I am a FIFO husband/dad on a 26/9 roster and we have an 8 month old.
It seems every swing there is something going wrong at home with sick baby or sick wife and as much as we hate to be apart we have managed to buy a home which we move into next week and kick a lot of other financial goals.
My question to the wives and partners on the board is a bit tricky. Most mornings when I message a good morning to my wife there has been some event like teethng or vomit resulting in very little sleep and a bad night, it obviously kills me to hear of the troubles at home and I don't dare complain about missing home or a hard day at work but more and more lately I'm stumped with how to respond.
I can't fix it and can't drop everything and come home, last swing I came home 4 days early and it cost us over 2k which means I'm working heaps of hours to get us back on top again.
I know my wife has a very hard job dealing with a baby and the house on her own but she does not want to use childcare yet and is happy for the financial help of FIFO.
As much as she needs someone to vent to I don't know what she needs to hear from me, I feel like a horrible husband and father but this is what I need to do for our family right now.
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21-10-2014 07:34 #1Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2013
Communication for FIFO
21-10-2014 07:51 #2
You sound like a lovely bloke that just wants to do what's best for his family. Your wife is venting and you don't have to solve the problems and I am pretty sure she knows you would love to help but you are away. Just acknowledging she is doing a great job, it's hard and you appreciate it is sometimes all we need to hear. Being a sahm can be a little isolating and I know vented to my husband a lot. I wasn't intentionally trying to make him feel useless and I didn't mean to make it sound like I was taking the opportunity to stay home with my baby for granted - it is just such a lifestyle change it takes time to feel confident with routine and a new little person taking over every little of your time and personal space!
I would talk to your partner honestly without blaming or accusing and let her know of your concerns and speak to each other like adults. If she reacts defensive expect it no one likes to hear criticism from their partner no matter how constructive it is! But you can then start a dialogue to get the issues out there and support each other through these challenging times with a young baby and a fifo job.
Good luck and just keep talking to each other respectfully!
21-10-2014 07:55 #3
Your response should be:
"Oh Hun I know it's hard and I wish I was there to help. When I get home I will look after bubs and you can go have a mummy day and do what you want, massage, movies or shopping. Hang in there and I'm here anytime you need to vent".
21-10-2014 08:01 #4
You sound like my poor husband! Pretty much daily he gets a vent (or several) text from me about the kids or im having a crappy day. The thing is, I dont want him to FIX anything, I just need to get it off my chest. He usually sends back a sad face and tells me im doing a great job and he loves me. On really bad days, he calls me when he gets a chance amd just listens while I vent. Its all I need. When he gets home again he gives me big cuddles.
I do feel guilty because I know he is under a lot of stress at work. But he told me he likes it in a way- it helps him feel connected to us and included even when he isnt home. If the kids are playing up really bad he will offer to talk to them about it for me. Sometimes he sends me flowers just to cheer me up. Or even a cute little message on fb. Those little things let me know he cares and helps so much. I remind myself that while its hard for me being home with the kids while he is gone, at least I can see them every day. He misses out on so much but he does it to give us a better life.
When your wife vents to you, she doesn't necessarily want you to fix it. She probably just appreciates the fact you care and are listening. Tell her you love her, and she is doing a wonderful job and when you see her next, give her lots of cuddles.
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21-10-2014 11:31 #5-
- Join Date
- Aug 2013
Mainly she will want to vent. I am suffering from morning sickness ATM and packing to move and to honest it all got to me that he was too far away. He organised a Coles delivery so I didn't need to go grocery shopping and some friends to come over and help. It made me feel like he wasn't so far away after all. He always tells me about his days, good, bad or otherwise and that helps put my day into perspective as well. We are a team, it's not just about how my life is going
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Wise Enough (21-10-2014)
21-10-2014 11:44 #6
We just want to vent sometimes and hear a bit of sympathy. My husband does fifo and we have 2 little boys (2.5 yrs and 1.5 yrs) and it is tough for me some weeks.
If I talk to him and tell him about the bad stuff going on, I know he can't fix it and I know he can't come home early (unless something very serious is going on), but I just want him to listen while I cry/vent/whinge. A 'oh you poor thing, that must be hard, you must be exhausted..' is always appreciated.
Just like I will listen and sympathise if he's had a bad day at work. I can't fix it, but I can listen. It works both ways.
It sounds like you are doing the best you can. It is a big adjustment having a baby and dealing with everything on your own when your partner is away. Does your wife have anyone who can come and give her a bit of a break while you are away? Family or friends? If I didn't have family close by to help me out sometimes I don't think I would cope very well.
21-10-2014 12:13 #7-
- Join Date
- Apr 2012
I don't have a FIFO partner but just wanted to say you sound like a caring hubby and the other ladies are pretty spot on. When I tell my hubby how things are going wrong (bub cracking it, toddler poo'd his undies, late out of the house again etc) I just want to vent. What I don't want is for him to take things too personally, like I am attacking him for not doing enough. That's not the case. I just want him to say "that sounds like a f@rkin $hit morning."
Just keep your eyes and ears open though as occasionally venting can be a sign of something greater than venting, such as Post natal depression. I haven't had PND but there were a few times when I just wanted a break ... Really needed to get away for a few hours...but for whatever reason couldn't tell hubby. Not sure how you would monitor this, perhaps if you get a funny feeling, after acknowledging your wife's vent, you could ask her if there is anything you can do for her.
Congrats on bub...
21-10-2014 12:43 #8
I haven't read the other replies and I don't have a fifo hubby but my dh is pretty good at this!
I vent. A lot! My dh works away 7 days a month. He is usually gone before the kids get up and is just getting home as they are going to bed. Needless to say I do a lot for the kids and around the house. Dh just knows when I need that random text or phone call. He will tell me that he appreciates everything I do for him and his kids. He thanks his lucky stars that he chose me to be their mother and his wife. He really kisses my @$#&! It's very sucky but it gives me that boost and I can just soldier on. Your wife sounds like a very lucky lady to have such a caring husband
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