Things I’ve Learned Since My Husband Took a Job 4,000 Miles Away

Things I've Learned Since My Husband Took a Job 4,000 Miles AwayI can’t believe it’s already been a year since my husband accepted his job working 4,000 miles away in Alaska. In this past year, our oldest started and finished kindergarten, we put our house on the market (twice), and we moved into a different house 4 miles down the road.  It feels almost normal now having him gone more than he’s home, but looking back I realize that we’ve learned a lot.

I have learned to sleep alone. Well, mostly.  I am getting used to the new house, but that is probably a whole separate topic for another post!  I’ve learned to enjoy the middle of the bed, and typically I find that if I have to sleep on my side of the bed, I will knock over the glass of water on my night stand in my sleep. Every. Single. Time.

The kids are getting the hang of this.  They still get a little moody right after we take Oilfield Man to the airport and they sure cling to him when he gets home, but the weeks of acting out seem to have settled.

This line of work isn’t as stable as we’d hoped.  Things are a little different for us since OFM isn’t working on rigs or the drilling side, but things definitely got shook up and work hours did get slimmer.  He took this job for stability and income, so I guess one out of two isn’t bad.

I actually CAN make new friends.  I don’t have any family nearby as a support structure and I’ve worked really hard at putting myself in new situations and talking to people in an effort to become part of this community.  By nature I tend to speak my mind -loudly- and keep to a small group of people.  But little by little, mostly through school and joining a church, I’m starting to know a larger group of people.

We are getting good at staying busy.  You hear it all the time: the key to not going crazy as an Oilfield Wife is to stay busy.  And it turns out, everyone is right!  The busier we are, the quicker the hitch goes by.  My biggest challenge is that I tend to keep busy OUTSIDE of the house, so the inside doesn’t tend to stay as clean as I wish it would. It could also be that I hate housework. Details…

Being different is getting more normal.  There isn’t a large contingency of oilfield workers where we live.  Nor are there military bases.  Most people we know and meet have some kind of reaction to our lifestyle.  The most common opinions seem to be pity and judgement.  “Oh wow” is the most common statement when I explain my husband’s commute.  I think -well, I hope- we’ve heard all the silly things people say by now, but then people are always surprising you, aren’t they?  Just last week someone asked me the one question no one else has: “What is it like for your husband to be gone so often?”   I thought this was such a thoughtful and kind question.  There was no judgment, no pity, no bits of advice that weren’t asked for.  It was just a simple question trying to understand how someone else’s life is different and I really appreciated that.

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