Want to get your Firefighter something special for Valentines Day? What do you get the firefighter wife for Valentine’s Day? Do you have an anniversary coming up soon? And we can’t leave out all the firefighter girlfriends and boyfriends from the mix!
I mean, you could just browse Etsy forever… it’s like a trap when I open my app, but I never find the perfect gift.
This list of Firefighter gifts is sure to ease the question, “What do I get my loved on for valentines day?” From newly dating, to freshly engaged, to married for years- this gift guide will give Ideas and Inspiration for your gift.
Amazon has a few custom firefighter gifts, but Etsy custom firefighter gifts are more diverse. If you want to do something like a radio strap- contact someone on Instagram! Their are so many awesome artists making unique custom firefighter gifts.
Coupon books are another favorite– you can find them in lots of different styles, and of Course, you can make your own! The homemade ones might be there very best because they are tailored to the couples needs.
Post Preview: Time management is essential to achieving the goals and achievements you’ve always dreamed about. These easy time management tips will propel your forward on your journey to greatness.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
How many of you have sat through a long teaching, or waited in a doctor’s office, and the sound of an analog clock is burned into your ears?
You keep checking the time- one minute passes. So you try to busy yourself. Then you check it again. Its only been a minute and some seconds.
Yikes. Time slows and you feel like you will never get out of there (especially when you were a kid in school!).
Kinda like the Bueller Bueller scene from Ferris Bueller’s day off… it just drags onnnnn.
At other life events, time seems to slip through your fingers. It goes so fast- that you are afraid to blink. Before you know it, it’s the next day, or the next year and you have no idea where the time went. Even worse, you might not have anything to show for your lost time.
While these are some more extreme examples, daily time management is pretty basic.
The premise is that you have 24 hours- during that time you need to do personal things and you often have to do work things.
For a firefighter or other shift worker, you could work for longer periods of time where most of the 24 hours is work and very little is personal time (also, a dedicated caregiver feels this way!).
Because of these differences in time allowances, we need to have some skills to manage our time.
This post may contain affiliate links, please check out my affiliate disclosure for more information.
Why Time Management for goal achievement?
Time management, when done correctly, can allow you to get the most out of your day. You are able to organize and prioritize the important personal and work related tasks an make headway on your goals.
You are able to actually show what you did with your time.
Another benefit is that when your day is organized you can actually schedule stress free, free time. I know that sounds like an oxymoron but it’s not. How many times have you had free time but you had this cloud hanging over you that you are procrastinating. That’s not free time, that’s you causing yourself anxiety.
Using your time wisely is so beneficial to your stress and anxiety levels. You can prioritize what’s important, make peace with what isn’t, and then still have time to unwind.
Easy Time Management Tips
1. Eat the frog (it’s delicious!)
Eat the frog? Yes, I want you to eat the frog.
Let me explain.
This phrase was coined by Mark Twain and has been used ever since. He stated that if you ate a frog every morning, you could do everything else, because eating the frog would be the worst thing you would have to do.
In a nutshell, The principle is this: Do the biggest, ugliest task of your day- FIRST.
Why first? Because then you are free to focus on other things and you won’t have anxiety or stress about procrastination. If you are doing a major task each day to further your goals, you will be making baby steps forward each day. A helpful planner can be a major game changer in your frog eating adventures- don’t get sidelined by indecision.
Brian Tracy, a very popular leadership coach, said this about eating the frog “Successful, effective people are those who launch directly into their major tasks and then discipline themselves to work steadily and single-mindedly until those tasks are complete”
If you want to be successful, you need to imitate those who have already earned success. Brian Tracy acknowledges finishing major tasks will make you successful- and that’s what were after.
So a simple way to success- simply eat the frog!
2. Recognize the time suckers
Time wasters are those magical gnomes that come and steal all the time from the day. Before you realize it, you’ve barely gotten anything done and your list of things you want to do has gotten larger.
Common time wasters can be things like technology, including television and cell phones.
