As I write this, I am sitting outside the school in the car line waiting to pick my daughter up. I have just awaken from a brief sleep after working a 12 hours night shift in dispatch and 3 more nights coming up. My wife is in day 1 of technical rope rescue at the academy, the calendar keeps filling up, and its only Monday! Not complaining, there is a point.
My shift consist of 7-12 hour night shifts followed by 7 days off. My wife works 24/48 shift. Add in overtime shifts, training, and all the things we can't say no to, and time seems to fly, and this is just work related. Throw in the adult things we have to do at home like cutting the grass, laundry, dishes, cleaning, and all the fun stuff, there is no time. Now factor in our 6 year old, her school schedule and activities, t-ball practice and games, and her want to do list, and I am looking for a way to fabricate time! (I wouldn't trade it though)
I know everyone feels overwhelmed at times with the lack of time they have. I know everyone's time is valuable and you cram the most into whatever open time you can find, trying to accomplish all your goals and all the things everyone else wants and needs of you.
So the question is, how do we make it work? Best answer I have found is, we just do! We are firefighters, nothing we do is easy. We adapt to the situation and choose the right tactics to get the job done. The same goes for our personal lives as well. We shift and adjust things around to make things work for the good of ourselves and our families. We may miss a ball game here and there, show up late for dinner or family function, or put off cutting the grass until next week, just to get everything in and still function normally.(whatever normal is)
Time away from work is important, but not always easy to come by. Family is the most important thing, so do whatever it takes to make the time to spend with them even when it seems there is none. Making things work is what we do no matter what the situation.
Until next time, y'all be safe