Everyone has an opinion about oilfield wives. Whether it’s good or bad, people have a preconceived notion about what we’re like. There isn’t just one type of oilfield wife. We all have different personalities, different likes, different dislikes – but we do share the experiences of being married into the oilfield. I wish other people could understand what our lives are really like.
Here’s 5 things I wish everyone knew…
1. OF Wives are independent. We don’t usually need help, and we hate asking for it. We don’t necessarily like being independent, but it’s a “job requirement” so to speak, and we have mastered it. Whatever it is, we can handle it. We didn’t get this far by relying on others.
2. We aren’t anti-social. (Well…maybe some of us are – but that’s a personality trait that not all oilfield wives share.) We may not be anti-social, but we are busy. Beyond busy. Juggling kids, activities, jobs, sports, church, school, bills, housework, volunteer work, appointments…one false move and everything will come crashing down, so don’t be offended or take it personally if we don’t have time to hang out or we pass on getting together. We’re just trying to stay afloat.
3. We need support. Whether it’s from friends, our faraway husbands, or kind neighbors – we need to feel like someone has our back. Just a listening ear or a few kind words can go a long way to boost our spirits when we’re balancing the weight of the world on our shoulders. We may not have time for socializing, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate hearing, “Keep up the good work” every once in awhile.
4. Don’t mess with our routine. There isn’t time for spontaneity when dad is gone and mom is doing double duty. At particularly stressful times, if it’s not on my schedule, it simply doesn’t happen. I plan, write lists, schedule, and keep the master calendar. Make sure to give us warning, no last minute surprises please.
5. Just because we do it, doesn’t mean we like it. Oilfield wives are tough. We’re used to a life that revolves around hitches and missing fathers. We are no stranger to fluctuating income. There’s a lot of things we have to handle. And just because we can handle them, doesn’t mean we like them… we’re just woman enough to deal with it without crying all the time.