Minnesota Women Rocking Blue Line Life
Being a police wife, girlfriend, fiancee, or partner is hard.
This lifestyle is full of uncertainty, life or death situations, people and circumstances which we have absolutely no control over.
While hard, this lifestyle is also full of great joy, proud moments, and answered prayers. We are no strangers to an empty bed when it's time for us to go to sleep. We are used to attending holiday gatherings without our partners. We go out on dates with our LEOs only to be left alone at the restaurant when a call takes him away. We wake up with our little ones and put them to bed by ourselves.
Every day brings us a new horizon where the next opportunity awaits for us to surprise ourselves and others with our strength, perseverance and resourcefulness.
POLICE WIVES: WE HAVE A CHOICE As police wives, we have a choice whether to see ourselves as victims of our circumstances or empower ourselves to be good role models of strength and independence to our children and family members. I am not alone when I say that I strive to be the latter. It's definitely a point of pride among our leadership team and 2,000 supporters that we find ways to make it work no matter what complexities we have to manage.
WE ARE ROCKING THIS BLUE LINE LIFE! We have a very engaged (and private) group on Facebook that is a safe place to seek support, offer up encouragement to those of us who need it and celebrate our victories (and those of our LEOs). Every single day, there are "Holy cow! I can't believe I did that!" posts that never cease to entertain and amaze. There are also "Hey - does anyone know how to do x, y or z?" and "Does anyone know where I can find x to do y?"
Because law enforcement schedules span 24 hours in a day, you can count on some responses right away because somewhere in MN there's a blue sister with hours similar to yours. And usually, those responses include " Hey - me too!" or "That reminds me of the time when I..." It helps the women newer to this lifestyle not be so shell shocked by the reality that comes with it. And it helps us veterans, to feel valued and pass along some tricks we've learned in hopes that it helps another LEOW. When you see the great things consistently being shared, it is clear that we are rocking this blue line life!
And on those days we don't feel like we are handling things so well, there is always someone there to offer encouragement and help you know that you are not alone. Inevitably, there will also be someone there who remembers a time when you REALLY rocked it and they will remind you of that. Suddenly, being able to cope with whatever thing is on your plate becomes a little easier when you feel better about your own abilities.
And that is what this post is all about. Celebrating the times we really kicked some serious butt. Reminding ourselves that we can do the hard things. Recognizing that we can face adversity and come out stronger. Understanding that we have a ready made village of women there for us when we need them. Remembering the really good things when bad things try to consume us.
Without further ado, here are a handful of Minnesota Police Wives who are hardcore ROCKING BLUE LINE LIFE:
Kimberly: "I'm pulling most of the mommy AND daddy duties while daddy commutes back and forth to his homicide school for two weeks! Daddy gets home and our little one can barely contain her joy."
WE DEAL WITH BAD BOO-BOOS Alicia: "I had to take my kiddo in for stitches to the emergency room years ago when hubby had a test at Skills that he couldn’t miss. He LITERALLY just left, was within blocks from home when my son’s finger got stuck in a closing door. It was the biggest trauma since we had kids...ohhh how I wanted to call him so bad! But I was able to stay calm, call my aunt who lived like 5 min away, and she came and drove us to the ER."
WE GET PERSPECTIVE
Loretta: "I started to post something along the lines of "I raised twin boys and a beautiful girl" while working full time and going to school. But then I noticed how many references to myself "I" made. He is the first to give me credit for raising our 25 year old sons and our 20 year old daughter into the awesome young adults they are. I'm not shying away from how hard it was and how much I did in his absence. But I am reminded of all the things that he missed because he was working. In looking at the posts about plowing the driveway and snaking the toilet, I remember those things now. But I also remember that I got to tuck them in and watch them play their sports and listen to them sing and play an instrument. I guess what I'm trying to say is...... past the poopy diapers, the teenage heart breaks and the stressful academia, I still got the better of the deal.
WE TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES AND OUR LEOS Shara: Is rocking life in two big ways. First, she is taking care of herself. "Working out is the thing that I am doing for me!" And second, she is taking care of her LEO. "I am also very proud that I always have dinner made for when my LEO gets off of work and food to bring with on shift with him."
WE RAISE TINY HUMANS
B.M.G: "My oldest (2 years) didn’t kill his 7 month old sister for touching his sock, I managed to put mascara on one eye, I have cold coffee in the pot not even poured, my laundry is about waist high, I fed them pizza for the third night in a row, and managed to say hi to my husband as he leaves and I’m coming home from work. My motto....but did the kids die? In all honesty even though it’s crazy, we’ve found our normal and just seeing the kids run to him when he’s getting home in the morning melts my heart." WE MAKE CHIP AND JOANNA GAINES JEALOUS
Desiree: "Remodeling. Drills and hammers included. You know it's the LEOW life when you did it yourself, and it includes the word family. Because you do it all for your family." Indeed. I also want to add that she is also mama to a child with autism. She is expert level Rockstar!
