What is a Roughneck?

what is a roughneck?

“What is a roughneck?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this question over the past 8 years.

“My husband is a driller on an oil rig,” I reply.

“Ohhhhhh …” Then, a blank stare.

“Have you ever seen Armageddon?” I ask.

“YEAH!” Lightbulb.

Usually, I just leave it at that. Only those nearest and dearest to us know the ins and outs of what is really involved with Tim’s job. That his field of work is one of the most dangerous on earth. How demanding it can be. His time away from home. From me. From our baby girl.

My roughneck … my driller, as I like to call him, is so much more than a character in a movie. He’s my best friend. My high school sweetheart. My veteran. The guy who encouraged me to follow my dream. The father of our sweet, sweet baby girl. My rock. Our provider. The love of my life.

To our 19 month-old daughter Maile, my driller is “Dada.” The day he comes home, she runs down the driveway to him, squealing with delight, practically crying with excitement. He’s the voice she expects to hear every time the phone rings. He’s the first face she finds, in every picture, in every room in our home. He’s the voice who will read her favorite stories to her two, three, seven times. The Tickle Monster.

So, what is a roughneck? To me, he’s everything.

Katie is a roughneck wife and mama living and loving life in colorful Colorado with her driller, daughter Maile, and their two dogs and cat. She is the author of the blog Standpipe and Sprinkles, where she records bits of her family’s everyday, family and friends, some style, faith … but mostly, the things she doesn’t want to forget.


About melissa

Melissa is the Founder of ROW and has been an oilfield wife for 14 years. She has been married to a wonderful man forever and is mother to six amazing children (17,14, 10, 10 and 2 and a foster baby!). Melissa knows the struggles that come along with the oilfield life. When Melissa isn't helping her little girl battle her brain tumors (Love for Jazmine Joy), she loves to travel, laugh, tend to her chickens, and dream of sunshine and mountains.


  1. Jamie Lawrence says:

    I agree Kate… i feel the same way about kevo…i couldn’t of said it better myself… its hard to b without our best friend for so long but this is what the boys love to do.. and am so proud that my hubby works in freezing cold to support our 3 kids … i spend everyday worried that his not warm or not safe…

    konner sure does misses ddaddy so much while his gone everTime kevo call kon takes my phone to see daddy face in talks to him… than konner kissed the phone lol its cute

    • You’re right, Jamie; it’s super hard to be without the one you love, but as you say here, this is what they love to do! It’s hard not to worry, but it’s so important that we stay strong for them.

      That is such a cute little story about Konner!

  2. Shantell Demitrial says:

    Love it! Couldn’t have said it better myself!:)

  3. Well said Katie. Our guys are amazing. It takes a very strong girl to live this life.

  4. So that’s what they are! Lovely post. I can’t wait to read more.

  5. Great post! What a wonderful tribute to your husband and all he does!

  6. great post, i have to admit I didnt know what a roughneck was.. We dont have oil drilling in New Zealand 🙂

  7. krystlebernal09 says:

    Very beautifully said. i can totally relate to this

  8. love it. great to hear words of my heart expressed from someone else as well. <3

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