The Oilfield Slump


I’m having a rough hitch. We just got back from vacation (a wonderful, dream come true vacation) and transitioning back into real life has been tough. The kids are having a hard time focusing on school and getting back in the groove of things. I’m having a hard time catching up on everything (bills, errands, things that were left undone while we were gone). Plus my cell phone died (and took my vacation photos with it) and I still don’t have the replacement yet and it’s been 5 days.  Added stress.  My Hot Oil Man and I have been butting heads and that’s never fun when he’s away. We’ve all been passing around a sinus cold so no one is feeling their best, and to top it off  we’ve had wet gloomy weather that just adds to my gray mood.

At a time when many OF workers have been laid off, I am grateful that my husband still has a job. We are lucky. I hate to complain because I know things could be so much worse….but at the same time – I’m in a slump and I don’t know what to do! The crumby Alaska weather is wearing on me. I don’t feel like I’ve been doing a very good job homeschooling lately – or mothering for that matter. I’ve been impatient and grumpy.  My husband and I can’t seem to see eye to eye on things…..I’d say we need a vacation – but we just had one! I’m not depressed, and I’m not hysterical – I’m just not really pleased with how things are going lately. I’m tired of doing it all on my own.  I’m tired of being in charge of everything.  I feel like I’m in a rut, a funk…the Oilfield slump!

We live our life in hitches, in two week increments. This is normal for us now.  I’m a planner. We have lists, we have schedules, we have routines. We get by by sticking to our routines…but what happens when those routines need a change? We’ve been OF for 12 years so I should be used to it by now, but what do you do when things aren’t quite right? Moving to Alaska was a big adventure, but that was 4 years ago. Life changes, we grow, we adapt…what is right for us now? How can I improve our life? How do you shake the Oilfield slump? Everything is fine – but it’s just fine.

The biggest goal I have for my kids is to give them life experiences – that’s why we’ve moved 3,000 miles away from all our friends and family, that’s why we home school, that’s why we take trips, that’s why we are in numerous extra curricular activities…but lately I’m not sure.  Am I doing a good job?  Have we experienced all living in Alaska has to offer? Is home schooling losing it’s luster?  Are we living our lives to their fullest?
Am I just overreacting to a few bad days?

I’ll continue to keep it all together. Hopefully I’ll get out of my slump and I’ll be able make things extraordinary again instead of just fine for my kids and my husband – but until then, misery enjoys company so if anyone else is in the oilfield slump right now, feel free to complain in the comments below….

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.


  1. Elizabeth "oilfield widow" Ran says:

    Oh yes…the oil field slump! My husband has been in the oil field for 3 yrs now and i still dread talking to all the “NOSI” (Non Oilfield Standby Inquisiters) thats my term for all those people that constantly ask how your doing and keep asking you questions about your husbands line of work and then you have to continually lie to everyone when by say things like “we are great” or “we are used to it now” or here’s my favorite “I love having all the freedom” !!! I mean really what do all you NOSI’s think it’s like….IT SUCKS on a daily basis. But we deal with it and make the best of it. Why you ask…because of money, we didn’t marry Donald Trump! But we like to live like we did. So the sacrifices we make! But on a serious note we have been in the same slump. The lady few hitches home have been rough and we agree on nothing it seems and argue about everything. I think it’s because of all the rigs shutting down and the oilfield slump. They feel it while at work and bring it home to share with us…what thoughtful husband’s we have. So I look at it like this… when things start to turn around for them at work it will at home. Just have to hold on and ride out the storm!

  2. Rayna Vance says:

    I’m extremely new to this, but I’m glad to hear that it isn’t just us going through this. He’s been getting irritated so easily when we talk every night. I haven’t been sure what to do, other than just try my best to be supportive. Thankfully this hitch is almost over and he’ll be back home. It’s a relief to hear the oilfield slump is a normal thing all the families are going through. It gives me the strength to just keep being there for him until things pick back up.

    • The oil field slump definitely happens to everyone. Hang in there! It will get better.

      • Rayna Vance says:

        Thank you! I want nothing more than to be there for him 100%, I’m just still learning how to do it.

        • Don’t forget to take care of yourself, too. I know that I tend to overlook my own needs especially when things are busy with kids, but you can only “give” so much. Make sure you are taking some breaks! 🙂

Speak Your Mind