But what about other time wasters? Like gossiping to your neighbor who stays at your house for three hours? Or an unorganized work bench that makes it impossible to complete your task?
What about not setting boundaries on your time? If you let everyone else dictate how your day will go, you wont get anything done that YOU wanted to do- because you followed someone else agenda.
An easy way to identify your time wasters is to simply keep track of the time you spend in one day. Write down how long it takes you to do your morning routine, your daily task etc- then you can figure out where the time wasters are.
3. Have simple and clear goals with follow up
This one may seem like a no brainer- because, in principle, it is. The problem lies in implementing these clear goals and making sure to follow up.
I really like the book, The 12 week year, because it helps to establish a solid plan of action. It highlights the importance of setting quarterly goals and then breaking those goals into action plans. It also covers how to conduct regular reviews to make sure that you are on track to attain your goals.
It’s not that goal setting is hard, it’s that it’s hard to stay committed. Using a planner and allowing a strategy like the 12 week year (or The Checklist Manifesto, which tends to resonate with medical professionals ) can really make a difference in your goals over the next few months. I have a free printable for goal setting, check it out here.
4. Organize your life, Organize your mind
Everyone has done a cleaning or building project at some time or another.
How frustrating is it, to be halfway through the project and realize you are missing something you desperately need?
This happened to me once with an Ikea table- I almost threw the damn thing out the window.
So think back on a time that having an organized project area would have saved you time- especially when you are trying to meet a deadline.
Make it a priority to keep your space organized, and to double check you supplies before you begin a project (even if that just means an extra pen!). You will be amazed at how much time you save when you have everything you need at your fingertips.
5. Reflection is the Key to Time Management
Just like you need to include time for planning, organizing and implementing your plans- you also need time to reflect on what you have done to accomplish them.
This can be a daily or monthly reflection- but it’s important that you set aside time and schedule this review.
When you fail to review what you’ve done, you fail at the most important part: accountability.
If you don’t check to make sure that you are on track, you are most likely off track.
Many successful men and women spend 15-30 minutes each day reflecting on their goals and the steps necessary to achieve these goals. It’s what sets them apart from the rest. When you keep your goals and progress at the forefront of your mind, you stay motivated to succeed.
This is just part of the overall plan to achieving your goals. IF you don’t have a plan in place and dreams to accomplish- then you are missing out. Time management is essential, but not the only piece to the puzzle.
Are you looking for a simple solution for keeping track of your new year’s goals? I have THREE FREE printables that can help you stay organized in 2019.
This post isn’t about New Years Resolutions. Sure they are fun to do (obviously since I’m writing this!) but it doesn’t work for everyone. Like my Firefighter husband who hates resolutions.
So this is a post where the printable will work for both resolutions AND goals all year long (depending on how you look at it!). I also included a monthly printable, instead of just yearly, so that you can take small steps to achieve a bigger goal.
Every January millions of people making pledges to do *something*. A pretty common one is to set a weight loss or fitness goal, which is why most gyms have a spike in attendance the first of the year. Other people pledge to quit smoking or save money. So a resolution is basically a year long goal- often times that has many micro steps.
Do you want to be better in 2019?
So if your 2019 year goal is to be a better firefighter, you want to break that down into several categories.
I’ve created a printable for the firefighter to fill out for his/her resolutions for the year. I also have a “goal/nonfirefighter” printable for the home life or for anytime throughout the year.
Hopefully, you can place this in a visual place. Your Bathroom, your locker, your kitchen- somewhere that you can keep reminding yourself of what you want to accomplish.
This also fits in most larger planners, and you can scale it down to place in other planners.
Simply reduce to 85% for most regular size planners (open in adobe reader) or 65% for mini planners (open in adobe reader).
And for many fire wives, we think about our husband’s when they are off shift too.
Did that last call get to them? Are they irritable because of sleep deprivation or because of something else more serious? When was the last time they had blood work and a physical?
What the public doesn’t know about Firefighters
When you talk to someone that’s not related to Firefighting and all of it’s various occupations, you get a lot of the same generic comments. Comments about how attractive they are, about how they could never run into a burning building, and comments assuming they get paid a lot to lay around all day.
