Now that CA Cop has worn the badge for a year I thought I'd post on how he's changed and how I've changed directly related to that shiny piece of metal.
More independent- Being a cop's wife has made me step up and do things on my own that I may have otherwise not bothered doing. The kids and I have gone on beach trips, zoo trips, and family parties without our main man. I've flown solo to weddings, dinners, and get toghethers. If you want to survive shift work, you have to be able to live a little while he sleeps a little.
Less Social- At the same time that I am willing to do a lot more on my own, there is a lot less to do or that I can do with sleeping kids at home and CA Cop out working. Also, there are some things that you just need to do as a couple. CA Cop's schedule seems to be opposite the 9-5ers and so we end up missing a lot of dinner dates with friends, hosting other couples, and being invited to do much of anything with anyone as a couple.
More of a caretaker- With CA Cop sleeping and waking at all different hours it has changed my role in the house a bit. I feel like it is my job to make sure he gets as much sleep as possible and I feel like I failed when he's up early. Plus you never know what a cop is going to want to eat and at what time. I'm always worried about his driving late at night and whether or not he has rested enough.
I'm not really sure how else I have changed. Overall, I like our life in connection with all things blue. I appreciate what he does. I don't feel like his job comes first. I feel like as much as he loves his job, he still loves his family more. My goal is to maintain that.
More Tired- CA Cop has always been one of those guys that requires his 8+ hours. Now he seldom gets that and so he always seems to be dragging a bit. Shift work is tough in the sleep department especially when every 3 days or so he switches back and forth from days with the family to nights at work.
In Charge- CA Cop seems a little more prone to ordering rather than asking. I think he's just used to telling someone to do what he needs them to do. Sometimes the lines get blurred at home.
More Concerned- He is far more concerned with where I'm going and when I'll be home than he used to be (not that I do much). Occasionally, he even has an opinion on my plans as far as whether or not he wants me to go.
Road Rage- He is FAR less patient when we are driving around. I think it has something to do with while at work he usually has somewhere to be quickly and every one slows down when they see a cop. I might start requiring the kids to wear ear plugs when we are in the car with daddy.
Less Social- His schedule just really doesn't coincide with most of our friends and family. Although he doesn't really seem to hang out with many other cops they are the ones he is communicating with the most either on the phone or texting.
Family Time- He's all about it. I know it has a lot to do with not seeing his babies for a handful of days at a time. But he seems to soak up the time he has with the little ones and even his wifey. We have a weekly date night now and we both really look forward it. I think we are less social as far as having many friends that we get together with, but we are closer as a family and as a couple because we always hang out together on his days off. Not too many people are home from work on a Tuesday so that just leaves us to entertain each other and have conversations together.
More Organized- This has always been in his nature, but since the academy I've really noticed it again. Every thing must have its place and there is a place for everything.
Overall Happier- He likes doing what he does. He likes being a cop. He wants to be out there chasing down the bad guys.
Less Stressed- As a contractor and a landlord it was easy to see that he stressed about what he was doing. He always worried about making every project perfect. As a cop, yes there is a lot of stress that comes with the job, but he seems to carry it differently. He is not visibly worried about his decisions each day. I think he trusts his judgement out on the streets more than in any other jobs.
Overall CA Cop seems to have adjusted well over the past year. The biggest adjustment has definitely been learning how to function around shift work. Being that he was self employed for the last few years prior to becoming a cop we had a little more freedom in the schedule area. So we are learning the pros and cons of each shift, and trying to focus on the pros.