When I started my (online) Fire Wife adventure in late 2009 there were very few little blogs about being the wife of a firefighter. I know this because I checked before I jumped in. I had big plans. I wanted to create an event like The Women’s Conference in California that Maria Shriver held yearly while Arnold was in office. But for the wives of firefighters.* I told a few fire wives (who shared with a few others) about my dream and a few seemed very excited about it. They wanted to help me make it happen. I started a FB page and a Twitter account, connected with departments and other wives all over the country, had a logo designed, and even had t-shirts and stickers printed.
And then my job happened. I was working 50 hours a week and only got a chance to blog in the wee hours of the morning and my dream fell by the wayside. My blog became me bitching and whining about my job.(I hated that.) Another fire wife started a really fun FB group for fire wives that was pretty popular and the avalanche started. More FB pages appeared. I kid you not. Blogs with names very similar to mine came out of the woodwork. (Mind you…I’m not trying to take credit for anything. It’s a long time coming, and I’m glad they are there.)
There is now a yearly conference for fire wives and I’m glad about that. I haven’t been because i can’t for the cost or the expense of travel, but I’ve heard it’s awesome. What I don’t like is that the website belonging to the organizer is so commercial. You have to pay to join. There’s flashy t-shirts, colorful graphics, FB banners, (really cute) jewelry….you get the idea. I gotta say she’s really creative!
And all of the “support” is faith based. I consider myself spiritual, but I don’t believe in organized religion. I also don’t believe in making money off my fellow fire wives. Yeah, she’s put a lot of work into it (she told me this in some very un-delicate language) and I get that. Her husband is pretty high up in his department and she had the capital to start up with.
But it’s become a business for her family.
Her husband and kid’s pictures are all over the site. I don’t even use my husband’s real name. I have a few (purposely out-dated) pictures, but nothing else. And when I do use identifying pictures or later realize that I accidentally used his real name in a post I edit it out. I *try* not to mention the name of the department, but to those familiar with the way they do things, it’s pretty obvious.
I just don’t believe that supporting each other should have a price tag on it. You’ll never have to “buy” my advice, support, understanding or (virtual) shoulder to cry on.
**I’ve since been blasted out of the water about excluding girlfriends/significant others/life partners/husbands, childless couples, etc. Now listen here! I say WIFE because that’s what *I* am. I’m not going to type “girlfriends/significant others/life partners/husbands” on a continual basis. I mention kids and families. If you don’t have one I’m not trying to exclude you. It’s what I know and what I can relate to.