Of course, when one’s husband is an International Man of Mystery, it goes with the territory that he travels. But travelling for work can get out of hand.
Take 2010 and 2011 when he did a rotation in Yemen. In the oil industry, a rotation is a common thing in more dodgy locations. He did a 28:28 rotation ie 28 days straight work then 28 days off. Travel days are part of the days off, boo hoo.
So my Intn’l Man of Mystery would generally be away for four and a half weeks and then home for three and a half weeks. Overall, he liked it, the black and whiteness of it. He was either working or with the family, no overlap.
I loved his time off, he was able to participate in family life so much more; school drop offs, preschool pickups, the washing – a wee bit. When he was home, he was relaxed, he read books. And it was thrilling when he arrived home. Yes, that’s right, in ALL the ways you are thinking.
When we first met, Intn’l Man of Mystery was working on the oilrigs in the North Sea, two weeks on, two weeks off. I was living in Glasgow, he had a flat in Edinburgh. It was fantastic, the reunions were intense. He used to stay at my place and watch cricket all day with my cats whilst I worked. It was romantic, he used to fax me meaningful Tim Winton short stories from the rig. Ahhh….
So the toing and froing from Yemen was reminiscent of that time in our lives; you know, before the four kids…. you know…
But two years was enough, the wells were drills and he finished up in mid-January. He just got out in the nick of time. The local office staff in Sana’a are now hard pressed and talking of leaving the city to seek refuge.
So, we’re all grateful that our Intn’l Man of Mystery is here with us safe and sound, part of the Sydney city commuter crawl once more.
Our big boys are undoubtedly happier and more settled with their Dad around most of the time. The little princess is ecstatic, and little prince too.
In lots of ways the rotation was probably better for he and I, just as us, but overall for the family, not so good. And for me myself, I found his time away tough, really tough… actually even tougher than that.
So just for today, here’s to having a man who is less international, though still totally mysterious to me.
Does your hubby (or wife) work away from home? Do you have any top tips on surviving yourself and helping your kids get through the absences?