I'm trying to come up with another tag line for my blog. I have so much more to write about than just being a police wife. Sometimes Hottie tells me that I'm more into the police life than he is! Ha! But honestly, when I write about our kids or other random stuff going on, that has nothing to do with being a police wife, I feel a little like I've tricked y'all into reading. So I'm mulling that over ... any suggestions?
A few of you responded to a post of mine and said you wished you had Police Wife clubs in your area. We just started ours in November and it has grown tremendously. You can read here about my crazy process for getting the thing started.
If you don't have a group in your area, here are some of my suggestions for starting one. Please note these have worked for us and may not work for everyone but I think it's a pretty good formula.
I go to church with a few other police wives, and I feel very fortunate to do so. A couple of years ago, two girlfriends and I tried to meet together so we could encourage each other and pray for our hubbies. One husband was in the academy and one worked for a very large department in our area. Because of scheduling conflicts (sleep, work, etc.) we were only able to meet twice. Our time together was sweet but it was disappointing that we couldn't do it more often. However, after Officer Brenton was killed we knew we needed each other's support more than ever. So I talked to my mom and asked if we could meet at her house. I knew they had the room and no one would be sleeping during the day so the kids could run around and we wouldn't have to worry about making too much noise. I picked a Saturday and sent out an email and invited the gals I could think of who were married to police officers. There were five of us during the first meeting. Four of us go to church together and the fifth used to but they had since moved to another congregation. We had kept in touch though and everyone was excited to meet.
*First, if at all possible, find a place to meet where a police officer does not live. If you go to a church, ask the leadership there if there is someone who would be willing to open their home to some women and their kids once a month. This way you don't have to worry about childcare or waking up someone's hubby who was working all night long. It would be ideal to find someone who is a grandparent as they probably are a little bit child proofed and you won't need to worry as much about keeping an eye on your kids. Admit it...you like to visit and not have to pay too close attention to what your kids are doing. You're more like me than you want to admit!
*Second, choose a date and be consistent. We chose the third Saturday of every month so everyone could schedule it in advance. We don't have to try to figure out who's husband is off or who has what planned ... it's just a standing date and if you make it you make it. This has also made it easier on my mom since she knows we'll be invading her house and has been really great about making sure she hasn't planned something else to be going on there!
*Third, choose a purpose. The purpose of our Cop's Wives Club (we've been talking about changing the name to Christian Cop's Wives Club) is to encourage each other and to pray for our husbands. There is another group that just started meeting that focuses on fundraising. Pick a purpose. We chose prayer because really, we can visit and hang out anytime, but getting together with the purpose of praying is powerful and keeps us focused. That is to say, it keeps us from digressing. You know how it can get when we all get together. We can start to whine and complain and fall into that cycle of self-pity. Knowing that we're going to be praying keeps us from taking that road. And knowing that we're going to pray and that Someone is actually listening and able to help, also keeps us focused. We just choose a short period of time for prayer, 30 minutes, sometimes less, and go from there. God has been merciful to us too because our kids have been super good during those 30 minute periods. Last month there were 13 children and I swear we actually got through praying without someone screaming. God is good!
*Fourth, be honest with people about why you are meeting. You are meeting because you need to be with like-minded women who get you and get your husband. You need to be with people who, when you say, "My husband called yesterday and was trying to find a prostitute," don't look at you like you're in an abusive relationship. You need to be with people who, when an officer is killed while on duty, understand that in your mind it could have been your husband and that you're emotionally exhausted from planning his funeral. You need to be with women who understand what it's like to go to your in-laws on Thanksgiving without your husband, to keep your kids quiet during the summer because their dad is sleeping, to wake up with a sick child all night and then still have to get up and take care of that child the next day because Daddy was working all night. You just need to be with someone who says, "Hey! That happened to me TOO!" And you need to be with women who don't ask "Hey ... is it legal to ..." (a personal fav).
Those our just my top ideas. Our group has grown ... we have anywhere between 5-15 women who have come/been invited. We have a core group who is always there and then we have other women who come when they can. This group has been a lifeline for me. I know I've said it before but my experience with the law enforcement life has been pretty posh and even so I find that I need this group of women around me.
Go get those groups started! And ... if you meet the third Saturday of every month we can know that we are all meeting together. How cool is that?
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