Recently I suffered an injury that had me out of work for about a month. It was quite the adjustment for me to be home as much as I was considering I had been working non-stop since…well I cant remember. Its just been that long. I have not been blessed to be able to work for a fire department that allows me to only work one job, so therefore I work three. Its just the way it is.
During my time off I had to really practice patience with my 3 year old son. He is the spitting image of me and also just like his mother (go figure), so our personalities clash. Im not really used to being home this much, and neither are my kids. While I was home my son began to grow more. Grow as in talk more, act better, and become an all around little man. My 11 month old just loved me being there every morning, and I enjoyed her smiling face as well. My 9 year old just ate it up and was in my shadow constantly. My kids are homeschooled so I was able to participate in many of their activities and I enjoyed that as well. My kids just did so well with me being home.
So there in lies the conflict. I am living my career dream by being a firefighter, but my kids are missing an active dad as a result. I have to work to provide for my kids, but I am missing my kids as an active dad. I returned to work 2 days ago and I was PISSED when I found out that my kids had gone bike riding without me, my daughter stood up without me, and everyone had fun without me. I know things will return to normal, but something has to change. I need to find a way to spend more time with my kids, while still “living the dream”
Guys tonight I really was inspired by a post I was tagged in on twitter. This guy has lived with a form of muscular dystrophy, and is 30 years old. I have not heard of to many people living that long with this disease. For anyone who doesn’t know, firefighters have been collecting money for MDA for years and helping Jerry’s Kids. We stand on street corners, wear shirts, collect at grocery stores, or any means necessary to help these kids. After a while we begin to form a bond with these kids and with the cause. I was just talking about taking my 8 year old to MDA camp this year so she could understand how blessed she was and to help those who struggle with this disease. So for this to come up tonight tells me that this is something I’m supposed to do. This guys name is Stephen and I really would appreciate it if you would go to his page and show him some support. Read his post here.
So tomorrow I continue my work on the ambulance after a years hiatus. It’s been nice, but I’ve gotten rusty. As I get my stuff laid out, I gotta remember where I put my stethoscope, and my protocol book. Took me a while, but I found them. I am completely comfortable working in EMS, it’s just that we don’t transport at my Fire Department, so my inner transport medic is rusty. So I know all it will take is one call tomorrow and ill be back in my groove, and I have to miss a few IV’s to get my eye back. It won’t take long, just gotta work out these butterflies.
I don’t know many firefighters who DON’T work second, or third jobs. Why is that? I’m not really sure. I’ve worked at least 2 jobs for the last 5 years, and I don’t see an end in sight. If your working on a busy truck, it takes you about a full day to recover from a shift, but many of us spend it working. We knew when we signed up that we wouldn’t make Donald Trumps salary, but is it to much to ask to make a decent living? I will say that it does pay off with time and once you get a few years in, you make enough to not have to work a second job. With so many LODD’s coming AFTER our shifts are over, I would think someone would get a hint. Our jobs are not becoming any less stressful, and it’s time something is done. In no way am complaining about the stress of the job, I’m just bringing attention to this specific fact. In this economy we are asked to do more with less, and that’s just the nature of the fire service which we work in. I look forward I the day when I’m able to just work a single job.