The Other Side of the Oilfield

The Other Side of the Oilfield #realoilfieldwivesIt has been just over two months since my husband left the oilfield to take a job with the railroad. It seems much longer than that. Much longer. Have our lives really changed that much in 9 short weeks?! It seems so long ago.

He’s kept in touch with his crew. We’ve worried about them, prayed for them, wondered what their future held. Unfortunately, they finally got the call and have officially been laid off just recently. Our hearts broke for them. And at the same time, we felt a huge wave of relief. We weren’t sure we were making the right choice back in July. We faced a ton of uncertainty and took a huge leap of faith. Now we know. It was the right time and the right decision.

I felt panicked when we heard the news. How close we were to being in their shoes. Had our new opportunities not come up, what would we be doing now? How would we have managed? It certainly brought to light, for us, all the blessings we have had and not taking one single second for granted. Thankful. We felt thankful. When we think about them, and all of the oilfield workers facing the same fate, our hearts break for them all over again.

Life on the other side of the oilfield is certainly different, but there are also familiar things. Being a conductor’s wife is a lot like being a roughneck’s wife. He’s not home often, he travels with the trains. He has a ton to learn, so he’s constantly training. He works long, hard hours, and often we have no idea when he’ll be home. The schedule is crazy. There is no set time off yet, so we miss our two weeks off together. Just when I had gotten to know all the oilfield terms, I now have to learn a whole new set of terms for the railroad (equally as confusing, in case you were wondering). We are also adjusting to a new pay scale (it’s like the elephant in the room when it comes to being out of the oilfield). We’re making it, but we still aren’t rich (because everyone not in the oilfield thought we once bathed ourselves in money, ha-ha, yeah right!).

There are also some perks! Laundry is SO much easier to do. I think the oilfield mud is finally coming off his hands. We no longer have to purchase Dawn dish soap in bulk (and no one looks at us funny anymore for doing so). We are no longer stressed all the time wondering what was going to happen when. We can relax and enjoy our time together without the pressure of…well, everything. We’ve actually been able to do some things we haven’t been able to do in a very long time together (like take our daughter to horse riding lessons, or spend a Sunday family dinner together). We still have enough time apart to miss one another, and reconnecting is still a thrill.

Overall, we’re doing okay. We were scared as ever when we made the decision to change, but life went one and things are working out fine! We’re happy. So happy! That’s what matters most.

If you and your loved ones are still facing uncertainties or have just gotten your dreaded phone call, please know we’re thinking of you! Once Oilfield Strong, Always Oilfield Strong. You’re going to be okay! We love you, oilfield family!

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!

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