Part-Time Husband

Part-Time Husband #realoilfieldwivesThe other day I was explaining my husband’s work schedule (4-6 weeks in Alaska, 2 weeks here) to someone and she said matter-of-factly, “Oh, so you have a part-time husband.”

As I usually do, I didn’t really answer her and instead giggle a little and move the conversation forward.  I wish I could explain to people that no, he is not a “Part-Time Husband”.  He doesn’t leave his wedding vows at the door when he goes to work. He doesn’t forget he’s a father when he steps onto that plane.  I know people don’t mean anything by things like this, I just find it humorous when I contemplate what they’re implying.  They are basically saying that what he’s doing is somehow separate of our family.

He’s gone from his home and family, living in a glorified dorm room with a total stranger, and working 12-18 hours a day in harsh conditions.  And not in the pretty part of Alaska. I can’t think of another way to be MORE devoted full-time to his family than this type of work.

My other favorite thing people say is, “Well you know, boys need their father.” This is a favorite mantra of my son’s kindergarten teacher.  Of course they need their dad, but newsflash, people: his dad hasn’t “left” in the sense that destroys families. He’s just at work.  The boys talk to him and when he’s home, they spend a ton of quality time with a Dad who can live in the moment as opposed to being distracted by work.

Is this life “ideal”?  I don’t know, I can’t speak for everyone.  If ideal is that picture from the 50’s where the dad leaves every morning with his briefcase and the mother is in her apron and has dinner waiting on the table, then I don’t think anyone has the “ideal” set up these days.  If “ideal” is paying the bills, staying out of debt, and having parents who aren’t too stressed to pay attention, then I think we’re alright.

Mostly, I think people should consider that perhaps we didn’t choose this life as much as that maybe it was our only choice at the time.  We weighed our options, the pros and the cons, we threw the dart and this is where it landed.  It’s not like we’re going to say, “Really?  The boys need their dad?  Why, I never thought of that!  Let me rearrange my ENTIRE life to suit YOUR idea of what is right for my family.  Thank you!”

About rheanna

Rheanna is a stay-at-home mom to two children. She is a lifetime resident of New Mexico and her Oilfield Man works on the North Slope of Alaska, averaging 4 weeks on and 2 off. In her previous life she was a bookkeeper and boiler technician for her father’s plumbing company. She enjoys hiking, horseback riding, motorsports and pretending not to kill her garden. Cooking is a favorite past time, but unfortunately a lifelong allergy to crafting supplies and a debilitating ineptitude with a glue gun prevent her from spending too much time on Pinterest.


  1. Good article. Thank you! My husband and I both used to work. We were like two ships in the night. We hated that lifestyle. Going into the oilfield was out of necessity. However, we have found that even though he is gone two weeks at a time, he is able to spend MORE time with our sons than if he was to work a “normal” job. Yeah…it sucks when he’s gone. It’s downright difficult at times. But we look at the blessing of having him home for six days in a row every two weeks.

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