What the public doesn’t understand is how dangerous their job really is. This job is packed full of stress which leads to heart disease, toxic exposure which leads to cancer and trauma which leads to mental pain.
The public doesn’t understand, truly, what a sacrifice our Fire Service Personal make when they sign up for the job (or when they volunteer).
It is a job worth doing, but it is never a walk in the park.
So that is why Fire Wive’s Pray
Fire Wive’s DO know what their husbands go through. From long seasons in the forest, to rescue trucks that run nonstop for 24 hours. From calls that leave a permanent mark to calls that have them on cloud nine.
Post Preview: Firefighters know they need to focus on their mental health, but what about their Family’s? These activities at the Fire Station can help nature positive family relationships.
Firefighters are really big when it comes to family, after all, it is a family tradition.
Working in the fire service is one of those things that sometimes takes away from family time. Like many other worthwhile careers, Firefighters have to sacrifice some time away to work and improve their skills.
My Firefighter and I make it a priority to spend time together on and off shift. We are doing what we can to help all of us have good mental health and low levels of stress. Check out 5 easy ways you can do this below!
Why does Family Time matter for Mental Health?
Often times we talk about doing things as a family and then… well… life happens! Plans get changed, somebody is sick, somebody else is grumpy. I know that I’ve had days where we just turn the car around and go home!
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration has a program called “Building Blocks for a Healthy Future”. Quality family time is vital in that program for healthy development and can lead to better choices in the future when it comes to abuse or poor decision making.
By spending time together, Your child will get to model your behavior, develop better communication, voice their thoughts and feelings, and get to experience loving relationships. That’s just the tip of the iceberg! There is so much to be gained when you make a concentrated effort to have everyone together.
And honestly, if your family (first or second) is in a good place mentally, it makes things so much easier for you!
What if you can’t visit?
Some people will say that they aren’t allowed to visit their firefighter. To that I say, BS. Family is the foundation of the fire service, so have your firefighter talk with others and the chain of command to see how it can be arranged for family to have time to visit.
I know for our station, it’s highly discouraged to come by during working hours from 8-5 (and sometimes later just depending on what they tasks are that day). So we don’t visit a lot during the week and try to make plans to see him on the weekend after his list of duties is done.
That is compromise and it works well for our family.
I do understand that there are many stages to the fire service, some are in military, some are hotshots, some are volunteers. Those all look different- but that doesn’t mean that you can’t set aside a special visit to see where your firefighter works.
If it is really unavailable for you to visit (due to sickness, danger, or location) make it a priority to video chat. It’s important to have visuals so you can understand where your Firefighter spends his time and for everyone’s mental health.
The Activities at the Fire Station
So you know that family time is important and you have a time set up to see your firefighter. But what do you do at your visit? Do you sit around and just chit chat? Sure. But if you have kids, you are going to want to keep them entertained somehow!
Here’s my list of favorite ideas that build those family relationship- and the kids don’t even know it.
Wash the truck (or something else like a golf cart that won’t get damaged)
This is one of the all time favorite things for us to do, and other firefighters at the station love to do it with their family as well. This is one of those chores turned family time type things that allows for a clean apparatus and a happy family!
Our kids love to wash the truck, but we also have several other vehicles they can wash so that damage doesn’t accidentally happen.
2. Cook dinner together (or bring dinner)
Food, YUM! Everyone loves food. Theres’ nothing like getting together with your firefighter and his second work family over a meal.
Cooking food is a great option, but I do understand that some stations are really busy! In that case, decide if its better to bring food in or have someone who isn’t the firefighter in charge of cooking.
3. Have a Pajama party
Lots of people live far away from their firefighters work zone, so coordinating schedules can be hard with school and other family members jobs. Especially when you have kids Cue the Pajama party!
Get the kids home from school, feed them and put them in their Pjs. Drive to see your Firefighter and then, when they *hopefully* fall asleep on the way home, you can just put them in bed. Thats a win/win in my book!
