FIFO life – A walk in the park!
After having my husband deploy to Iraq whilst I stayed at home with our brand new, 11 week old baby, and return when out baby was an 11 month old, walking and talking little human, it makes complete sense that when we made the decision to return to the world of FIFO (Fly in Fly out) that I thought it would be a walk in the park. Seriously!! How hard could 1 week on my own with a baby be after doing 7(ish) months of solo parenting?!
I immediately ran through a list of pros and cons in my head. That was my decision making strategy at the time. I thought I had it all sorted out and had foreseen all of the challenges and triumphs I would face.
Take a peek at my list!
1. “It’s only a week”
Reality: 1 week in the mining world actually means an 8/6 roster, so 8 days away and 6 days at home and often there’s travel time to consider depending on where you are working. So an 8/6 roster for us varied to anywhere from 6 full days to 4 days off a fortnight depending on the job. In the early days, 8 days on your own felt like a very loooong time with a sick baby, a part time job to maintain and no adult around to help with the big decisions like when to administer panadol because the baby’s been up for 36 hours straight and you are starting to hallucinate images of Mary Poppins coming to rescue you for just a few hours.
2. It’ll be nice to be able to take short holidays on our (I say “our” because this is a lifestyle not just a job) rostered weeks off.
Reality: whoops we totally forgot to do this…. EVER (ok, maybe once?)
3. When my husband is home from work, I’ll get to hand the baby over and have a real break!
Reality: Ohh, except for the fact “that’s MY baby, who I know better than anybody else and there’s no way I’m leaving him in your sole care because, well I’m sorry love, but you just can’t look after him the way I can”- talk about self-sabotage!!
1. I’ll be lonely when he’s away at work.
Reality: Thank God he’s out of my (haha My??) house for a while so I can have total control over the remote!!!!! AND eat olives for dinner if I want to.
2. The kids (we now have 3) will miss their Daddy.
Reality: Me 🙁 in a super excited voice): “kids, daddy’s on the phone!!! Come and say hello”
Kids: No thanks Mum, Peppa Pig’s on. (silence)
3. I’ll be solely responsible for ALL the parenting decisions.
Reality: I was solely responsible for all the parenting decisions!! How is this a bad thing??(Or is that just me?)
So all in all, my perceived pros and cons or fears and benefits, where just that. Perceived. We have had to carve out a “plan” (I love a plan!) or way of living that suits us, and that “plan” has had to be changed many times to keep up with our growing family and our evolving life.
Things turned out to be very different to how we thought they would be but we have since spent 6 years in this industry with all of its challenges and triumphs.