Firefighters have a unique work schedule, one that can sometimes cause distinct separation issues for firefighters and their families. Although the time away from each other may give some the required personal space we all need from time to time, too much time away from one’s family may also lead to family issues and disturbances.
With our spouse being away for 24 hours, or even possibly a week at a time, both parties may find life a little daunting. It can be especially challenging for the spouse left at home to handle the kids, household issue, and other family obligations on their own. At times, the responsibility of such can feel like a very heavy load, overwhelming us and causing stress. The schedule of a firefighter is well-known. None of us enter into a relationship blind to the fact that our loved ones will be away from us more than the average eight-hour day. Still, it can be hard to get used to. Time away from our beloved fire heroes can take its toll, causing some to greatly miss their spouse. This separation may even cause family friction, due to feeling neglected, especially when there is a family event missed. Blame can sometimes fall on the firefighter for such, even though he or she may have no control over such. Be reminded that some of us stood by their side as they took the job of wanting to serve the public, while others married into the fire service. During these periods of separation, let us continue to support and stand by our spouse as they are working hard to provide for our families and stay committed to the LAFD core values they strive for: Service, Professionalism, Integrity, Respect, and Trust.
One way to avoid these common family issues is by visiting your spouse at work. With our department being so big, and so many of us living all throughout Southern California, it may be difficult to find the available time to visit your spouse’s firehouse. Nevertheless, I strongly suggest you make it a priority from time to time. This visitation allows the time to reconnect as a family and reminds the firefighter that you are literally willing to go the distance! Busy station or not, with everything they witness, and stressors of the job, I am sure seeing you gives them a sense of calm.
There is something so magical about visiting the station. Maybe for us spouses, it’s the spark of love from missing them that makes it so special. Children always miss their parents and are usually uninhibited in their expression of such. The added bonus of climbing all over the apparatus or maybe even a taking a ride on one will long live in their memories. This is also a great opportunity for the you and the kids to meet other fire families and see his/her home away from home. Telling our kids that we are going to the fire station is almost like telling them we are going to an amusement park, so save the money and spend it on a future road trip! Our kids grow up so fast and we want them to have memories of the firehouse. Besides, we all need updated pics in front of the fire truck!
A visit to the station may seem inconsequential at the time, but I promise you, it’s not. It is a memory your children will talk about for the rest of their lives, and it is a chance for you and your spouse to reconnect and remember why they are there in the first place. We are thankful and grateful to the LAFD for the opportunity of allowing us spouses and kids to visit.
I look forward to seeing your updated pics on Instagram @housewivesoflafd.
Keep the flame alive!