4. Participate in a parade or community event
This may seem like a no brainer- but if you don’t plan ahead you are likely to forget. I cant tell you the number of times my firefighter would spring an event on me last minute. (I took matters into my own hands and got a calendar!)
Going to an event where your firefighter works can be a lot of fun but you do run the risk that they are busy! We try to weigh it out ahead of time based on how the event was last year or what the event is for. Chances are, my firefighter will have a good 10 minutes to hang out and sometimes he’s had even more time!
He doesn’t work all the events though, so sometimes we visit him because its a family event. This could also be anything from a charity that they get together to support to a holiday event.
These types of activities are the perfect ways to get involved with your firefighter because family is expected to come. So if you suffer from some anxiety about stopping by during shift time, this is the perfect time to do it!
5. Have breakfast together
We already know that firefighters love food, so a super fun way to spend time at the station is with breakfast! The cool thing about breakfast is that it can be done before, during or after shift.
WIth such a versatile time frame this is a fun activity that can be low key and low stress. Just grab some pancake mix and syrup or bacon and eggs. My personal favorite is muffins since I can bring enough for everyone and not have to worry about clean up.
Enjoy your breakfast, have some coffee and hang out at the station. This is the perfect Saturday morning if you ask me!
Bonus Tip! If possible, do a movie night at the station. This will require some planning since you want to schedule this on a “ low call volume” day (which can be hard! I know). But if you are able to do it, think about how much fun it would be! Even if they do get a call, you can leave the kiddos watching the movie and then catch up with your firefighter gets back to the station.
And these ideas don’t even cover all of it. Where theres a will, theres a way! Family time should be protected.
The Importance of Work Life Balance
There has been a lot of talk about Firefighters and mental health. Part of that discussion is asking difficult questions like, “Do I work too much as a firefighter?” “Am I getting enough family time” “How do I control my stress levels?”.
When you have an appropriate amount of work time balanced with the appropriate amount of regular life, you are able to manage your feelings and stress levels better. You feel better. You sleep better. You can “turn off work and leave it at work”, NOT bring it home.
Spending time with family, especially healthy time where you are actively engaged, can significantly improve mental health– which means you will be less angry, less anxious and less likely to snap at someone.
Work Life Balance is so incredibly important for firefighters. We all assume that because they work different hour shifts or that they volunteer that work life balance doesn’t matter. But I’m here to tell you that it does in every professional sense (Degree in Human Resources) and personal sense (married to a firefighter).
Find a balance, find time on shift for family, and see the benefits it adds to your life.
Family Time is so important! Even if your firefighter has a crazy schedule you can find ways to make it work so that the kids can get the best of both worlds. Plus, the benefits to mental health for the entire family can’t be overlooked, especially with something as fun as spending time together.
Kids are never going to remember their best day of TV, they will remember all the times they got to spend at the station and do fun activities with their firefighter!
Tell me Fire Family, do you have any other activities to recommend? Did you try any of these at the station?
Post Preview: Kids love Fire Trucks! I’ve listed the best ones of the web according to views and my toddler’s excitement level. These videos are fun for the whole family to watch!
Would you believe me if I said I’ve watched countless hours of firefighter and fire truck videos with my toddler? And that I have all these firefighter songs now stuck in my head… for like forever.
Seriously, its true!
We are big fire truck lovers because Daddy is a firefighter. So even though he’s been in a real fire truck a bazillion times- he still wants to watch them on youtube. Because Dad is a firefighter, we try to stay away from the cartoons because they just aren’t realistic. Not that its a bad thing, we’ve watched some Fireman Sam and really like it.
Dangit, now I’ve got the Fireman Sam theme song stuck in my head (I hope it happens to you to now!)
The biggest reason we like real life firetruck videos is because we want our son to have a good understanding of firefighter responsibilities and the realities of the job. Water doesn’t just come from no where and fire trucks are extremely big. Sure, he has lots of toys and he thinks Marshall from Paw Patrol is a cool pup. But Cartoons just don’t cut it when it comes to how big firetrucks are and how dangerous fire can be.
