Dear New Police Wife,
Congratulations! I know it’s your husband that was just up there on the stage, getting his badge pinned on, but you deserve recognition, too. He might be the one graduating from academy but you put in the work as well.
Academy was hard for him but I know it was hard for you, too! When an officer goes to academy, whether he’s commuting there or living there, it’s inevitable that he’s gone most of the week. And the weekends he’s home? He’s probably studying, or doing PT, or trying to catch up on sleep.
It takes a lot of sacrifice from the entire family when a spouse goes to academy, and it’s going to continue to take a lot for as long as he’s on the job. I don’t say that to discourage you, but to ENCOURAGE you to see the value in what your role as a police wife is.
There’s a lot of hard jobs out there and being a police officer is one of them, especially in today’s culture. Unfortunately, there’s people out there that hate your husband just because of his job. But for every one of those haters there are supporters and fellow spouses who have your back. I promise.
The blue family that you’re now part of is amazing. It’s incredible. It’s indescribable. I urge you to reach out to the police wives groups on Facebook and to your fellow LEOWs and make connections. There’s something very comforting in someone else “getting it”. Getting the untraditional hours, the swing shifts, the hypervigilence, the missed holidays, the excess of bullets in your house (just wait!), and the constant need for him to sit facing the door. Those things might seem weird now, but they’re going to become your new normal, and they’re already normal to thousands of families across the country.
That being said…don’t forget that you’re still your own person. I love being a police wife, but I’m also still ME. I have my own job, I’m my own person, I have my own interests, and being a police wife doesn’t overshadow my own identity. You are your husband’s number one supporter and the reason he can be successful at this job, but don’t lost sight of your own identity as you get immersed in blue life.
I always go back to the beginning (the beginning of EVERYTHING) and think about how women were created out of man’s rib as a helper and companion. We were created out of love and purpose, not as some afterthought. As police wives we are a firm place for our officers to stand when they need it. We are a reminder of the goodness that is in life. We are a symbol of faith and strength and purity and love, and in this line of work, isn’t that so important? I’ve always heard that God chose the strongest women and made them police wives and y’all, I don’t think that could be any more true.
Your husband has made a courageous and sacrificial choice to serve our community, but that choice hasn’t been without you. Thank YOU for living out Isaiah 6:8 right along with him. Thank you for answering the Lord’s call for strong women. Thank you for holding on through the times when it’s seemed so much easier to let go. Thank you for sharing him with his department and his streets.
Thank you for being a police wife.
ammo + grace
2 thoughts on “an open letter to new police wives”
I’m not quite a new police wife–about 3.5 years in–but one thing we are still figuring out is court.
I got a lot of warnings about a lot of the aspects of blue life, but nobody warned me how much time my husband would spend in court. I don’t know if every city is the same, but in ours he has to put in a court leave slip a month in advance if he wants to be certain that a “weekend” day will actually be free. We missed going to visit his family for Thanksgiving the first year because even though it was a day off, he had court the day before.
It also seems like court is always in the middle of his sleep cycle. When he worked nights, he always had court at 1pm. Now that he works splits, court is always 8:30am. What’s up with that?
The other thing is, how do other blue families keep track of all the court cases? We always put them on the calendar and have a box of subpoenas underneath, but we still forget and wake up to phone calls from prosecutors asking where he is. I don’t know what to do. He is usually supposed to call the day before between 3-5 to confirm, but he’s often just getting into stuff at that time and forgets. He doesn’t check his phone at work so an automatic reminder or text wouldn’t really help. What do other people do?
Wow! That’s so rough, Victoria. We haven’t had the same experience exactly-he doesn’t seem to be actually “needed” in court that much, even though he gets a lot of notices. I agree with you how difficult the timing can be, especially when it comes to sleep cycles! Ugh!
It sounds like you guys have worked out a good system (the calendar and subpoena box, love the organization!) but unfortunately this is just one of those parts of blue life that is extra difficult. Hang in there! We’ll be praying for you.