We are about to enter into a new chapter of our lives together. DP will soon join the ranks of miners and will be working 2 weeks off and 1 on. For those of you out there who deal with this with a toddler, how do you cope. I am a little worried how my DD will be because at the moment my DP works from home and we are both with her around the clock. We are also moving from QLD to W.A so that is going to be a hugh thing for me to deal with. I'm more that a little apprehensive. Someone out there needs to tell be to relax and it will all be okay.
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17-01-2012 06:19 #1
17-01-2012 08:18 #2
I'm pretty sure I've never posted on here but couldn't let this one pass just reading it!
Im in Perth too with a mining husband - luckily he is now doing a 2:2 roster instead of 2:1
our little girl has just started walking so I'm putting her in the toddler group (one step counts right?)
as for how you cope it's really hard sometimes and other times it just flies past! My advice is to find structure for your life at home with bub - we have struggled this first holiday season with no classes and no daddy but I've realized even in school holidays when her programs stop we have to keep doing it (she has playgroup gymbaroo and swimming during the term) im
also lucky to have a lot of family support and my friends try bombard me in the two weeks he's gone and understand the space needed in the time he is home.
I think mostly it for us involves a lot of phone photos and videos and Skype dates to get through!
It is going to be ok a lot of people in Perth are in the same boat! It just takes effort to force the interaction on dad sometimes after a hot 13 hour day!!
let me know if u want more advice/support!
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17-01-2012 08:38 #3
There are a huge amount of FIFO workers in Perth with kids. The sites usually have great comms with internet rooms etc so depending on the site you may be able to set up skype chats or at least phone calls.
The hardest part for your DD will be the day he flies back every swing, she will wonder why he has to leave again. I do quite a few day trips to mines with my consulting jobs and the one thing I notice is that mums don't usually bring the kids to airports for goodbyes, but quite often bring them for the arrival back home. I guess the airport goodbye is too hard and they find some way to do it at home in a comfortable environment.
Good luck with the move. If you need any Perth advice let us know! Perth born and bred here. DH used to do FIFO here too.
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17-01-2012 09:05 #4
Thank you guys...I know I will cope, but I'm still a little scared. Good advice about airport goodbyes. I'm sure I will learn some tricks to make it all easier for her. I do have my DP's family in Perth so I will not be completely alone which is a blessing. My DP is very excited about starting his new adventure and certainly the money is good so I'm trying to be very supportive. Looking forward to making a whole new set of friends on the other side of Australia.
17-01-2012 12:37 #5
I think it's really important that your DP and you discuss why he is going to work in the mines and how long he will be there for and when you can expect him home. Working in the mines may be good money but is the money worth the toll it will take on your DP, yourself and most importantly, your children? Men at the mines are rough and they aren't exactly a pleasant place to be. The beds and food are bad, personal hygiene is lacking and the hours are long.
You will find it is easier to work towards 'something' and when you can see results, it will make life better. Is your hubby working to pay for a house, pay for a car etc? If you know what, set that as the goal and work out how long he needs to be there to pay it off. My DP works at the mines, he manages all the mines throughout Australia and deals directly with the owners of the company and the shareholders. His contract is 12 months and despite the fact that money is 'great', he won't be staying past his contract. He's working specifically so we can buy a house outright for ourselves, buy into a franchise, buy an investment property, pay for our wedding, buy 2 new cars and have enough to live on for 12 months without needing to work so he can make up the time he is losing with myself, his children and our baby.
You will need to make sure you have a support group of some sort, friends and family are important in maintaining your sanity and keeping you from being down in the dumps. Keep yourself busy, take up a specific hobby and think of ways to celebrate your hubby's return and work out what it is you want to do in the time that he is home.
Wish you the best of luck and I hope you make a decision that is right for your family and not necessarily yourselves.
