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Thread: family and work

  1. #1
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    Angry family and work

    How do you current career FFs with families balance work and family? How do you convince the wife that it can be done? I am thinking about extending my career in the fire service to fulltime some day, but my wife doesn't like the idea of me being gone over night and thinks I will be gone all the time. Just wondering how it is done out there.


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    MembersZone Subscriber achief15's Avatar
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    Default Trust and teamwork

    I was lucky, because I had the job before I met my wife, so she pretty much learned the system up front. If I might suggest, maybe you can just sit down and explain your desire to fight fire full time. Explain the many positive aspects such as steady pay, benefits, professional growth and sense of reward for helping others. Affirm that you aren't leaving the family, just hoping to provide better. Be honest with her. There will be missed holidays, birthdays, special occasions, etc. Be understanding of her feelings too. Let her know you will be there to do your share when you are off duty. Lots of wives simply don't like the idea of being home every third night without their husbands. The issue can be worked out. It has for 100's of thousands of others.

    Glenn Rainey

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    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    Can't see what there is much to complain about, work for 25% of the time, off for 75%. Thats a sweat deal in my opinion
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    It will work it self out in the end....believe me I'm living it. I orginally requested the shift to be able to watch my son during the day over the summer. I work steady Night Tour {1800-0600 Mon. to Thurs.- Off Fri, Sat, Sun.} My wife works days in the usual M-F 9-5 Business World.

    I'd love to be able to switch and work Daywork and have my evenings home with my Wife and Son. Now that my son is in Kindergarten all day I have a pieceful house from the time I walk in the door at 7:15 until 2:30 when the monster gets home.

    As far as being gone over night ? My wife adjusted...She knew she had to unless we wanted bigger bills associated with child care. I personnaly like night tour....More Down Time, Get paid to Sleep, Stranger crowd of people out at night -- and the medical / trauma calls seem diffrent to me.....Just not the usual daytime life. Not every family is made for the long hours that Career Firefighters put in including the overtime we work but.....Sit down with your wife and explain to her that if you get the full time spot the hours are what they are and that you'll be home more than at work.......That sold my wife. Even though we hardly see each other during the week it gave her that women's intuition that..."if he's home all day I'll have a honey due list....And believe me I clean more at home than I do at work !!! Good Luck

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    Forum Member DiscoDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfire32
    How do you current career FFs with families balance work and family? How do you convince the wife that it can be done? I am thinking about extending my career in the fire service to fulltime some day, but my wife doesn't like the idea of me being gone over night and thinks I will be gone all the time. Just wondering how it is done out there.
    My wife is a police officer so she understands the fire service. Trying to get someone who doesn't work in our field to understand can be difficult. If you do a 24/48 & don't work your days off like I do, you will have two whole days to spend with the family. How could she have a problem with that?
    Heyyyyy, What's Up There! (Frank Rizzo-Jerky Boys)

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    Talk to some of the guys on the department you are trying to get on. Ask them to get their wives in contact with yours, she could really get an understanding of the shift life that way. BTW, it could be worse for hours, you could be a travelling salesman or something.

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    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    You need to point out the positives of the schedule. Much can be accomplished by having days off during the week. You can even be the chaperone on your kid's field trips for school !
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Tell her it could be worse....in FDNY one hundred years ago firefighters lived at the firehouse, 24/7....they were allowed to take an hour off to go home for lunch a couple of times a week....it's a wonder any of them ever had kids.....

    Seriously, I work shift work (12's, not 24's) and it's not bad if you look for the advantages. You have more actual days off than straight day workers, you have off on some weekdays which is conducive to getting your "honey-do" lists done so that when you ARE off on a weekend, you can enjoy it and spend time with the family instead of cutting the grass and so forth. The pay is better, and when you do have to work overtime, well, who couldn't use the extra cash?

    Heck, just a few minutes ago the exterminator came by. My wife didn't have to take off of work to be here, because I'm off today. Sometimes it's handy....

    Someone mentioned school activities....I've had the opportunity to attend many of my kids' school functions that I never would have if I worked a straight day job.

    What about hobbies? You hunt or fish? Boat launches are a lot less crowded on weekdays....so's the mall, for that matter.

    Now, don't get me wrong, there are some sacrifices. You have to have an understanding family. Some wives of guys I work with never seem to get that their husband's world operates on a different schedule....they expect them to be available all the next day when they just came off a night shift. My wife has always been very good about that....she knows that there are certain times that I am "off limits" and not to be disturbed. She's been doing this almost the whole time we've been married, so she's used to it. As far as the kids go, it's the only schedule they've ever known me to have...they probably figure everybody's dad works like this......
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Default Understanding family

    Well first I have a great family. My wife is a nurse and works the night shifts. On a 24/48 and she has to work, my parents will keep our baby girl or my brother and his wife. This happens about 1 or 2 times a week at most. Depending on my wife's schedule, there are some weeks that it doesn't happen at all. I enjoy my 24/48s! Me, wife and kid use our days off and we go and do and make our family life as best a possible using our weird schedules. However, my daughter is now very close to my parents as well as my brother's family. It has made a tight little family even tighter. I do also keep my niece for my brother every chance I get as he works shift work as well as his wife. So I think it's really what you make of it!

