If you have looked at my homepage you will have seen that my husband works away. Being an oilfield wife can be difficult. It isn’t the easiest life as you have such long periods of time apart which can put a strain on your relationship.
Thankfully I have a wonderfully strong relationship with my husband. We have been together the better part of 7 years and I would not change a single second of it. Not that we haven’t had some wrecking balls thrown at us over the years. Life is not always a ball of bliss but the good definitely outweighs any tough times. We have faced so much together and I can honestly say I love my husband more and more each and every day.
Unfortunately having the lifestyle we do means it is incredibly difficult to plan anything. We never know how long he will be at home for at a time and often his time away can be lengthened or cut short at a moments notice. We believe that the reason we cope with our uncertain lifestyle so well is because we have never known anything different. Our whole relationship has been built on compromising with the third person in our marriage – the rig. I shouldn’t really say “the” rig. There are so many out there and he is moved between them. He could be off the coast of Canada for a period, then England, Scotland, Brazil…
When he is away I have a single parent hat on which is difficult but it also makes me strong. I have to handle anything that goes wrong at home by myself whether it is a household issue, ill or injured child or pet. I have to cook every meal, change every nappy, do every household chore and so on. It is hard. I have said it before and I will say it again. I take my hat off to all full time single parents out there and salute all my fellow mummies in the same position as me.
We often remind ourselves during long periods apart that we have it lucky compared to some. He does not get shipped off for numerous months like people in the armed forces or people who work on boats etc. While our time apart is difficult but we should be grateful that it comes in (mostly) manageable chunks.
Something that we don’t speak about too much is the danger of working on a rig. There are so many scary stories out there from crashed helicopters to fire disasters. Again we try and remind ourselves of the many dangerous occupations out there (not that it makes you feel any better) and focus on the fact that in our current climate, or any for that matter, that we are extremely lucky to have a job and an income. Perhaps one day we will re-evaluate our lifestyle but for now this is our life.
This is where we like to focus. We try and have a positive outlook on everything in our life. Time is the main benefit. Time is why we are still continuing the way we are. Time is precious.
The period that share together when he is home is wonderful. We are incredibly lucky to have periods of weeks where he is at home 24/7. We generally live out of one anothers pocket which is not for everyone but we love it. We enjoy doing things together but that is not to say we don’t have our own hobbies too.
He gets to experience every part of our daughters day. This was just amazing in the beginning when we were just home from the hospital and obviously still is. The precious little moments that he would miss (and does miss when he is away) that make our little girl the person she is.
We really enjoy that he can be so involved in our daily routine when he is at home and that means a helping hand for me too. Someone to amuse her so I can have a shower in peace or can provide a little respite after another bad nights sleep. All the little things that just make life that bit easier.
Most importantly for us as a couple. It means lots of time together to grow with one another. To talk with each other about anything and everything which is something we feel is very important.
The Slightly Ugly…
This isn’t really a complaint, more an unavoidable outcome.
Two routines! It seems silly really but having two routines can be tricky. There is the routine that my daughter and I have when my husband is away and then the routine we share when he is home. One is a routine where I carry everything on my shoulders and the other is a shared load.
It is a tough transition every time. When he is home it is hard at first to remember that I have him there to help and I often feel guilty if he does or if I have to ask him to do something… “but that’s my job” is a common phrase out my mouth. It is hard to let go.
Equally it is difficult when he leaves. I suddenly lose my partner. I feel the sadness of his leaving while also having to transition back into carrying it all by myself again.
You would think I would be used to it now and while I easily fall into each routine in someways, there is always the cross over period which is tricky every time.
I think that it doesn’t matter what job you have, what life you lead or where you do it. We all have our struggles. I was watching a show recently in which the man kept saying “everything in life is a trade off”. Well I think that couldn’t be more true. This is our life for the moment and through all the ups and downs we are just thankful to have each other.
Wife and mother, x