The law enforcement life can be stressful, to say the least, for both the officer and their family. It takes a special kind of person to step up to work in law enforcement, but it also takes a special person to willingly be the person behind the badge—the significant others that can oftentimes deal with canceled plans, unpredictable loneliness, backlash from unsupportive family and friends, as well as the feeling of parenting solo.
Yes, the life is challenging, but perspective is important. When the LE life has us down, it’s important to focus on the things we are actually thankful for regarding this crazy life. So, we recently asked several ladies from our Backing the Blue Line to share with us what they are especially thankful for about living the life of a law enforcement significant other—and boy did we build a great vault of answers!
(First names only are provided for the quotes provided here—and obviously some people share the same first name—but all quotes come from members of our Backing the Blue Line private group, which you can join if you’re a female in a committed relationship with a Minnesota POST licensed officer.)
WELL, TO START OFF WITH...
Suzanne: “...(A) bonus is he looks good in uniform.”
Meg: “He looks REALLY good in his tac gear. Sorry, I can’t help it!!!”
Amy: “I adore my husband. But him not being home most nights is just a great excuse to fill the bed up with snuggly dogs.”
Regina: “I’m in it for the discounts: concert tickets, hotel rooms, Leo friendly retail and restaurant establishments. Whoops… I mean, I’m thankful for...”
Amy: “I'm thankful for this LE life because: I can't tell you how often I've used the ‘oh, dang...hubby has to work so we won't be able to come’ excuse. #noshame”
LIFE AS A PARENT
Karen: “I'm thankful he has days off during the week so I can send him to do all those stupid errands I hate doing especially with kids in tow.”
Cecelia: “The overnight schedule has been so hard, but it allows me to volunteer at school with my kindergartener. If we were on a 9-5 schedule, I wouldn't be able to be so involved in (our son’s) class.
Katie: “I am extremely thankful that my husband gets to spend most half days with our 6-month-old so she doesn’t have to go to daycare full time. He still gets to spend precious daddy’s and daughter time just the two of them.”
Kati: “Why am I thankful for my law enforcement life......if I didn't live this life, we probably wouldn't have adopted children. We started our adoption journey, talking about children of his calls on duty. We probably would never have been foster parents and adopted children who were wards of the state. It's because of the LEO lifestyle we have now 5 beautiful children! I truly love my LEO & my life!”
TIME TOGETHER AS A COUPLE
Chandelle: “Absence makes the heart grow fonder. I miss him after he works a bunch of nights - our times together after are more special”
Photos from the 2018 Blue Line Ball.
Katie: “I am thankful for the LEO life because we get to spend some days during the week together and we wouldn’t if he worked a normal 9-5.”
Cali: “I’m am so grateful for his schedule, I know it’s different for others but I have his schedule for the whole year. Sure, court and trainings come up but we see my husband way more than we did in his last job.”
Caitlin: “I LOVE to remind my husband that I "need time to miss him." By the time he's back from a round of evening shifts, I'm ready to re-calibrate—if you know what I mean. That down time to hog the couch and the TV is nice.... And I love his long stretches of days off in the summer, as a teacher it makes planning more exciting.”
Krista: “I love my LEOW life because it keeps everything in perspective for me. When I see people ranting and raving about meaningless things, I’m just thankful my spouse made it home alive and my family is healthy.”
Natasha: “I’m thankful for the LE life because it has taught me to be more independent, resilient, and grateful. Perspectives are shifted and priorities are set. You don’t always get time with your spouse when you want it but you make every minute count when you do. The LE life taught me it’s ok to go do things alone when my spouse is working- it will be ok... Not having my spouse around at the drop of a dime taught me to fix my own things around the house, in cars, and rise up when a challenge came about. Most importantly, it taught me to be grateful. Not just because in a world full of evil, he is good, but because I didn’t just marry a single man. I married an Army of men and women who have, will, and do stand by my side not just during the time served, but long after as well. Never will I wonder if I am loved and never will I fear asking for help because I have a family net to catch me when I fall. I am independent, resilient, and grateful because the LE life helped instill that.” -LE Widow
Suzanne: “Being a LEOW makes me appreciate the now and not worry about the later.”