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    Forum Member DennisTheMenace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BD6413
    Get paid to Sleep,
    Remember you get paid WHILE you sleep, not TO sleep.
    Be for Peace, but don't be for the Enemy!
    -Big Russ

    Learn from the mistakes of others; you won't live long enough to make them all yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by nyckftbl View Post
    LOL....dont you people have anything else to do besides b*tch about our b*tching?

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    my wife still thinks i need to work everyday or im playing even though ive been fulltime for almost 3 years and parttime for 10 years all 24 hour shifts. she gets mad if i go hunting during a week day or golfing or whatever she says im young enough to work every day so i wont have to later in life. i guess its normal for her since her dad has never had less than 2 jobs his entire life but hes only in his late 40 s and cant hardly walk.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    Balance work and family? Heck I only work 10 days a month for the FD. How many other husbands can say they are home 20 days a month?

    It's really quite simple...there is a noarrow window of opportunity for you to fulfill your dream of being a firefighter. It's not something you can do when you are say...50. Perhaps you can make a deal with her about helping her with some dream or goal she has.

    NewBomb

    my wife still thinks i need to work everyday or im playing even though ive been fulltime for almost 3 years and parttime for 10 years all 24 hour shifts. she gets mad if i go hunting during a week day or golfing or whatever she says im young enough to work every day so i wont have to later in life. i guess its normal for her since her dad has never had less than 2 jobs his entire life but hes only in his late 40 s and cant hardly walk.
    A couple of quick questions for you. Does she work? Are your bills being paid and is your life comfortable? Does she understand the pension plan and retirement available to you at 55 or less?

    I basically would tell her that I put my full work week in just like everyone else, it just happens to be in 2 or 3 days a week. If she doesn't work I would advise her to get off her butt and get a job and until that time she needn't worry about how much you work. Harsh? You betcha, but reality.

    I do work a couple of part-time jobs. Mostly to earn money for extras. Together they do not equal 20 hours a week.

    Honestly I have developed excellent selective hearing.

    FyredUp

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    yea she works she is a er nurse here at the local hospital she does 12 hour shifts and she says if we didnt have this new baby 7 months old now she would get a part time job somwhere else also. our bills are paid and we pretty much buy what we want at least here lately things have slowed down i work for a disaster cleanup company that does fire and floods. and its been slow around here and the other fire dept that i work partime at is kinda slow on vacations right now so i think ill get to hunt a little this fall.

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    newbomb...

    Was she poor as a child? Did she suffer from a long bout of financial uncertainty do to being unemployed? These may be an insight into her psyche. Honestly, if you want to work a couple days a week outside the FD go ahead. If the bills are paid and you buy what you want I wouldn't sweat it. Heck take up a hobby like woodworking and sell some stuff on the side...then you can pick and choose when you work and still golf and hunt.

    I have a hard time figuring out her need to see you work more. maybe it's jealousy?

    FyredUp

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    very poor lived on a hog farm and went bankrupt

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    Forum Member FyredUp's Avatar
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    newbomb..

    Okay that opens a window into her psyche.

    A couple of questions for you.

    1) Have you explained to her the pension plan you are under and how it will ensure you are never broke in the same manner as her family when she was growing up?

    2) Talk about her retirement plan. If she doesn't have one have her open one. Either through work or indpendantly.

    3) Do you have a deferred comp account to add to your retirement?

    4) Do you have any savings?

    I would line up your financial info and lay it all out for her. If she refuses to listen I guess you can either get another job or get used to the nagging. In my opinion if she wants to get another job...more power to her. But if have retirement funds, a deferred comp plan and some savings...why would you destroy one of the greatest benefits of the job? Not having off days.

    Good luck, believe me I think you are gonna need it.

    FyredUp

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    thanks fyred up

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Are you kidding? That one out of every three days Im gone is one of the reasons my wife and I have lasted 16 years.
    Fire Marshal/Safety Officer

    IAAI-NFPA-IAFC/VCOS-Retired IAFF

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    Forum Member Smoke20286's Avatar
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    Absence makes the heart grow fonder, lol 20 years and counting for me
    A'int No Rocket Scientist's in The Firehall

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave1983
    Are you kidding? That one out of every three days Im gone is one of the reasons my wife and I have lasted 16 years.
    Ditto! My wife loves it!

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