So here’s the top firefighter truck videos for kids on youtube. These have all been toddler approved (and the views certainly testify to their popularity!).
The Fire station Visit
Kids love to watch other kids doing stuff. I have no idea why but I just go with it! This cute fire station visit highlights two young boys as they live the firefighter life. If you don’t go to a fire station often, this video is a must see!
Fire Engine Sing Along
If you don’t mind songs, this is a great video! The song is funny and catchy, I catch myself singing it from time to time. The video definitely keeps my kid entertained with the flashing lights and accurate video.
Educational Fire Department Visit
I have no idea how much this guy paid the fire department but I hope it was a good amount. I thought for sure he was going to pass out when he was demonstrating the SCBA and taking large gulps of oxygen.
In all seriousness, this is a really good video for demonstrating many of the sides of firefighting in a way kids can understand it. I can appreciate Blippi giving a realistic look at what Firefighters really do- and my toddler loves to respond to this character.
The Country Great Big Firetruck
This is a another cute song about “here comes a great big firetruck”. Not sure if this was made for kids or firefighters, since I see the appeal for both audiences! This is definitely one of the better songs I have heard- kinda with a country twang. Plus, its only about 2ish minutes long.
Fire Apparatus Parade
My son loves parades and gets so excited when the firetruck comes around (especially if daddy is onboard!) so a parade full of nothin but firetrucks has him over the moon! This is on our bucket list, but for now the video is a lot of fun to watch. Be prepared for your kid to beg you for a parade after they watch this! My son waved at every fire engine. I didn’t have the heart to tell them it was uploaded like 5 years ago!
Firefighter Wives are a diverse group of ladies, but then tend to have a few things in common. Married to a Firefighter is one of the main factors, but other things like knowing the fire lingo and enjoying alone time come into effect too.
Hey, How do you know if someone is a Fire Wife? Don’t worry, Her t-shirt will tell you!
Ok, that was a little cheesy but its true! Fire Wives have a lot of shirts and apparel to rep their husbands career choice.
If you search for anything Firefighter Wife online, you are bound to find some Fire Wife T-shirts. And not just t-shirts, but hoodies and tank tops and pajamas sets. Somewhere between the online marketplace boom and the option to order at the click of a button, women’s clothing has gone through a serious makeover.
Seriously. There are a lot of options out there. So many that I didn’t even include shirts in my Valentines Day Gift Guide- us Fire Wives need more originality in our gifts!
From Etsy sellers to Amazon and everywhere in between (check out this Fire Wife MarketPlace on Facebook!), Fire Wife T-shirts are a popular search item. Add in the fire themed wedding stuff like matching t-shirts and the super cute baby stuff, then you begin to realize that we might be a tad obsessed with vinyl and screen print.
But why are we so obsessed with Fire Wife Shirts?
I have a few theories.
The first is that we like cute clothes and some of these outfits are adorable.
For real. They have some that are covered in glitter, some holographic, some with original sayings. Sure there are the generic ones that people tend to pass around from store to store, but then you have the original ideas! Those are my favorite.
Save this pin for later!
The next is that we want to support our firefighter.
I’d be proud if my husband was a tourist guide or a carpet cleaner (because he was both of those!) but I love how the Fire Family sticks together.
So repping a t-shirt emblazoned with a Maltese cross and thin red line is a no brainer. It just makes sense that we support our firefighter and that support turns into clothing.
And your husband doesn’t have to be career, he can be a volunteer.
Or a Wildland Firefighter.
And of course, you can be a nurse and fire wife or a teacher and fire wife OR (insert profession) and fire wife- because you aren’t just a wife!
Basically, our Husbands are obsessed with Firefighter t-shirts and they have brain washed us.
I can’t be the only one right? My husband has like… a bazillion shirts. Why? I have no idea, I’ve been brainwashed into believing its normal and now I have a bunch of shirts too! Sometimes we accidentally match (which is why I prefer some fire wife shirts, that way its cute but not twinning).
