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FAO lone parent police officers (shineoncrazydiamond and others?)

6 replies

OptimistS · 06/04/2010 16:27

TIA to anyone who helps out here. I'm thinking straight off of shineoncrazydiamond, but am sure there must be others out there, too

To cut a long story short, I am seriously considering about applying to the police force. The more I look into it, the more it appeals to me, but I have two worries: childcare and is this actually a career choice that will work with being a single parent of young children (3-yr-old twins)?

What I really need is a house-husband, but in the absence of one, how do you guys cope with childcare and making sure you spend enough time with your children?


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RumourOfAHurricane · 06/04/2010 23:24

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OptimistS · 07/04/2010 10:48

Hi shiney, thanks for getting back to me. I appreciate it. I'm sorry you had to leave your job though. I've seen many of your posts on here, and it's definitely the police's loss. I hope things work out well for you whatever you're doing now.

You've confirmed what I've been thinking really, which is that this is something I'm going to have to leave until the kids start school, and maybe they'll need to be even older than that.

I have no worries about juggling work and children, as I work a full-time job now (nice convenient 9-5 hours though), it's the ability to alter things at short notice that could be the problem. I certainly don't mind working evenings/weekends/nights and would expect to, but I would need to know pretty well in advance so that I could organise cover. That might be a problem as I appreciate police work doesn't always run to plan like that... However, someone else told me that the police are actually pretty family friendly in some ways and try to provide shift dates up to a year in advance. Is that not true or would it depend on what role you were in?

I don't have any family, and although dc's dad is involved and we get on very well these days I won't be using him for childcare for obvious reasons. But between school, my excellent CM (who fortunately will do weekends and overnights), and my two non-working friends who will help out in emergencies, or if a shift overran etc, I should be able to cover childcare in terms of the number of hours required, it's more a case of how flexible I'd need to be.

I checked out the recruitment and training procedure at my local constabulary. It's a 15-week non-residential course where you train mostly on the job, followed by a probationary period. It's also extremely convenient that the starting salary is the same as my current salary, so that I won't be having to start all over again or sell the house in order to make the change. And because my constabulary tends to have set intakes at certain times of year, it allows me to give the several months' notice required in my current job (and I'd like to give more as they've been so good to me).

Why would I like to join the police? It's always sort of appealed to me but I was too busy having fun (and at one point I probably knew too many criminals) to seriously pursue it. Instead, I followed an academic career for a while and concentrated on being community minded. Up til I was 25 I was always doing something to raise money for charity, I ran a couple of kids groups, I did volunteer work, etc. Then, following my divorce, I had a bit of an early mid-lfe crisis, dropped out of academia, got a decent but fairly boring job, got involved with someone unsuitable and messed about for a few years. I didn't do anything bad, but I was so busy alternating between having a good time and getting sucked into the whole mindgame that goes with living in an abusive relationship that holding down my job was enough responsibility for me and I just sort of stagnated. Then I had children and woke up and smelled the coffee.

It's not a period I regret as it has taught me huge amounts about myself and life in general, but I now find myself at 34 generally happy with my life but wanting to do something more and give something back. I'm definitely not after the power trip and I'm not going to say anything trite like "I just want to help people", but I do feel that I want to do something that matters and I think the police would suit my personality.

Anyway, I'm now rambling now so I'll shut up, but any advice you can give me as someone who's been there and done it is very gratefully received. In the meantime, I'll investigate the Special option as I think you're right about it being a more realistic option for now.

THanks again and best of luck with your own life.

OP posts:
RumourOfAHurricane · 07/04/2010 12:00

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OptimistS · 08/04/2010 10:28

Thanks so much for all this. It's really useful and your offer to help me with the recruitment is really kind, thank you. I really appreciate it.

I think I shall work towards applying as a Special in September (when the kids increase their day-care hours at nursery, which gives me more scope to work at home so that I can free up some hours to devote to being a Special). It's 16 hours minimum per month, which I can definitely do. Like you say, I think it would be an ideal way to get involved and will certainly show me whether a career in the police is the right move for me. I guess it's also possible that simply joining the Specials will fill that gap I've been feeling...

Thanks again. You've been a huge help.

OP posts:
GetOrfMoiLand · 08/04/2010 10:33

Oh lol at you Shiney joining the force as a result of a bet.

I would love to be a copper and have thought of it many times. BUt am too long in the tooth for a career change now I think.

RumourOfAHurricane · 08/04/2010 13:27

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