Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Help?! Lonely Lioness

Because this is all new to me and because I'm in a field where we analyze everything and everything means something - I need to get some perspective from those who have been there with LEOs.

The Lion works 8 days on and 6 days off, 4PM-2AM.  We are very lucky with this kind of set schedule - while he's patrol, it will never change unless he submits a transfer request.  However, we don't see him during those 8 days (except the occasional Saturday and Sunday afternoon before he goes on again) and when he's off on the 6, we're at school/work. My question is this: how do you handle it when your LEO wants more cave time in addition to all the time he already spends away?

The advice we hear all the time is not to bother them with such things - we don't want to distract them from their duty.  I guess I'm having a hard time figuring out what needs his attention and what doesn't...


In other news, The Lion got home at 5 AM and I woke up and wanted to run.  Sheesh.  It might turn out that I actually enjoy this running thing.  It was still dark out and I'm always on the lookout for hyenas (and stray dogs :/) so I was a little anxious, but I sucked it up and ran. and ran. and ran. I ran almost 2 miles in about 22 minutes.  Not too shabby for a beginner.

Thanks for listening.


  1. um, I wonder who is telling you to let him have all the "cave" time he wants. NO. That is not good for him, or you. Sure the guys need time to come home, to adjust to real life not cop life. But after that if the family is going to make it he needs to be able to join in with the family again. If he can't do his duty and be apart of the family something will quickly go, and too often it is the family. I know it has taken some nagging sometimes but getting T-rex out of the house is a good thing.
    There is blanance, if I didnt give him some alone time he would find that home is too stressful, and that is also not good for anyone. Talk to your DH, find the balance. Depending on what shift T-rex is one depends on when he gets to unwind, but he has a few hours every day or at least every week, where he can go "shoot people" (play the X-box)and work out.

  2. Wouldn't you know the day I posted this, he planned a date for us for his first night off? We're trying to find that balance between decompression from the job and participating in the family. He's also a bit of an introvert, so this additional cave time is coming from him - his hobbies are usually solo endeavors (lots of video games and computer stuff), but he also plays in a band.

    I think a big part of it is that we went from a family who did the 9-5 schedule for years and now we're having to do things a lot differently and we just don't know how to do it gracefully.

  3. Shiftwork is the thing that I'm the most anxious about, believe it or not. Blue is still in academy so we aren't having to deal with it just yet. One police wife of 20 years gave me, what seems like, a good piece of advise...pretend that he is dead to the world his first 24 hours off of shift and then you'll have a refreshed and happy husband. I haven't tried it, so I can't say if it works for us, but she swore by it.

  4. I agree with Yellow. They do need time but they can't just become hermits. There is a book out there called something like "Emotional Survival for Police Officers" (I can check who it is actually by) and I read an article that excerpted a piece from it. The idea was that officers HAVE to fight the urge to spend all their time doing nothing and FORCE themselves to do the things they once loved to do. It also needs to be things other then just computer/tv. They need some way to burn off the stress of the job other then zoning out. Otherwise they slowly wither up and die and their families along with something to that affect.

    CB - The 24 hour thing works well too if you have a few days off at a time. I find since JR often only has 2 days off in a row it gets difficult to balance the family/cave time, however he works 8 hour shifts so we see him more during the day if he is on nights and the evening if on days.

    Talk about it a lot. Talk about who makes what decisions for the family when he is at work. Talk about things that help maxamize your time when he is off. Talk talk talk. Its the only way you will find out what he really needs and he will know how his new job is affecting his family. :)

    You will figure it out. It takes some trial and error but you will find a groove.

  5. JRW - The problem is he still does everything he loves to do, just not with us. His band, acting, weekly chess games with another officer, working out. If anything, he's found more to do since becoming an officer, but when he is home he's typically not engaged with us.

    *I say this, but he did spend a LOT of time with us on his last set off - just want to make sure I acknowledge that!*

    Maybe we're just finding the balance...How long you figure that'll take?!

  6. I'm dealing with the same thing. Newly married to an officer and I'm trying to balance how to deal with the loneliness too