The Dreaded “Work-Over”

The Dreaded Oilfield "Work-Over"I hate hate, hate, hate when my husband has to work an extra week. He’s staying longer this hitch, so his usual two weeks away at the North Slope will actually be three. The dreaded “work-over”.  And that also means he’ll only get one week at home instead of two. Bad followed by worse!  Having him gone longer than the norm is hard on me –extra work, more pressure, no breaks, the kids miss him…etc,etc. All oilfield wives know how it feels, it’s like all the normal issues are multiplied by ten.  Everything seems worse than usual.  But that’s not the worst part. Oh it’s tough, but I can deal with it. I hate it for my Hot Oil Man’s sake. That’s what I hate most about the dreaded work-over. I hate him missing out on our lives! I want him to get a break, I want him to get to come home, and I want him to have time with the kids. Of course I want time with him as well. I miss our time together and I know he does, too.

I’m not whining though. Well…maybe just a little tiny bit. The company my husband works for didn’t force him to work over, he agreed to it and we’re grateful for the opportunity. I’m extremely thankful. I mean, how many jobs offer chances to earn extra when you need it? With all our added expenses lately, the extra money is definitely appreciated. I just feel that the sacrifice is bigger for him than for me, and that doesn’t seem fair. Yeah, I’ll get stressed out. I’ll probably be sleep-deprived by the end of the three weeks and starved for adult conversation. But other than that, I’m still just doing my regular day-to-day duties. Nothing I can’t handle. But he has to give up time at home. That’s a big sacrifice to make. Huge. I’m thankful to him for being tough enough to handle it. He thinks I’m being tough because I handle everything here, but he’s wrong. He’s got the hard job, and I appreciate him working so hard so I can be home.

So…I’m one week in to a three-week hitch. At least ten things are guaranteed to go wrong  here at home.  That’s how it goes.  But in the midst of this awful hitch, I will keep my chin up. I’m grateful for my Hot Oil Man and I’m thankful for the bigger paycheck we’ll have this month.  We’ll get through it. We will survive this work-over.

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. Oh how I understand. My husband works 28 days on and 28 days off. When he works over I just die inside. I have no idea how I handle it but I do and life goes on. I hate when I sit and think about the fact that he has been doing it for about 6 years now and it breaks down to him missing 3 years of our lives.

  2. Nancy chaffin says:

    I had a 5 and 7 year old and a broken leg when my husband had to go to Kasikstan (Russia) for 45 days to work in the oilfield. I had no family closer than 6 hours away to help. My friends and church family took care of us while he was away. Oilfield proud and strong after 35 years in the oil business!

  3. I just discovered your website…because my husband just told me yesterday that he is being held over due to bad weather and I started typing in a bunch of key works about how frustrated I am.

    My guy works on an off-shore rig and helicopters only fly under the strictest conditions – which is great for safety. But, when you have been counting down the days for him to come home, it just sucks. I don’t have children and, in fact, I just went through a miscarriage all alone this hitch. We have tried desperately to have kids for the past couple of years and this was our last try. So…I really NEEDED him to come home on time. Thanksgiving weekend and I’ll be alone, instead of sharing a few precious days alone with him to reconnect and grieve together.

    Over the years, I have learned to accept the schedule – even during the toughest moments. It’s when he is delayed that I get so down and find it so hard to be supportive – even though I know how hard it is for him, too. Maybe it’s just because of what happened this particular time that he was away…I don’t know. It’s just so hard. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone.

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