As an Oilfield Wife I need a support system, and it helps to have friends/family who have been through the same things I’m going through. I’m lucky that there are so many other OF wives in my life. I thought it would be helpful to hear advice from 4 different women – not just me. 4 different perspectives, 4 different pieces of advice, from 4 different oilfield voices.
We have Rhonda, an OF wife from Northern CO whose husband is a truck pusher in North Dakota on a two and two. There’s Kory from Southern AK. Her husband is a construction coordinator for Conoco Phillips in Kuparek AK, working a two and two. And Rachel, from Northern CO whose Boyfriend is the regional manager for a chemical weed control company based out of Gilcrest, CO and services CO, WY, NE, UT, NM, and MT. He doesn’t have a set schedule but spends a lot of time on the road. And me – as you know my husband (affectionately referred to as My Hot Oil Man) is a Hot Oil Operator in Prudhoe Bay, AK and works a two and two schedule.
The question is – What is your best survival tip for staying sane while dealing with OF stresses?
Rhonda – My best advice would be to remember this: Breathe! Because this too shall pass! It isn’t an easy life that we’ve chosen to live. I could go on and on about all the things that could make life less difficult, or less lonely, or less stressful…But I know that all those solutions get lost when we’re caught up in a stressful time. So just take a deep breath, remind yourself that it’s not all sunshine and sparkles for anyone (our men included), and keep moving forward. It doesn’t even matter if you’re OF or not, life has its ups and downs. Help one another through the difficult times, celebrate with each other in the good times. Then knuckle down and adjust your seat accordingly, because there’s bound to be another bump in the road. Like my current screen saver says, “When something goes wrong in your life, just yell ‘PLOT TWIST!’ and move on.”
Kory – I keep myself busy. I make fun things for my two boys. They get paid to do chores and help me. They also have chores that they don’t get paid for. I want them to learn responsibility. I honestly have really pressed into my relationship with Jesus. And It has been my only literal saving Grace. I’m super prone to depression and have dealt with suicide in the past. I really had no idea what this life would be like. I know that it’s harder on me then some because my husband is my best friend we have soooo much fun together. So losing that for 2 weeks at a time and moving from our home state to AK, was a HUGE change for me. I’ve been a Christian for almost 10 years. This is my sweetest time with God. He is my other 1/2. At the same time my husband knows my struggles of him being away which has made him press into God as well. So as a couple we are the strongest we’ve ever been in our faith. Many wives have told me they enjoy when their husbands leave because they can get back to life. I choose to not to ever think like that. We just adjust our lives when he’s gone. And get back to life when he comes home.
Rachel – My advice is to keep communicating and remembering that you are teammates and together for a reason. Life will throw all kinds of stress at you, OF related or not. So when you do have time together, make it count!
Me – My advice is to surround yourself with support – people to help you through the tough times. Not just your OF man, you’ll need other friends, relatives, and neighbors, too. No one can be a one man team. I rely on God for strength every day in every way, and I am also thankful for other OF wives like these 3 women, and the others on this Real Oilfield Wives website that GET IT! If nothing else, it helps to vent to other women who have either been in my shoes before, or are currently in my shoes. There is encouragement and advice in the voices of oilfield wives.
Thank you so much to Rhonda, Kory, and Rachel for letting me share your voices!