WE BECOME ATHLETES Sarah: "I rock the Blue Line Life by being my 10 year old’s catcher at her softball pitching clinic. I am the most unathletic human being on the planet. I do it because Tyler was working evenings and that is just what needs to be done. A few bruises later and I survived!"
WE SIMPLY SLAY IT
Regina: "I came into the marriage with more tools than my husband. What I'm most proud of: replaced the garbage disposal the day before Thanksgiving one year, fixed multiple broken toilets, and I kill spiders and yellow jacket nests (because the sweet pea is too scared). I'd do all this regardless of being a police wife." Regina is also currently serving as our Blue Line Ball Chair and has put in COUNTLESS hours leading the Ball Committee to ensure that the night of May 19th is nothing short of SPECTACULAR and raises funds to Support Minnesota police officers and families. And if that's not enough, she also refinishes furniture and is a vendor at Carver Junk Company. WE KEEP COWS HAPPY AND MAKING MILK Christy: "I'm running our 70 cow organic dairy. Hubby just started his 4pm-4am, 5 nights on shift!" Caring for 70 cows. All by herself. The cows are pretty darn cute. They also look happy. I think that means she is doing a heckuva job! Rockstar status confirmed.
WE ARE DIY DIVAS AND OCCASIONAL VETERINARIANS
Krista: I plowed our driveway with the four wheeler, broke the plow cable and had to replace it. I YouTubed how to snake a toilet, fix a garage door and many other things along the way. I seriously use YouTube just about every time he’s on night shift! I also YouTubed how to use dental floss to tie off the cord and sanitize everything to help with delivery of 17 puppies. Did I mention I got up every three hours to bottle feed 7 of the puppies?" Y'all know who to call when 1) something breaks at your house or 2) you need a cute puppy fix!
WE ARE THERE FOR OUR LEO IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT Amanda: "I've been waking up at 3 am to talk about how his shift went. He’s in Field Training Officer mode and some nights are better than others. And he is talking about it, good or bad, half awake. It usually helps him fall asleep a little quicker. It’s also the only time we have to talk most days!"
WE SIMPLY DO IT ALL Rachel: "I do it all.....housework, yardwork, killing spiders, keeping 4 kids (7,6,2 &2) alive and fed and getting to and from all activities. I take care of 8 dogs, all of them working dogs. Keep them fed and exercised. 8 dogs = A LOT of poop to scoop! I've also fixed a toilet, and keep the house standing and semi clean! I’ve also had a sick husband for the last week. The kids were all sick too, but we know who’s worse!! Oh, and now I have the bug." Mamas ain't got no time to be sick. Rockstar status (and then some) achieved!
WE LEARN A NEW NORMAL AFTER LOSS
DiAnn: "I’m surviving single parenting of a teen. I also got Ronnie’s truck running and plowed driveways this winter. Oh and I’M SURVIVING." Ron was with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office for many years before he passed in 2017 from cancer. DiAnn has been a rockstar learning to navigate her new normal and is an inspiration to us all.
WE ARE CARETAKERS 24/7
Kati: "Rocking my famous Crabby Pie dinner. Hubby is at training for 2 weeks, kids are disregulated that dad's not home for bed time/all day. The kiddos are also on Spring Break. And my 18 month old is sick with a cold and wants mom 24/7. I love my husband dearly and he provides for this family all the time. But tonight, mom needs a treat for herself!" A rockstar knows when she needs self-care and carves it in where she can.
WE DEAL WITH CREEPY THINGS IN THE NIGHT
Monica: "I've got so many pictures to post. I will say, however, I killed this. Yes, Sarge was working. Yes, it stopped me dead in my tracks. Yes, I went weak in the knees...then I went into go-mode. Peace out, Spidey!"
WE DO IT OURSELVES UNTIL WE CAN'T & THEN WE HELP EACH OTHER
Johanna: "The last major snowstorm a couple weeks ago, I told my hubs I would snowblow the drive because he started work at 6am that next morning and had a fifteen hour shift including training. One pass on the sidewalk and I snagged a rubber bungee cord under the snow that the kids had played with and left out. It wrapped around the auger and pulled it out of the housing. I couldn’t fix it myself and wasn’t even sure it could be fixed, but I put out a request on Facebook to see if anyone could come take a look at it. LEO family to the rescue! Amber saw my post and asked her husband to stop by - he fixed it!! I was able to clear the driveway AND my man didn’t have to try to fix that dumb blower after a 15 hour shift. I still owe Chad some cookies! Needless to say, I’ve been a little more vigilant about making the kids PICK UP THEIR CRAP." This is the LEOW village in action!