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22-01-2012 13:29 #6
It's not fair to suggest miners are rough and unhygenic and food is bad. Depends on the where you work and the type of people. My dh has worked at many mines over the years, he is now a drilling superintendant industry, he is the cleanest man I know, there's no way he wouldn't maintain his hygene and the workers are nice. he place he is also has a professional chef so good food. As for the affect it has on children, that may depend on your partners time away, my dh works 12 days on and 9 off. He only has a 45min flight to work and has internet and phone. It doesn't feel like he is away sometimes because we text all day besides talking at night and he talks to ds. He also has no nightshift anymore so doesn't play catchup (re sleep) when he gets home. We have 2 kids and i work but i manage dh being away just fine.
Last edited by Blessedwith3boys; 22-01-2012 at 13:35.
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22-01-2012 14:11 #7
I am quite offended by the comment about miners being rough and personal hygiene is lacking. My husband is an underground coal miner and is one of the gentlest cleanest men I have ever met. He loves his job and couldn't imagine doing anything different.
He comes home every evening as we live in a mining town, but he comes home showered and clean and the mine washes his uniforms.
When we were doing FIFO we still saw hubby more than most families would as it worked out he had 15 out of every 28 days off, people that work monday to Friday only have 8 out of 28.
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Von Zipper (22-01-2012)
22-01-2012 14:21 #8
The mining camps I have experienced, first hand having lived in them, have been fine. The rooms are cleaned every swing, the food isn't terrible and there is a lot of variety. The camp here has a swimming pools, massive rec room with pool tables, an internet cafe, cinema, on-site pub with massive beer garden, a state of the art gym, beach volley ball courts, tennis courts, a golf simulator, and hold regular social events like poker nights. Hardly terrible living!
OP, have a look at the FIFO Families website, they have a lot of handy information on there. Yes, there are times when it sucks - when they have to work Christmas or New years, are away for birthdays etc. If it really gets to a point where you can't stand your DH being away for so long, then perhaps you could look into a residential mining town so you get the benefit of the good income and seeing DH every day.
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27-01-2012 13:46 #9
I personally have found that (with the right roster) FIFO work provides really good work/life balance. DP is fortunate enough to work an 8/6 so spends every second weekend at home and spends far far more time with DD (10months) than if he were to work from home being gone early in the morning until evening when its time for dinner bath bed etc he has the whole day to interact, play and generally just be around!!
I too have worked on my fair share of mine sites and some certainly do offer more recreational activities and better food but all in all I wouldn't say they serve bad food and are unhygenic, quite the opposite.
Due to short commute and relatively 'normal' time that DP flies out to work I take DD to the goodbyes but perhaps she is too young to understand. She always manages to wake up much earlier on fly in days like she knows daddy's coming home
Yep it sure can be tough but having family around can help and as PP has said, there are plenty of families in similar positions in Perth, try and get out to met up with them.
Communication everyday is the key I have found. Even just to talk about the mundane stuff. Skype is fantastic too
Goodluck with the new venture OP it can be very rewarding
Last edited by Emj; 27-01-2012 at 13:54. Reason: terrible grammar
27-01-2012 14:25 #10
I'm jumping on the offended bandwagon, not all mines are like that and neither are the miners! I love the fact that he is home for half the year (2:2 roster) and we function better with him away for blocks of time rather than a M-F 9-5 job which we found really disruptive to the children and even to me, he likes to go and do his work and then to come home knowing its not just to do the short play, dinner/bath/bed routine then trying to squeeze everything into 2 days on the weekend (not to mention he gets double what he would get working in the city!). As they say, different strokes for different folks
My children cope quiet well, as I said above they handle the block time working away better than the 9-5 working, they are usually off for the first day but I do try to plan to do something fun that day to distract them (and me) then we plod along doing our own thing until he comes home, I find it very freeing knowing that I am not waiting for him to come home at xyz time, organizing dinner around that shuffling the kids off to bed and feeling like they never get quality time with DF. Anyway it works for us and the time off and money is great
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