So if your anything like me, you enjoy looking at the latest shirts to hit the market. And if your not like me, then maybe you can understand why there’s an obsession for Firefighter Wife T-shirts!
I’ve included a few of my favorites below. You certainly have options to choose from!
So tell me, are YOU obsessed with Firefighter Tshirts? Or am I the only one? It’s ok, I can handle the truth! Maybe it’s trucker hats and keychains?
Seriously. 85 freaking percent is what some people claim.
You add in that half the population dies by 40 and all of a sudden the chance of being single by 45 is 100%. Crazy right! It sounds like the firemen need to be rescued if that’s the case.
So that’s why I really started digging. Val Selby over at Wife Behind the Fire was the first one to ever suggest that the divorce rates were just rumors and I couldn’t have been happier!
Because if you look at the divorce rates among firefighters, a lot of what we hear is jumbled and doesn’t add up.
Let’s look at what researchers have to say about the firefighter divorce rate.
This post might contain affiliate links. Check out my disclosure for more information.
Let’s talk to the experts on Firefighter Divorce Rates
The first place we will look is an article done by Fire Rescue 1, from a few years ago. In it they look at the actual data. Yes, Folks, they look at the numbers. And you know what the numbers said?
Male Firefighters divorce less than the national average.
Imma say that again for the people in the back, Firefighter Divorce is below national average.
But wait, there’s more!
Turns out that Female Firefighters do have a higher percentage of divorce in this line of work, up to three times higher divorce rates.
The article doesn’t really go into the ‘why’ because their hasn’t been a comprehensive study to find out why firefighters divorce.
We can always speculate though that it has something to do with the job and the many stresses that come along with it. For anyone thats ever been in a relationship, you know that stress can play an impactful role in the success of a marriage.
In fact, this survey done in Canada shows half the firefighters said that “maintaining a relationship with one’s romantic partner” was a highly stressful part of the job.
Because let’s face it, being a firefighter isn’t always easy, and dealing with family stress on top of that can be hard to handle. Even with the addition of a stressful job, the stats don’t show an increase in divorced firefighters.
So if we recap- Men, which are the majority of the firefighter work force, divorce less than the national average BUT they do feel that maintaining a healthy relationship is stressful.
So I have a theory!
Theory- Are the divorce rumors from unhappy firefighter couples?
Do Firefighters and their spouses hear about divorce because people are just unhappy and looking for a way out?
Like they just TALK about divorce constantly, but never actually go through with it and just stay in unhappy relationships?
That’s totally possible.
So it could be that someone overhears that ‘firefighter so and so’ is having a hard time with their marriage and they spread rumors. Or two of the firefighters get together and realize they have the same problem- so they assume that everyone else does too.
Then compound this year after year- the salty old dogs warning the probies about bringing their wives around the station and it becomes an urban legend.
At this station- divorce is common place. (The whole, saving lives and stealing wives firefighter routine)
That’s one theory.
another one is this:
Or maybe it’s that when Then when we do hear about a divorce, from your home station or somewhere close by, people spread it like wildfire. Especially if it somehow involves another firefighter. Or the Wife showed up and tried to set something on fire (true story!).
Or there was a cheating firefighter spouse involved. Those stories spread and spread and spread so much that it turns into a game of telephone and you can’t even tell left from right.
In fact, I’m pretty sure half of those stories are grossly exaggerated by some gossiping old firefighter. Every station has one!
Do we really talk about divorce that much?
Kinda- We have a lot of misinformation out there!
Take this article for example. She cites EVERY SOURCE BESIDES the one about firefighter divorce. So her entire article has the stats to backup her data- but then when it says “firefighters divorce at 3 times the national average, second only to military” there is NO source. The article was also written in 2009 and probably spoke fear into many couples lives!
But if you ask me, I rarely hear about divorce OR unhappy relationships and neither does my husband.