WE DO THE IMPOSSIBLE
Emma: "I unpacked a moving van. We signed house papers and he went to work 2 hours later. None of his family came to help & I have no family in this country. A couple of my work colleagues, me and my (at the time) 3 and 2 year olds got that thing empty. He came home after a 10 hour shift and got into an already build and freshly made bed. I also laid a wood floor in the 800 square feet of our upstairs by myself last summer. Never again!!"
WE CAN LAUGH AT OURSELVES AS WE LEARN NEW THINGS
Ellen: "In a light-hearted response, hubby was at a week long training and our grass needed to be mowed. After he texted me instructions (we had a new mower) and I finally got it out of the shed, I mowed the lawn. Well, tried to. This is what happened... Apparently in my attempt to get it out of the shed I lowered the mower deck. The text instructions did not say to check it so I mowed and quickly realized there was a lot of grass being discharged. Then it clogged up and quit. I couldn't get it restarted so after quick YouTube search, I had success, fixed the mower deck, and finished it up. Thankfully the grass grew back quickly!"
WE HANDLE GOING INTO LABOR ALONE LIKE A BOSS Jessica: "I drove myself to the hospital while I was in labor! My husband was on Field Training Officer mode when I went into labor 3 1/2 weeks early with our first son. I called my midwife about what I thought was just Braxton Hicks contractions. I wasn’t in any pain but they were a few minutes apart and not stopping. My midwife said I needed to come in but didn’t say anything about possibly being in labor. So what did I do? I sent my husband to work his night shift and I drove myself to the hospital after we enjoyed dinner at Pizza Ranch. I didn’t want him to miss FTO so I told him I’d call him if anything happened. Turns out I was definitely in labor and he left work as soon as I knew."
WE SERVE THE PUBLIC BY SUPPORTING OUR POLICE OFFICERS
All of these stories about Minnesota women just doing what needs to be done share one common thread: we do it because we love our law enforcement officers. While they protect and serve the public, we protect and serve our households, raise our families and keep going. We do all these things so our LEOS can remain focused on their jobs. Their lives and the lives of the people around them - their partners, bystanders, suspects - all depend on their ability to stay focused, use their training and rely on their instincts with professionalism, sound judgment and compassion. They have the best chance of doing so when they can be confident that their partners at home are taking care of the homefront. THIS is OUR service to the public. ONE MORE STORY: TRIGGER WARNING, CLOSE CALL DESCRIBED
The last story tonight is truly exceptional and comes with a trigger warning. A very dangerous call out is described. We thank Wendy for looking back at a really difficult experience and sharing it as a reminder that we can do hard things.
WE REMAIN BRAVE IN THE FACE OF FEAR
Wendy: "We were going to the Mall of America to go on the rides, and just as we got to the parking ramp, hubs got a phone call asking him to come in to work. A guy had booby trapped his room in a boarding house, and they wanted someone fresh to go in and clear it. We all drove straight there and dropped him off, and as I was driving away, we heard a very loud noise. One of the kids asked me, “Mommy, did Daddy just get blown up?” I had no idea what was going on, but told him daddy was fine, and we went back to the mall. We headed home several hours later, with still no word on what was going on. My husband got home late that night, and told me what had happened. The noise we heard was from the team blowing out the window, so my husband could climb in to work on the devices. Once he got inside, he realized there wasn’t enough room to maneuver in the bomb suit without the risk of bumping to the devices inadvertently, so he climbed back out, took off the bomb suit, and climbed back in. He disabled seven devices. Some times you just have to carry on and pretend everything is normal, even when it isn’t."
Join Backing the Blue Line: We invite MN police wives/significant others to become members of Backing the Blue Line to take advantage of all available membership benefits and have additional opportunities to give and receive support. We also invite MN police wives/significant other to join our private Facebook page to belong to a community of support through friendships, networking, and discussion. It is also for raising awareness of the need to support our unique lives and share the bond that comes with being a law enforcement family. Find out more on our About page.
About the featured women: Thank you to the strong, brave and funny women of the private Facebook page for Backing the Blue Line who contributed their photos and stories and gave permission to share them here. They represent many areas in our great state and come from a variety of backgrounds. However, they have a lot in common: they love a police officer, they are smart, they are brave, they are strong, they are independent and they want to make a positive difference in the community.
About the curator: Jamie has been married to her LEO for seven years and together they have three young sons. She currently serves as the Managing Editor of this blog. She is a working mama, writer for Twin Cities Moms Blog, professional photographer and loves encouraging police families to enjoy the best of this unique lifestyle.