From September 2018, my Husband Euan began a new career opportunity and change was coming, while I’ve been used to having him at home with me at all times, this was all about to change merely weeks after we wed, he was going to begin to do work offshore; ad hoc work but this still meant getting to grips with a new normal. Longer shifts, later nights and earlier starts; oh and not to mention moving back into my Parents home with Eleanor and Fern while he spends time away from home.
Every twenty somethings idea of hell, right? Moving back home after being moved out for years. It’s not that I dislike being with my immediate family or spending time at my parents but to have to move in and live under a whole different household and set of rules when you are used to your own ways and routine while trying to raise and discipline your baby your way.
Well, it’s tough and if I’m honest it breaks me down a little as I feel like I dont have it together as I should and I worry that I’m not providing my Daughter with any form of stability. I feel guilty for confusing her with having two homes and continuing to have change all around her. I am sure so many of you can relate, perhaps not with the whole moving between two homes gig but with having partners working away from home while you raise a young family?
I won’t lie, the prospect of a new career and the opportunity that it could bring to my Husband made the job too good to pass on, he was stuck in a job he had no interest for and desperate to track down something new to challenge his development on a personal and professional level. When invited to join a new work force after a hefty interview it was a no brainer really, the only problem was that some of the work was offshore. A whole different kettle of fish.
This meant that life as we had known it would change. Longer shifts, a change in routine for everyone and the need to move into my parents during trips away. There is no reason as to why I couldn’t stay at our family home but having to be a working Mum, tend to a dog and our Daughter would be too much work single handed, especially with having no help at home other then the support of my Husband when he is around.
The idea of trying to get the whole morning routine done and dusted alone, run around to and from childcare, make work in good time then rush home to see to meal times, bath times and bed times while working and having to care for a dog who needs excercised efficiency was just deemed too much for one person to handle.
I mean, I could manage but it would leave little alone time and the stress of being isolated and so full on would be unhealthy for me, especially with underlying health problems and being socially anxious. It is upsetting enough to me that just after a few weeks of marriage life was to change all over again and I had little choice but to adapt and find a new normal.
You may laugh, I’m aware that this situation and ability to adapt may come easy for some but as I have always been around Euan, every single day and have a small child,I can say that I don’t cope being alone too well and that the idea of change and an upheave of routine does bring me a deal of sadness and torment. My idea of marriage life was a lot different to my reality that is now the norm. A phonecall every other night from my Husband in the middle of the North sea wasn’t really on the agenda if I’m honest but here we are and here I am struggling to manage with little contact and such brief conversation.
Offshore work Is not something I will ever get used to and each time my Husband leaves I have a heavy heart. I worry about safety,the flights and the work load that has to be carried out. It breaks my wee heart when my baby goes to bed shouting out for “Daaa-Da” or wakes and hunts under the pillows for him? Hanging up after calls and realising that I’m alone and being alone on weekends, going to bed after a stressful day without Euan to cuddle or talk with is hard for me.
I’m only human and I can’t do it all as much as I wish I could, I raise my hand and can say I need help from time to time. We established that when Euan leaves for work when required, Eleanor and I ship ourselves off to my parents house. It’s a ten minute drive, next to the nursery and there are several busses I can take.to my work. I have someone there at all times who I can rely on to care for Eleanor when I have to leave early and if I don’t get home in good time. It offers me some companionship and a safe haven almost. At my parents we can wind down, enjoy a little extra space and I can take a bubble bath while Eleanor plays happily with her Aunt or Grandmother.
On my days off and weekends we take trips to the local store and the park, there’s not a lot to do and with the weeks being such a crazy rush, missing Euan and feeling exhausted there’s not really a lot that I feel up to doing in honesty. It’s not the same while you are in your own company and I do get lonely and upset I suppose but I take solace in the fact that we are in good company and there is always a good spread of food to ease the burden of tough days and lonely nights.
The night before Euan leaves for offshore is always crazy busy, we pack to change homes and I have to ensure all the washing, dishes, the home is left in good order and tidy so that when we move back home (this sounds crazy) it is a plesant environment to return to with little chores required other than the abundance of washing..uhhh. Honestly, the iron pile gives me the fear and I don’t do the ironing in our household.
As if having my Husband leave was bad enough, the preparation and build up to his leaving is real hard going g for me and I do stress to get things sorted and completed in good time. The packing and going between two homes is absolutely crazy but until we can have a home of our own and gain some form of stability this is the only option for us right now, or at least the only option that doesn’t involve any extra work.
Though still very new, I don’t think that I will ever get this right or ever be able to grasp having my Husband leaving to work away from home. There’s so much worry that comes when he leaves and to have his help with the little things such as bath time be taken away is really hard. I now bathe my baby at my mum’s in the bath tub with I shower at the same time and have to weigh up who needs to get dry first as she cries and tries to throw herself out of the bath to reach me.
Or get this, having to head to bed at 7pm and be confined to the bedroom as I can’t leave Eleanor alone yet she requires a bed time of around 7pm. At home I’d put her into her cot bed and know she was safe, but at my parents we have a single bed to share and I can’t leave the room for worry she will roll out or wake when I’m gone, even running to the loo in the middle of the night is a risk. I can’t exactly wake my sister from her bed to watch my Daughter while I take a wee.
The challenges are endless and I feel alone most of the time, especially being limited to times that I can talk to Euan on the phone and having to go to bed at 7pm most nights and be subject to the one room with no television, company or much to entertain myself. My situation is so difficult on me just now and I realise that not every Wife of an offshore Husband has this runaround. This situation is very much my own and certainly not how I pictured my married life to start off.
I am learning and I am growing but I’m still fragile with all of this and I can only hope that it is all worthy of a good cause and helps my Husband get where he wants to be with his career and also help us to have the financial boost needed to enjoy a holiday , save for a family home and have some little luxuries now and again. Right now, this all just feels like a bit of a black hole and I feel lost in honesty.
I don’t know if I am fulfilling my role as a Wife, a Mother – especially when I’m so pushed in so many ways and I certainly am not able to fulfill any career potential due to not being flexible right now with working part time. I don’t feel like a home will ever be in our depth. I feel like I’m kind of losing at everything all while not always having my Husband around to talk with properly or have the extra support at home from.
Ask me again how I’m adapting to life as a Wife of an offshore Husband.. I’m not but I’m doing the best that I can. Anyone else struggle with a partner who spends time away from home on a regular basis? Anyone raising a young family alone while working? I’d love to hear from you and how or if you cope. What coping mechanisms you have for holding it together even on the bad days? I am going to try work on more yoga and writing as I feel this really helps take my mind.off all that goes on in my head and pining for the old life we had when Euan worked at home. It’s so easy to take it all for granted until one day it’s gone.
Anyway, now that I’ve blabbed my way through my mind, I best be off, I’m back to work tomorrow after the Christmas holidays and you’ve guessed it, I’m moving up to Mum’s with my life thrown into three plastic carriers.God help me.
Here we go again..