Thursday, 14 November 2013

FIFO Wife Life

It's 9.34pm and I'm exhausted. We are nearing the end of my first swing solo parenting with two children. It hasn't been fun. In fact it's been really bloody difficult and I hate it. I'm so bone numbingly tired that I can barely move. For the last two days I've been so tired that I struggle to keep my eyes open all day. Caffeine and chocolate aren't helping. I just need some sleep.

My house is a mess, there are toys everywhere, I haven't done the washing or vacuumed the floors and the oven needs to be cleaned. I don't care. I just want to sleep. For a whole day. Uninterrupted. Maybe in a hotel so that I'm alone. That won't work, I'd have to take the baby with me. 

FIFO is two weeks of heaven and two weeks of hell, continuously. Both Tiger and I struggle to know if we want to keep doing it. I hate it, I really hate it, when he's away. I love it when he's home. The two weeks he's away are a nightmare. I get tired, I struggle to look after the kids, everything is hard work. 

Then he comes home and everything is easy again. If he worked locally he'd only be home one or two days a week. But he'd be home every night. We don't know what is more important or what would be better. I think having him home every night would be better, I know it'd be better for me. And I think it'd be better for the kids. Getting through a tough day is easy, it's only a matter of hours. Getting through two weeks, not so easy. 

But FIFO gives us better quality time with Tiger. When he's home he's all ours. He's not tired, he's not thinking about work, he's not rushing around trying to get everything done in two days. He's relaxed, he's happy, we have time to do everything we want to do. He can come to any classes that we take Chai to. If he was working locally he couldn't do that. 

Then there's the other side. What if I get sick? He can't take a day off to stay home and help me, so I'm on my own. What if something happens to one of the kids? It'd take him at least five hours to get home. No point worry about what if's though.

All of that is irrelevant really as there are no jobs locally. We've looked. I'd happily move if it meant we could all be together, but there aren't many residential jobs available either. Most jobs in Tigers industry are FIFO. We are lucky that we have equal swings, a lot of the other jobs are four weeks on one week off. I could never do that, it'd be like being single. We did it years ago, never again. 

So, I suppose what my befuddled brain is saying is that FIFO sucks and I'm tired.

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