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When I met my husband he was a volunteer fireman for the department he hoped he would eventually work at. During our first year of marriage he became a paramedic and worked crazy hours, 4 on 4 off, and so the story went for years. In the midst of those crazy hours we had our first son. A few years later we had our daughter and my husband was offered a job as a fireman/paramedic.
I have only ever been proud of my man for the work he has done to get here, but the question I get the most is how on earth do I survive with 2 kids and a husband with crazy hours? Well for starters it has always been this way. As his wife or the mother of his children all I have ever known is 2 on 4 off with no guarantee of 4 off in a row. With that said I’ve learned a lot about myself as a wife and mother.
As a wife I have learned that no matter what, the day he comes home is always hard, always. I’ve made the huge mistake of having expectations that were unfair. I am trying to relax when he is tired, and as a women its easy to take life so personally. I have to really trust that he loves me and he’ll come alive when he’s ready.
As a mother there has been many tears shed, and I am sure there will be more to come. I have an enormous respect for Army wives, and single moms. I do not know how you do it alone, but I know it’s hard. Most moms can expect help in the evenings, but when your man is gone for days at a time there is no help. After a few days you either kick into survival mode, or you begin to cry. Crying is, I believe, out of exhaustion. When you are the only one to answer questions, and carry on with discipline life can become very overwhelming.
So how do I do it? Grace! As a Christian I believe in faith. Faith in the promise not in a feeling. When life goes crazy and as a women I am full of emotion there is no greater need of faith. A promise that there is courage, perseverance, and rest for those that believe. How awesome is that? To have assurance in something bigger then yourself. I know there are people who get by without faith, but for how long?
I am very proud to be a fireman’s wife, and when I see my son want to be with his daddy on the firetruck I know I’m not the only one.