Our New Normal

Our New Normal #realoilfieldwivesThe truth hit me while in the middle of the cereal aisle at the grocery store.  I’m not sure why the realization that my husband was coming home for an unknown period of time hit me there, but it did.  We’ve been affected by the low oil prices just like many other oilfield families out there.  Oilman comes home tonight and we aren’t sure for how long.  His time at home will depend on how long it takes to find more work.  Judging by the current climate in oil and gas, I would say he is probably going to be home for a while.  What will our new normal look like?  Will it be more of the same with a temporary break, or will it be completely different?

It has probably been 5 or 6 years since I have spent more than two weeks at a time with my husband.  Spending days off together is not the same as seeing your spouse every day.  Days off has always kind of felt like a mini-vacation.  We would stay up late, sleep in, drink wine, dine out, and celebrate what little time we had together.  It was also a mad dash of to do’s that had to be done before the next hitch like doctor’s appointments, oil changes, car washes, and loads of laundry.  When Oilman went back to work, we would both get back to the grind of our respective jobs and our own routines.  What does it even look like to spend every day with my spouse?

I’m back in the cereal aisle of the grocery store and I’m trying to choose if Oilman would like the generic versions of plain Cheerios or Honey Nut Cheerios.  In that moment it hits me that both of our routines are now going to be drastically different.  It started with the thought of preparing dinner for two people every night instead of one.  Did I need to start meal planning now for the two of us?  Would he be doing the cooking?  We probably would split those duties.  It was then I decided that I definitely did not have enough food for two people and started zig-zagging my way around the store.  What was he going to want to eat on a day-to-day basis?  (The easy way to figure that out was to ask him, which I did.)  Did I have enough of the basics stocked in the house that he likes, but I don’t typically use?  I realize it was stupid to get caught up in something a trivial as meal planning, but it was one example of tiny changes rippling through my day.  I was nervously excited.

We often talk about the time it takes for Oilman to transition from oilfield to home life during days off.  He sometimes can feel like a fish out of water or “off” for the first few days at home.  The colorfulness of language or crudeness of jokes that fit in so well at work has to be dialed back a bit.  He goes from having a highly structured work schedule to no schedule at all.  He has spent a lot of time in the country, to being submerged back into the traffic and pace of the city.  He will do fine with all of the changes; he reacts better to these things than I do, but it is going to be an adjustment for him.

I don’t know what it is going to look like in the next few weeks or how long it will last.  I know we will figure out all of these things together.  I’m sure just when we get in a groove and have everything figured out, he will go back out into the field.  In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy some much needed time together with my best friend.

About LC

Howdy! LC and her Oilman live in the ‘burbs north of Austin, TX. She is a real estate broker, but you won’t find her face on a bus bench and she doesn't drive a Cadillac. Oilman works in Texas as a Completions Consultant. Don’t worry, most people don’t know what that title means either. LC calls him frac guru, for short. She may be the only woman in America that hated both "Twilight" AND "50 Shades of Grey". Oilman and LC like wine, good music, their two dogs, and cervezas in Central America. Follow the adventures of LC and Oilman at: www.LivingOilfieldLife.com or on Instagram at: living_oilfield_life

Comments

  1. Cori Jeddrey says:

    My husband has been home since March, its not easy. This article so resonated with me! He took a job at a construction company. It’s 8-4, everyone hates it. My youngest doesn’t get if Dads home how come he isn’t there to take her to all her after school activities. It’s a very different view. Home for a long period is so weird! I have had to readjust to cooking his way everyday, The girls and I eat so differently then he does! Lots of little things!!! Praying everyday for an upswing in the market, I want my “normal” back!

    • I’m so glad this resonated with you. It does sound like you have had quite an adjustment recently. Change isn’t something I do well with, but I’m trying. Good luck to you and your family. I hope your honey gets an oilfield job quickly!

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