Tiff Ann: “As morbid as it sounds, treating each day as their last as they walk out the door and making days off more special as family time. I enjoy my "me" time occasionally too! Also, empathy and being thankful for what you have. The stories they tell of people's situations and home life makes even the little thing not so bad!”
Madi: “I’m thankful for this life. Through the dark and dreary... I can’t help but to think how I’m thankful for living this life as a deputy wife. This has been my husband’s dream profession since he was a little boy. I thought I knew what I was getting into 9 years ago when we started dating in high school. However, I didn’t know that being a deputy wife would personally teach me strength, independence, faith, confidence, and most of all... how to cherish the little moments together.”
A SENSE OF PRIDE
Karyn: “The LEO life has given me a sense of pride that I'm sure no one else can truly grasp unless you live the LEO life yourself, or you are a military family living through deployments. I am thankful for knowing that pride that is almost indescribable to those outside this life.”
Katie: “I am thankful for the brave man that I have in my life. That works so hard every single day to create a safe community for others.”
Amanda: “I’m thankful for the law enforcement life because we live in a small community where each person knows one another. With that being said, when someone in the community sees me at my job (I work as a nurse at the local clinic/hospital) and they talk about how such and such Officer helped them in a situation. It makes my heart happy with the appreciation those that have for us in the blue family.”
Meg: “I’m thankful that I can say I’m married to an incredibly 100% selfless person. It takes a selfless person to do this job and that carries over into our family life with our kids.”
A VERY SPECIAL COMMUNITY AND FRIENDSHIP
Katie: “I am thankful for the community and the people I have met being a police wife. The amazing support and strength of women that stand behind the badge and just get it.”
Mindy: “I am thankful for this life because I get to be a part of an amazing family that I don't even know, yet care so deeply about—Blue and BtBL. Also, because I get to spend each day with my hero who inspires me to be a better person!”
Natasha: “Without the LE life and this tribe, I would have never been able to FaceTime Officer Daniels. Isn’t he dreamy?! He should probably take me to dinner…”
Meg: “Without the LEOW life, I wouldn’t be part of the most amazing group of women ever. This group has given me amazing friends & support that I’ll forever be thankful for.”
Suzanne: “I love that because he wears the uniform, I got to join the best girl club in the world. I volunteer more and I get to know so many fantastic ladies.”
Cali: “I also love the relationships he has with his platoon; they’re good high caliber guys and knowing they have his back brings me comfort every day he walks out that door.”
THE LAW ENFORCEMENT LIFE CAN BE HARD, BUT THERE IS MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR!
Katie: “Oh man there is so much to be thankful for even though it can be very difficult it is always important to look at the good and almost always it outweighs the bad!”
Susan: "I believe that we spouses of law enforcement officers serve the public as well (but in a different way). We stand behind our officer and provide moral support so that they can do the job they need to do. Nobody ever said it would be easy...but in the long run it's worth it."
Jessica: “I have had to stop thinking about what I don’t like about being a LEOW and realize all the things I love about it in order to stay sane and happy. Having some alone time at the end of the day, having weekdays as our weekend and getting to go out when it’s not super busy on normal people’s weekends.
I also love that he gets more than the normal 2 day weekend. I know all departments are different but my husband gets 4 days off in a row. (At least he usually has 4 days but sometimes there is training or overtime.)
Being a LEOW has made me a stronger and more understanding person. I’ve been married to my LEO for 6 years. At the start I had a really hard time with it all. Being alone at night was so strange. But I’ve really learned to embrace it and enjoy those nights of “me time”.
Our kids look up to him so much! They want to be just like daddy. I couldn’t do his job and I’m so dang proud of him too! We’ve always called him Superman because he’s our handyman, Mr. Fixit. So he’s our hero in all regards.”
Being the significant other behind the badge can be a challenge, but we’re willing to take it. By keeping our focus on the many great things about being a law enforcement wife or significant other—and leaning on the amazing friendships formed in organizations like Backing the Blue Line—we’re sure to make it through!
Join Backing the Blue Line! We invite MN police wives/partners/fiancees/girlfriends/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. 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.