Sure, the guys may need some advice here and there. The majority of them want a family and they want to be happy while they do it.
They don’t want to be a divorced firefighter.
I hear more about how hard it is to get a date! And how they struggle with finding someone that understands this lifestyle. In fact, I wrote a post for some of the guys to use to show their prospective girlfriends about firefighter relationships. Because it’s hard finding someone that really gets what this life is about.
The web is also filled with relationship self help books that prey on this apparent fear, that being married to a firefighter is hard.
I do have some helpful book recommendations– but we shouldn’t sell them on fear, we need to read them out of a genuine desire to have a healthy marriage.
Any relationship or marriage takes work, and you can find help in a book or a counselor. My problem is that I can appreciate the advice but a lot of it is unneccesary because they want to capitalize on the rumors.
Another good option is to look at couples counseling which is for people in every profession. Firefighters are not getting divorced anymore than the average Joe. Lawyers and massage therapists were at the top of the list- not firefighters. Not even close.
So are firefighters just unhappy?
Over the years we have become aware that Firefighters need more behavioral and mental health services because of what they see on the job.
So I’m sure for some marriages (and some firefighter divorces) that plays a big part.
But is PTSD on the same level as happiness?
No, because both PTSD and happiness can be improved upon by a variety of factors. Counseling is a huge benefit to many- and of course, getting out of toxic situations is another contributing factor to happiness.
There was this mini survey done in Canada to compare males in fire service with males in other occupations. The comparison showed that Firefighters are on par with other people when it comes to marriage satisfaction.
So basically, being a firefighter doesn’t decrease the happiness in your marriage.
However, we don’t really have much data to show how other parts of the job (long hours, ptsd, being effected by a LODD) have on a firefighters marriage.
And MANY FIRE WIVES are completely unaware that the change in their spouse is not due to a decrease in marital satisfaction– but a mental health issue like PTSD or anxiety.
Stress is certainly a big factor in health problems and relationship issues. I want to encourage you to reach out to your EAP or other trusted professional if you feel like things are getting crazy. You can also look at some ways to reduce your stress on shift here.
What about the cheating Firefighters?
Let’s talk about the infamous “CHEATING FIREFIGHTER”
I won’t lie- when my husband first said he wanted to be a firefighter, I looked up stuff about firefighters and BAM.
One of the first things I came across was that Firefighters are big time cheaters.
You know, since they have all this time on their hands.
And they stay overnight with women.
And it’s an orgy free for all at the fire house.
Let’s get to the bottom of this.
Statistically we know that people who cheat are looking to fill emotional AND physical needs. We also know that Men and Women cheat at the same rates.
So what this is telling us is that the cheater was going to cheat regardless of what gender they are or where they worked- because they are filling an emotional/physically need.
Again, it’s not a matter of convenience.
So the cheating would happen inside or outside the firehouse.
But cheating at the fire house DOES happen, especially because we know about 30% of relationships involve some form of cheating (like messaging, sexting etc).
Unfortunately that is a problem that will happen wherever your cheating spouse works- even in they worked from home.
Divorce across the United States is decreasing- especially the under 45 crowd.
Have you heard the jokes about how millennials are changing things? Well, it’s not wrong. The millennials in their average mid 20’s to late 30’s and the Gen X’ers up to mid 40’s are getting divorced less and less.
It’s not because they aren’t married, its because they are waiting to get married till they have finished their education and found a job (which increases the odds of them having a successful marriage). And here I thought the future of divorce would be that you could buy it on Amazon.
In fact, the divorce rate for the under 45 crowd has reduced by a whopping 21 PERCENT in the last ten years alone. So while the divorce rate for 2017 for firefighters isn’t on the books, we can look at the general population and see that they are not getting divorced like the rumors suggest.
No longer is the chance of a marriage ending in divorce 50/50.
However, this doesn’t apply to the baby boomers, who are getting divorced at some really really high rates (maybe thats where the 85% divorce rate comes in!). Apparently baby boomers can’t stand their spouses so they’re trading them out- I’m only kinda kidding. The numbers tend to support this.
