Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Fire Family

I am indeed blessed.  I love my husband.  I love my job.  I love my kids.  I am even so lucky to have a fire family right next door - on the same shift.  It is like having a built in support network when there was a gas explosion that left two of our guys - including a BC - severally injured and we weren't sure where ours were. Or the Temple Shooting when she called me from the hospital she was working at to ask if J was okay and I was totally OBLIVIOUS to what had happened. Or when there has just been an insane shift on the home front, we will take the others' kids so that they have a few minutes to run errands or to just breathe without having a little person all up in your grill.  Makes life so much easier.

I have found much solace in other fire wives, because they get it.  Some have been amazing and I have met through this blog.  Others I met through Facebook. I am part a few fire wives groups on Facebook.  Some of the conversations are making me feel old.   I am seeing a bit of a generation gap with some of the younger wives and girlfriends and stay out of those conversations and tune out of those pages.  But every once in a while there is a conversation that I jump in on.  The one this weekend was women in the firehouse. 

All of the insecurities of a new wife and girlfriend were rearing their ugly head and it was really bothering me. I was married to an elementary school teacher for all those years.  Talk about a shark tank.  That was not my favorite environment and I know for a fact there were teachers that did not understand where the boundaries were.  I would trade the firehouse ANY day for that world.  But nonetheless, it comes down to trust.  You have to trust your firefighter.  There are women in EVERY field that will ignore that little hunk o'gold on your husband's left hand, so you can't lump all female FFs into that category.  If you are feeling uncomfortable, you need to have a heart to heart with not only your FF, but also yourself.  There are only 2 reasons to be jealous - because your FF is stepping out (or thinking about) on you (and that is on him, just as much as the other women/FF) or you insecure with where you are.  If it is the latter, you really need to work on what you are unhappy with about yourself and either make them better or accept yourself.  I will never have legs up to there or a rack that gets noticed when I walk in the room.  Just a fact of life.  If you are not comfortable with yourself, that lack of confidence is what everyone will see and it will indeed cloud your perspective.

Later in this thread, another firewife said she was jealous of the time spent there.  They get to eat with him and spend time with him, when she is coveting that time.  This, I TOTALLY get.  We miss them.  On my end, I think I was more jealous OF my FF.  He gets breaks from the kids and adult conversation and quiet time to sleep when we are at school.  But to be jealous of the time that they spend with other firefighters, DON'T BE.  It may literally be what saves their lives.  That is the one thing we cannot let eat us from the inside.  It truly is a fire family.  Not always pretty, but it is your FF's other family.  Just like FF's cousin Ed drives you insane, you will not like all the FFs and Meds your FF works with, but you have to accept them as the Fire Family that they are.

Here is exactly what I told her:

Take the time to get to know the FFs your FF works with.  Take the kids in and drop off cookies or invite them over for a football game.  That is your firefighter's family, which makes them yours.

Kiss your firefighters and hug your kids, I am getting of my soapbox and into my Packer gear.  NFL season is upon us.  GO PACK GO!

Go Pack Go - green-bay-packers Fan Art
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