Let me just start this post with a disclaimer:
I hold fly in fly out (FIFO) workers and partners in high regard. I know many incredibly beautiful families that make it work, and work to make it work, and have worked through the hard slog to make it work. They are the strongest, most resilient men and women I have come across. No, its not all rainbows and lollipops. But its a way of life chosen to build a future.
Its a way of life that hurts due to the distance, but strengthens due to the connection. I am in awe of those left at home, single parenting in their partners absence. I am in awe of those who leave their families in order to build a better future. I am in awe of anyone who steps up and does what needs to be done to create a future that benefits those who they love.
This is our story. It wont be sugar coated, it wont be romanticised, it wont be over exaggerated, it will be what it is.
Papa Hoot (PA) left yesterday. We spent over three weeks waiting for the finalising of flight details. It was hell. A head games/limbo kind of feeling. We didn’t make plans because we were afraid of getting our hopes up. We didn’t see many people because we were soaking up family time. It was lovely, but felt a little tainted.
PA would get incredibly frustrated. He would accept that we was going, say goodbye to the girls and then shut himself off. It was obvious that leaving them was going to break his heart. He went through this cycle about three times before he actually left. I was pushing any emotion that might pop up, right to the very back of my mind. This wasn’t about me.
If it would break his heart, why did he want to go? Because of the type of work he wanted to do. It was an opportunity to use all the extra courses he had done, work in an environment he was trained for and because he wants to give the girls everything. Because he’s bloody amazing.
Back to yesterday.
When the last three weeks had dragged, it was a shock that yesterday flew by. When we got to the airport PA got a bit shaky as he was tagging his bags. I could hear it in his voice, I could see it in his eyes, and his body language was shouting ‘this is hard’. So I took a deep breath, smiled, and put the tags on for him.
When it was time for him to get on the plane, I had to hold back my tears and breathe a little deeper. PA had glassy eyes before he had even said a word. As he said goodbye to Tornado she lost it. Known for being a ‘mummies girl’ she said to him ‘I no want you to go, I just want you daddy’ and burst into tears as she tried to throw herself at him.
Yeah it sucked. But deep down, he needed to know that she would miss him, and that him leaving was a big deal to her. He choked back tears, said goodbye to Lott-monster and I and then lined up for his flight.
Tornado calmed down shortly after and was fine, mostly because she could see the plane take off. Lott-monster was oblivious to everything and just keep eating. Kids are fickle. I’m never really prepared for their reactions.
We went to a friends house straight after for dinner and thankfully that kept us busy enough not to feel sorry for ourselves for too long. It was only after we were home and the girls were in bed that it really sunk in and I let myself sook.
I don’t want anyone’s pity or sympathy. This is a choice. Yes it will be hard, but most changes are. Yes there will be struggles, but who doesn’t have struggles? It’s going to be hard on PA who is the most loving, hands on dad you could ever imagine. And it’s going to be hard for me to do all the parenting while trying not lose my mind. BUT, its only going to be hard if we let it be hard. I’m a glass half full kind of girl. You are only ever given what you can handle. So we got this!
To the FIFO families I know, and to those I do not know- you rock and I will follow your lead.
Much love peeps