The Challenges of Being a LEO Family

Today I am simultaneously happy and sad. I apologize in advance for the long rant, but I need to get this off my chest.  Match had his final interview with our local police department, and I’m thrilled to announce that he was given a verbal job offer! They still have to present him to the city council for approval, but the chief is hoping to get him hired on by April 1st. This is absolutely the best news for our family, and for Match’s career as an officer. When we were first house hunting, and fell in love with our town, we talked about him one day working for the department. We always thought it wouldn’t happen for at least another 10 years, but here we are!

The sad part is how Match’s family reacted to the news. His mother didn’t even try to be excited or happy for him. The first thing she asked was, “So what does this mean for your sister’s wedding?” He tried to explain that since everything is in limbo, he can’t up and leave for a destination wedding in Mexico. He has to be available for the final stages of the hiring process, not to mention putting in his two weeks notice to his current department, plus all the mental job preparation needed for starting field training. He tried to explain this to her, just as he had months ago when his sister first mentioned wanting a destination wedding. He had warned her then that the odds that he could come would be slim to none, but that he would try. His mother knew all of this, and still her only response was, “Well I’m glad it worked out the way you wanted it to.” As if he wanted to miss his sister’s wedding, and cause drama with the family. Anyone who knows my husband at all, knows that he is a people pleaser. He has spent his entire life letting his mom walk all over him, even resisted joining the military because his parents were adamantly opposed. It was a decision he regrets to this day.

I understand that she is sad he can’t make it to the wedding. We’re both sad that we can’t be there, but we’re also frustrated that she chose a destination wedding in the first place. While we understand that it’s her day, and she can do whatever she and her groom want, the bottom line is that a destination wedding is selfish, because so many people cannot attend. She knew about Match’s job, and that he was applying to other agencies, and yet she threw a fit when he said he would probably not be able to go to her wedding if she decided to have it in Mexico. Not only that, but we can’t afford for our family to go, not that I had any desire to do baby wrangling on a plane for 5 hours, plus deal with sleep deprivation and the possibility of getting the poops from the water, but I digress. We knew for months that Piglet and I would not be attending the wedding, even if Match could go, and we were pretty bummed about the whole thing. Match and I were looking forward to dancing at her wedding, and falling in love all over again, like we do at weddings.

Even so, with all of this warning, and with Match telling his sister that he was so sorry, that we would come visit with them at a different time, and take them out for dinner to celebrate their love, she still pouted, and so did the Mother-in-law, even more so. She just couldn’t see how Match couldn’t ask the new job for the time off. She forgets all the time that law enforcement isn’t like a regular job. You can’t just ask for time off and get it, especially when you’re a trainee. She forgets that we changed the date of our own wedding when he was accepted into the academy. If he couldn’t get his own wedding date off, what in God’s name makes her think he could do it for his sister’s wedding?

I’m deeply saddened by their lack of support, and their short sighted vision. Match tried discussing it with his dad, who just seemed apathetic about the whole thing. I’m so disappointed in my mother in law for being so immature, and not setting aside her disappointment long enough to be PROUD of her son. He has worked so hard to get here, and the least she could do was be happy for him and the life he has created. As much as we understand that weddings are important, it is ONE day. This is his career, and she has chosen career over family countless times, but can’t understand when he does it. This is the same woman who won’t take time out of her busy work schedule to visit her only grandson. Who makes excuse after excuse when it comes to spending time with him, and has been an absolute shit grandmother. I’m livid because she asks the world from her son, but she won’t budge in return. It is all I can do not to call her up and berate her for bursting Match’s happy bubble. He went from overjoyed to depressed in an instant, and said that he has no support from his family.

His parents have never been supportive of his career, and in fact tried to talk him out of it, just like they did with the military path when he was younger. This time, he chose his own path, but it definitely was not without resistance from them. As much as this career scares me at times, I feel that I’ve always been supportive, because that’s what you do for the people you love. You don’t force them to be the way you wish them to be.

selfishness

Well, he has me, he has our son, and my parents are incredibly supportive of his career. His parents, his sister, they have never tried to understand what it means to be a law enforcement officer. What it means to miss out on holidays, deal with mandatory over time, constantly putting his life on the line, always being late home from work, and the incredible stress he is under on any given day.

leowife

All these things I wish to scream at her, but instead I pity her. Because by responding this way, she is just pushing herself further away from her son. She is already missing out on her grandson, and it’s clear she’s missing out on knowing her son as well. I hope that one day his family can forgive Match for not attending his sister’s wedding. I also hope they can one day come around to his career, and understand and respect what he’s chosen to do. It is a life full of sacrifice, and one that is not for everyone.

 

8 Comments

    Misty

    I’m so sorry you’re all having to go through this. It’s very frustrating when family members aren’t understanding. They should be our biggest supporters.

    Thankfully, Match has you. 🙂

    Jen

    Well, first of all CONGRATULATIONS to Match!!! This IS great news and you guys totally deserve to be happy about it. As for the rest, that just sucks. I’m sorry. But try to focus on the positive, it really is a great accomplishment. So CONGRATULATIONS again 🙂

    jennyinarizona

    Oh my goodness, hugs to you and match! And congratulations on the job, that is so awesome for you guys! I’m sorry the IL’s aren’t being supportive 🙁

    thewanderblogger

    I really don’t know what to say. I wish things were better between them all, I really do. Hopefully after the wedding it will all blow over and be water under the bridge.

    jessica

    Oh I’m so sorry you guys are having to deal with all this! Poor Match must feel like he can’t win. He is so lucky to have a wonderful and supportive wife like you, above all else! The only thing I can think is that dealing with his mom will have to get easier over time. You can’t control other people, just how you feel as a reaction to them. 🙁

    Good luck, and major congrats on the (probable) new job!!! 🙂

    Kenzie

    I am so sorry that you both have to deal with that. I can’t believe how rude and selfish his mom and sister are being. Him getting that job is such a wonderful thing and a big deal! They need to, pardon my French here, get their heads out of their asses and congratulate him. I can only imagine how hard he has worked to get where he is today. Thank goodness he has you and Piglet! I’m so excited for you guys, and I am very happy for him on his accomplishments!

    Barbara

    I’m sorry you have to deal with all of this. Getting a job offer is a great thing. Period. Celebrate it!

    Charlotte

    Ooooof… this is a tough one 🙁 And it makes me sad, too, because it’s such an incredibly momentous occasion and one that he should be immensely proud of. I love that you give him all the support in the world since it doesn’t appear that he’s getting that from the people who raised him, and that is a damn shame.

    Please extend my sincerest congratulations to your hubby for all of his hard work. I can’t believe that something like this would cause such a rift in your family.

    Funny, Bryan and I actually were just discussing having a destination wedding, BUT we know if we ever do that we wouldn’t expect anyone to be there and that it might create tensions. I would NEVER ask that of anyone and I wouldn’t want to make a decision that tore the people I love so far apart. Shame. I’m sorry, momma. Keep being his support–it sounds like he could really a lot of that right about now.

    XOXO

Your comments make my day!