Family Blues


One negative aspect about being an oilfield wife is the “Family Blues” – being away from family.  Not just being away from your husband/significant other (although that is another drawback, of course I miss my Hot Oil Man when he’s at work) but I mean being away from the rest of your family.  If you’ve had to transfer somewhere due to the job, all too often it can mean being away from other family members, too…..parents, grandparents, cousins, sisters,  etc.

We moved to Alaska two and half years ago, and although we LOVE it, we did leave behind all our friends and family.  You gotta take the good with the bad.  We have wonderful neighbors here, and we’ve also made friends through school and church.  We don’t have as big of a support system or social circle as we did in Colorado, but we have built some great relationships here, and we have learned to depend on each other more, too.  And thanks to the generosity and hospitality of our new friends and neighbors, we’ve even been  invited to spend Holiday celebrations with them. Those have been great times! I’m thankful my kids have had the experience of seeing how other families celebrate and I can’t express how thankful I am that we have been included in these gatherings.  Although we have enjoyed the holidays spent with friends here, it’s not the same as being with family. They’re both good….just different. We still miss our families even when we were surrounded by friends.

My parents and also my in-laws have made several trips here to see us and those have been wonderful visits.  It’s different mechanics being with relatives for a week straight than it is when you see them regularly. I find it to be more laid-back. Their vacations up here have been fantastic. Even when we saw them weekly in CO, the visits were often short and sometimes rushed or stressful just because of life. Now, whether we travel  down there to CO, or they come up, we are in ‘vacation mode’ not ‘day-to-day busy life mode’ which makes for better, longer, more relaxed conversations and quality time together. The kids get DAYS of grandma time, instead of an hour here and there.  We’re together for breakfast, lunch, and dinner the whole time they are here…not just one meal every couple couple weeks. It’s almost as if we had to move far away to get quality time together.  And while that sounds like a benefit of being faraway from family, we still miss the regular interactions and the holiday dinners, too, but you can’t have it both ways.

I think it’s just one more thing that you have to adjust to when you are an OF family. Just another life modification that has to be made when you live this crazy OF life.  The key to dealing with the Family Blues is to cherish your time together with family (and friends) whether you see them once every six months or 30 minutes every week.

About jenna

Jenna has been an oilfield wife for over 12 years. Her Hot Oil Man husband started working in the oilfield a few months before they were married. The oilfield has lead them all the way from Northern CO to Alaska, where they've lived in the Matanuska Valley for 4 years. The family consists of their two children; a strong-willed daughter age 10, and a goofy son age 7. And of course what family would be complete without a couple of dogs and rabbits thrown in the mix. Jenna is a stay at home mom who doesn't “stay at home” much, and enjoys gardening, baking, reading, watching movies, four wheeling, hiking, fishing, and LOVES shopping. Since moving to the last frontier they have also started home schooling, which is another adventure all it’s own.

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