Home » Family Life » Just Call Me Gumby

Just Call Me Gumby

Disclaimer: This post is going to be a venting session. Here it is, 3 1/2 months since my most recent post, and all I’m going to do is come here and complain. But this is my little space on the internet and my prerogative I guess. So here goes.

JD has been on a “normal” schedule for several months now and it has been blissful. I finally feel like we can be a full-time team with household and parenting duties. We cook dinner together, I go grocery shopping by myself(!) while he keeps L at home, I can count on him to pick up L from daycare when I have an appointment or have to work late, and I even get to sleep in sometimes on weekends. You know, normal things that become somewhat of a novelty when you’re married to someone who works non-traditional hours.   (Side note: I have no idea how parents with 2 unpredictable schedules do it).

So one evening, he comes home and tells me that he’s been put on a special project that will allow a small group of officers to focus on a specific problem area in the community. This in itself is great news- JD has felt for some time that something along these lines needed to happen and he is very excited to be included in it. I am happy for him because I know how much it means to him.

Of course, there is a catch. He goes on to tell me that he will be working different hours while on the project and will be transitioning to the new schedule in only a few days. Being a planner (and the administrator that keeps our household running smoothly), I immediately start asking questions. What would the hours be? What days would he be working? Would we know in advance? Would we be getting a schedule mapped out? My mind raced with all the things we had coming up, including 2 trips up north for a wedding and a graduation. We had counted on him having those weekends off. We had counted on him being off duty by 4pm so we wouldn’t be up all night driving.

He didn’t have those details yet. They were still being ironed out at that point, but he was under the impression that it would be a lot of night shifts. I didn’t say anything for a minute while I processed my frustration, then sighed, kissed him on the forehead, and told him I would do what needed to be done to accommodate his schedule.

Just call me Gumby.

As it turns out, the new schedule IS mostly nights and evenings, and while it’s not completely sporadic, it’s very difficult to track.  (Want to plan something with us a month from now?  Too bad, I have no idea if he’s working.)  Also, I anticipate it will change at some point- likely at the last minute. Regardless, I will be here to take care of L and manage whatever comes our way because that’s what I have to do. Being a LEO Wife means always coming second to the needs of the city and the whims of the department. When your spouse is assigned something, there are no other options. There is no opportunity to sit down and talk it over. No chance to weigh in on the impacts to your family life. (I can tell that the schedule change is starting to bother L. She sees him less on this schedule than she did on his regular patrol schedule and keeps asking where daddy is.) The demands of the police department make for an unbalanced family life. It gets old.

The real icing on the cake is that he can’t come home with me for my stepbrother’s wedding because he has to work that weekend now.  So I get to make the drive with L alone and I had to call my family last-minute and inform them that JD wouldn’t be coming.

The good news is, I’m not bitter about it.

Just kidding, I totally am.


8 thoughts on “Just Call Me Gumby

  1. This is what I have to look forward to… Ugh! I’m a planner like you, so the rotating/weird schedule bothers me too. I’m sure you’ll figure out a routine that works for everyone. It takes so much strength to adapt and get used to their lifestyle – I admire you for that! I’m still struggling with it myself. But vent away! It almost always helps 🙂

  2. I totally understand your frustration. My husband works nights from 2P-2A and I’m always home alone with Ava during evenings. It’s pretty depressing when I think about it because I have dinner alone 😦 I try to think of the positives and that helps sometimes…

  3. This is the first time I’m commenting on this blogz because I have started looking for emotional support from other leow’s out there. I have 2 kids a 2 1/2 year old and a 5month old and as for being a planner I have learned to let that go and be ready for anything. With my husband working nights, I only get about 1 day a week withh him and I agree it all sucks so bad. The worst is when he gets called in at a drop of a hat and he can’t say no! I don’t blame you for venting we all need to and Lord knows we can’t vent to them because they are just doing their job that takes care of us.

    • Welcome! I’m glad you found my little blog- wish I could say I posted more often but I just don’t get around to it all that often. We definitely need to stick together though, especially right now. So I hope you have some support from your local LEOW, social media and other sources as well!

  4. Shift changes suck, we go through them like water in my house (well it feels like it). Don’t blame you for venting, I want to from time to time, too. As for being a planning person I have learned to let that go because it’s hard to plan when his schedule can change from day to day. I have learned how to do lots alone because his uniform gets 90% of his time. It does get lonely and stressful being a ftm of a hyper toddler and a jumping 5 month old. But in the end the good out weighs the bad, and I am proud of my husband for what he does and I’m thankful that my boys have a great roll model.

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