The Care and Keeping of Your Oilfield Home {Part 4 of 4}

The Care and Keeping of Your Oilfield Home #household #cleaning @oilfieldwives

So, we’ve come to the end of our series. (“Finally!” some of you are thinking.) But today, I don’t want to talk to you about money, or boring paperwork, or maintenance. Today, I want to put the focus on something that tugs on your heartstrings, that sometimes makes you wonder if this life is the best choice for your family … and that is the absence of your oilfield man.

Leadership can be hard enough for the head of the family to maintain. It seems like the independence of our children is pushed by society at ever-younger ages, and as oilfield women, we like to say that we do it all, or we won’t survive. Don’t get me wrong, with husbands gone so often, wives are clearly in control, but there are things you can do to help your oilfield man keep his position as family leader.

  1. Place photos of Dad around your home.
  2. Have your oilfield man record messages for your kiddos. Reading your toddler’s favorite bedtime story, sharing how much he loves them, telling them to treat you as the household authority while he’s gone, etc.
  3. Communication is key. If you’re able, use mail, phone, internet to keep in touch with your husband while he’s away. Text him pictures of your kiddos throughout the day — even if they’re just doing “normal” things like taking a nap, or creating a new crayon masterpiece (on your wall). My hubby tells me often how much he craves the normalcy of home when he’s on hitch, and he loves receiving daily photos of our little girl. Sometimes I throw in audio clips or videos, too! In the same vein, make sure your children hear their father’s voice as much as possible. If all he has to say is, “Daddy is tired, and needs his rest, but loves you so very much,” they still have that.
  4. Don’t use Dad to guilt trip. It’s tempting to say things like, “Just wait until your father hears about this!” isn’t it? More often than not, though, when words like that pass through our lips, they’re out of our own frustration … a last ditch effort at getting the behavior we want (or end of the behavior we don’t want). If you must use your oilfield man in correction, try, “When your dad gets home, we’re going to sit down and have a discussion about [this] behavior. I think it’s important that you know how he feels about it.” Use your husband as a positive force. When your 18 month-old masters a 10-block tower for the first time, exclaim, “Daddy will love hearing about this!” When your moody preteen takes it upon himself to take out the trash without being asked, tell him, “Dad would be so proud of you right now.” Make sure your kids know how much your oilfield man misses them.
  5. Whenever possible, talk big family decisions through with your husband. Changing schools, quitting a sport or activity, a new wellness plan for a sick child, etc. Of course, this kind of communication should be happening all the time. This way, if you have to make a solo decision about your kids while your oilfield man is away, there will be a good chance you’ll be confident of his feelings on the matter.

What do you do to reinforce your husband’s position of leadership in your family? Share with us in the comments below, or send me a tweet!

About Katie

Katie lives in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where she raises her sweet daughter, Maile, who just turned two! Katie has been married to the love of her life for going on 6 years; every one of those years as a roughneck wife. The family also includes two spaniels, a very persnickety old cat, and two aquatic frogs. Katie spends most of her time reading books with her little one, going down the slide at the park 10,000 times, painting and playing pretend, and dreaming of growing all her own food. You can also find her at her family lifestyle blog, See You There.

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