") Seriously. It could be Monday or Saturday or Tuesday or Friday. You just know if your husband is on duty or if he's off-duty. I know this might sound strange to some of you. And I totally get that. When I was a teacher and I worked Monday through Friday, Brian would always tell me that he had no idea what day the week it was, and I'd just look at him quizzically and think, What do you mean you don't know what day of the week it is?

2. SLEEP DEPRIVATION | You get used to having a husband who is often tired when he comes home from work. And in my case, a husband who is sleep deprived, but refuses to take a nap. (Getting him to take a nap is much like trying to get a 3-year-old to take a nap. I know because I have a 3-year-old who does not nap. Ha!) You get used to having a husband who falls asleep on the couch in the evening or heads to bed early.

3. FIRE TRUCK V. FIRE ENGINE | You know the difference between a fire truck and a fire engine. And so do your kids, if they are at least two years of age or older. 

4. A MAN IN UNIFORM | You like a man in uniform. The ironic thing is that you'd think I see my husband in his uniform all the time. But that's not the case. The only time I see him in uniform is when Noah and I visit him at the fire station. He leaves our home in jeans and a t-shirt, and returns home in jeans and a t-shirt.

5. MISS INDEPENDENT | You've learned to do some things around the house on your own. When something breaks, you have to figure out a way to fix it. You can't call your husband home from work or wait until he gets home from work that evening. Although, to be honest, I did have to call him home from work one day. Our then 1-year-old son had pulled the digital thermostat off the wall, and although I got it back on the wall, the heat just ran and ran and would not turn off, no matter what I did. Hot air kept blowing and blowing until our house was a balmy 93 degrees. Thank goodness he was able to fix it.

6. ANOTHER MANDATORY | In your mind, mandatory is a bad word. It means your hubby won't be coming home; he'll be at the fire station for another 24 hours. Again, it's a necessary part of working in the fire service, and although mandatories can happen any time of the year, they are particularly prevalent during the summer. 

7. GOODBYE | You've heard "Got a call! Love you! Bye!" over and over again. In time, you've gotten used to getting off the phone quickly, and picking the conversation back up later on, sometimes when your hubby gets home from work. 

8. HOLIDAYS | You've spent many holidays by yourself or with your (or his) extended family. I'm actually okay with this most of the time because I'm pretty independent. Having said that, Christmas is tough, particularly now that we have a young son.  

9. FIRE BUDDIES | You know your husband's co-workers, some of them by their first name, but most by their last name. And then you get totally confused when you meet them in person and your husband introduces them by their first name when he's only ever referred to them by their last name. Or maybe it's just my husband that likes to do this to mess with me!

10. FIRE PRIDE | You have a firefighter sticker on the back of your car or you're sporting a license plate frame that says, "I'm a firefighter's flame!" Yep, that was me for several years. Brian used to get the funniest looks when he was driving my car. And if you're husband plays in the Guns & Hoses charity football game, you cheer for the dogs! (That's me in the photo above decked out in fire red.)

11. SECOND DRIVER | When your husband is driving the car, you automatically look right when he's turning left, check for traffic, and say, "Clear right!" -- particularly if your hubby drives an ambulance, fire engine or fire truck.

12. NO SUMMER VACATIONS | You don't plan any big vacations in the summer time because it's likely that your firefighter husband will be out on a strike team or working overtime at his station to cover for the firefighters who are deployed. (We've found that fall and spring trips rock because there are fewer people traveling!)

Fellow firefighter wives or husbands: What would you add to this list?

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...