So lets clear up some Firefighter Divorce Stereotypes
Feel free to check the facts, but the numbers say that the divorce across the US is decreasing AND most (mainly male) firefighters get divorced at rates lower than the national average.
So if you hear rumors about firefighter divorce, you can know that they are not based on the numbers. Maybe you just live in a really unlucky area and the divorce rates have more to do with geography and not occupation.
Personally, I’m glad I’m married to a firefighter and with the stats on my side, I think I’ve made a good choice. After all, you love the person in the gear, not the gear itself.
Did you find any of these statistics helpful? Any new information you didn’t know about? Drop me a comment below!
Not all First Responders get to be at home on Christmas Day.
It’s just a fact of life when you live this lifestyle!
Thankfully we have many tips and tricks for helping family with the change in tradition.
It’s how we keep the world moving, and firefighters, along with their cohort of first responders, are no stranger to missing events.
This doesn’t always mean that it’s a walk in the park for those people to leave their family and traditions behind. No, it is certainly a sacrifice when plans get changed, especially year after year.
What about the Kids?
What our littlest humans don’t understand is when a family member, particularly a close one like mom or dad, has to miss out on the holiday festivities due to work.
This is especially true for our fire family, as many shift rotations call for working on the day before or day of a special event each year.
Some of the newer staff members can even work holidays every time those first few years to build up seniority. Other departments have a lottery or swap system- and lets just be honest, some firemen are just plain unlucky when it comes to time off!
Countless other families have been in this same situation and there’s a lot that can be done to help the Christmas season go smoothly!
What can the First Responder’s Family Do?
First things first, communicate among the adults in the household so you have a game plan, and here are some great ideas to have with that plan!
Don’t just assume that the pieces will ‘fall into place’ or that your first responder has a plan. If you haven’t discussed it, nothing will be done according to your expectations.
Make it extra special–
Is there an extra special gift or event that you can go to? This is a smooth way to soften the blow, like a positivity sandwich. Here’s how it works
Step 1: Tell the kids you love them, but Step 2: Dad/mom has to work on this holiday Step 3: so we are going to celebrate by doing something special!
Sometimes that not available, or a little harder to do when you have small kids.
Don’t discount the small things though, remembering a favorite dessert or staying up past their bed time for a seasonal movie can be very impactful!
This last year I did small stocking stuffers every shift day, and the Christmas before it I did books leading up to the big day. It doesn’t take much to get kids excited, just some extra planning.
Celebrate a day early–
This may sound like a no brainer, because it kinda is, but it can also be a hard pill to swallow if you are very dedicated to a specific day.
I understand, many of us have traditions that call for celebrations and it means a lot to us.
Celebrating a day early can be a great option to preserving traditions without sacrificing the firefighters presence, it can also mean that extra celebrations are done on the day of, while the family is apart.
We have done this option and it tends to be a lot of fun, we loved getting presents a day early!
Then the kids are entertained with their new toys on shift day. Plus, if you have young kids (like I do) they don’t actually know what day it is!
I may use that to my advantage, they can’t read a calendar anyways…
Get up early to celebrate before firefighter leaves for work–
Some folks don’t like to do it the day before, so the other option is to get up early before Firefighter has to go!
We had considered this option, and it is definitely something we are going to remember when our kids are older. Hopefully this doesn’t mean like 3 am, but if it does, I hope you have some amazing coffee and nap time for the kids planned out!
Get other family involved so the kids have distractions–
When you love your family, you love your family! This means spending time with the in-laws, out-laws, grandparents and cousins. It can also be whatever family you love, like those friends that we couldn’t live without.
Get them in on the celebrations this year to help with the absence of your first responder and you might be surprised at how much extra family can contribute to your holiday season!
Santa is a firefighter
Let’s just be honest, even though we know the secret of Santa, there is some anxiety in keeping it alive for our kids- especially when something threatens that reality (like having to work on Christmas). Some of the things you can do for Santa’s special arrangements are: