The Candid Oilfield Wife (Part 1): The Departure

The Candid Oilfield Wife (Part 1) The Departure #realoilfieldwivesOver the past 4 years of my Oilfield Wife status several people have approached me and asked me how I deal with my husband being home and away for 14 days at a time. Essentially, he’s away for 6 months, or half a year, or…however you choose to look at it. Anyway, there are certain things I tend to think about and certain feelings that I always have when he’s due to leave or come home.

Although him being in a different state when on his hitch is rather new to us, I’ve found that my routine hasn’t changed much. Thoughts, the same. Feelings, the same. The way I deal, the same. Round n’ round we go, my friends.

I’m curious as to how my fellow oilfield wives feel as these times approach as well. Am I alone in my thoughts, or do we tend to feel similarly in respect to our chosen lifestyles?

I’ve been considering writing about this for some time now. What stopped me? My husband reading it! Then I thought, “Wait a minute, this is about the wives! He can handle the truth!”…and that he shall! So, dear, before you read this please know that I love you, and what you’re about to read is simply how I feel during our home/away transitions. Commence sincerity….

The day before departure: Oh look, the bags are back. All packed and ready to….oh no! Have I made enough food? (RUN to check freezer stash) Eeh, that’ll do. Bedding-check. Food-check. Laundry…I better do another load of laundry. Sense of pending doom sets in, this sucks. Why do hitches off go so fast? Last dinner together is about to start. I wonder what our last movie will be? Oh good, he can give the baby a bath tonight since he won’t be here for a while! Score! Did I put the laundry in the dryer?

Day of departure: I feel weird. Sad? No. Not anymore. Well, a little. Tired. Obviously, I spent all day yesterday hyped up about today. Better make the last breakfast a good one. Why does it always feel like he’s never coming back? It’s not like our last last breakfast. Get a hold of yourself, woman! You have things to do! Breakfast. Anxious? Yeah, that’s it. I feel anxious. I wonder what household item will break this time! Ugh! Uh oh, time to go. Sad. Definitely sad. Drive safely and heaven help you if you don’t check in!!

Day 1 after departure: Huh, I slept better than I thought I would. I hope he got off to work okay. I hope he has enough food and he’s not cold. I hope he woke up on time! Time for some mommy/daughter time with the little one, yay! What tasks shall we master this time? Potty training. Yes, we can (and will) be out of diapers before daddy comes home! Let’s do this….

Day 2 after departure: Okay, we’re good. You’ve got this. Back into routine and all is well. Tonight’s phone call can’t come soon enough! I hope he’s had a good day!

Day 3 after departure: More of the same. Nothing has broken thus far, the child is alive and well, and bills are officially successfully paid! Excellent.

Day 4 after departure: Crap. Spoke too soon. Why won’t the Diaper Genie lid close? Bah, it stinks! Close, you dirty diaper disposal lid, close I say!! …..Oooh, yeah, I see. Well, that was an easy fix. Carry on potty training; let’s be done with this gadget. What kinds of food can I prepare and freeze today to add to my stash? Is it wrong that I’m equally as proud of this stash as my breastfeeding stash? Nah!

Days 5-10 after departure: This hitch is taking FOREVER! Bah! I need HELP! I hate this. I’m alone ALL THE TIME. I need a break before I break things. *sigh* Calm thyself. Spring will come, it always does. But so help me if it snows ONE MORE TIME! Someone please bring me a coffee. Call mom. Mom always makes it better.

Days 11-12 after departure: Okay, he’s almost home. He’s been a grump lately. I hate phone calls at night not knowing who will be on the other end of the line: my sweet husband, or the one who currently hates all things. Ugh. Although I clean the house every day, it’s time to do “the big cleaning”. Although I don’t know why I bother, it’ll be muddy as soon as he pulls in the driveway anyway. Crap! Must. Shave. Legs. (DO NOT forget!)

Day 1 before arrival: Tomorrow! YAY! Home tomorrow! Can’t wait to have fun and do lots of things! Humm….I hope the transition home is good. I get testy when my routine is altered. Wait! What am I saying? I should be happy and excited he’s coming home! I am, I am. I’m…anxious. Yeah, that’s it.

Day 14 after departure – Last day on: I hope he has a good last day! The house looks immaculate, my legs are super smooth, and little one can’t contain her excitement! It’s a good day! A few more hours on….I hope he can stay awake for the ride home! I hope I can get some sleep!

Day 15 after departure – First day off: 1:30 a.m. Is that the garage door? Or is my mind playing games on me again?! Nope! It’s the garage door! He’s home! Man, I wish I didn’t look like nightmare poo right now! My make-up is smudged and my hair is a hot mess! This should be magical! Ooh, I trip on that every.time. You’d think I’d learn. Yaaayyyy! The hug. I love the first hug! Once he’s showered we can all settle in bed together. Sweet, sweet sleep.

And so completes few of the many thoughts and feelings as oilfield man departs for an “on hitch”. It’s almost confusing now that I’ve gotten it all out. I thought it would help bring all my feelings together into one, organized place. I guess there are just too many things going on during an ‘on’ hitch. One thing is for sure, it makes me tired just thinking about it!

Stay tuned for Part 2, The Arrival.

About ashley

Ashley and her husband, Ryan, have been married for 4 years. They became an oilfield family in March of 2011. They live in Northeastern Pennsylvania with their 2 year old daughter, Anistyn, and two fur-children: Kora (the manic Australian Cattle Dog) and Jaxx (your typical lazy house cat). Ashley traded in her various degrees and certifications to take on her ultimate dream job of fulltime mommy and wife. When not throwing over-the-top toddler dance parties and reading the same storybook 104 times in a row she enjoys reading her own books, baking, writing, meeting new friends, trying new things, and saving every animal in need on the planet!


  1. Renee Nelson Barlow says:

    Your thoughts and feelings are about the same as mine except that my hubby is gone for 6 very long weeks and only home for 1 week.

  2. I feel the same way except that we have no children. However, we recently moved to Northwestern Pennsylvania and left my family in NJ which somehow kept me company while he was away. Now is just me and trying to keep myself busy with the job and the gym. I think it would never be easy. I try to stay strong for him but I start crying two days before he leaves. I’m glad he is only gone for two weeks and now I get to see him some nights now that we are within the 2 hr range from where he gets sent. We hope to have a normal life before we decide to conceive.

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