Loving & Supporting First Responders with Audra & Chelsi

In this episode, we talk to fire wives Audra and Chelsi of the Dear Chiefs podcast about how to stay married when your spouse is a first responder and communication tips that could help any partnership thrive.

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January 4th, 2022

Episode Notes

Memorable Moments:

  • 7:38 What we’ve discovered through just recording Dear Chiefs is that there is a significant difference between station life and home life.7:43 A lot of people think that they are leaving their work at home when really they’re bringing it with them home to the family.
  • 8:02 So they may be keeping in all their emotions and all of these things going on outside of home. But when they come home, it’s “safe” to let all those emotions out. And so I think that’s why we see firefighters, first responders coming home grouchy because this is a safe place to let that all go.
  • And so I think commonly that’s what we’re hearing the most of is overtimes a problem and they’re coming home being a completely different person than they are at the station.
  • 12:43 For me, I think Audra agrees with this, finding support, knowing who you can go to for support, knowing if you have an employee assistance program, knowing how to access the employee assistance program, actually accessing it, going to counseling. These are things that we’ve both done and our relationships that we are big, big proponents of. If you don’t know if you have an employee assistance program, go ask someone and don’t hesitate to use it. That’s what it’s there for.
  • 13:25 My number one thing is when you need help, know where to find it.
  • 13:57 We really are trying to break the stigma of going to counseling and how necessary it is, and really finding support and finding somebody to help you.
  • 14:06 When you enter into marriage, you don’t know what is going to happen. You have this crazy idea in your mind, but it’s very rare that it actually comes true. You know, the fairytale Disney story is not reality.
  • 15:33 First, the first rule of being married is to communicate with each other. Right. You have to be open and honest and, you know I think we’ve said it before, kind, compassionate, and curious.
  • 18:30 Within the structure of the family, I think it’s really important, we call it the handoff when he comes home from work. I tell him, “this is what we have planned this week. This is what’s going on. What are your plans? What are you thinking? What do you want to do?” And so then there’s no miscommunication over what his plans were or what my plans were or what the kids are doing or, or anything like that.
  • 18:56 I also prep my children for when he comes home. If I know there’s been, you know, he’s been gone for a long time or there’s been a bad call, or there’s been a line of duty death or something, something that I know is going to impact him, I sit my kids down before he comes home and say, “Hey, dad kind of had a rough week at work. Let’s give him some grace.” So we’re constantly having those conversations in our home.
  • 20:05 It can be, “Hey, we’re going to set aside 30 minutes every night. When the kids go to bed and have a chat.” We do it when he’s not at work. We get our five minutes in…[if] we’re not setting aside the time to communicate, we’re not going to do it. Nobody wants to sit down and have tough conversations. It’s just not a thing. As a human, I don’t want to be uncomfortable. But it’s necessary because that’s where the growth happens.

Dear Mind, You Matter is brought to you by NOBU, a new mental health and wellness app. To download NOBU, visit the app store or Google Play

This podcast is hosted by Allison Walsh and Dr. Angela Phillips. It is produced by Allison Walsh, Ashley Tate, and Nicole LaNeve. For more information or if you’re interested in being a guest on this podcast, please visit www.therecoveryvillage.com/dearmindyoumatter.

Show Contributors
dear chiefs podcast cover photo

Chelsi and Audra

Chelsi and Audra are two fire wives hosting no BS convos about loving and supporting first responders. Their podcast is called Dear Chiefs and can be found at @dearchiefspodcast