Grateful My Husband is Here Not There

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?


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Posted on: June 10, 2011


  • Enjoy:)

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    Oh I feel for you. I can’t imagine being without my hubby for so long, challenging. Enjoy your time now.

    • Reply June 11, 2011


      Yes, we all are happier with him home… I couldn’t believe how deep in my guts the relief was when he stopped that rotation.

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    Ah, distance makes the heart grow fonder. But for little people it’s all too much, isn’t it? Three-year-old Ella struggles even on nights when her Daddy has to go to meetings. I can’t imagine what it would be like for weeks on end. Enjoy your time together!!

    • Reply June 11, 2011


      I think it’s particularly hard for little girls, or perhaps they just express it more than the boys do. The boys acted it out more probably- poor lads.

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    I love the “International Man of Mystery” title that you’ve given hubby. It makes it sound so exciting! How exciting that he’ll be around more xxx

    • Reply June 11, 2011


      Yes, it’s a bloody good thing to have him here… and he’s not even keen on travelling… whereas I….

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    As I have said many a time Seana: I don’t know how you do it all. HH used to go away for weeks on end – filming in remote countries, jungles and often incommunicado. It was hell. Once he was away for 7 weeks on a boat. He bleached his hair, got such a suntan and lost so much weight (they only had fish and he doesn’t eat fish) that didn’t I even recognise him at the airport! He walked straight past me! It was around then that we started to talk about doing life a bit differently and moving to the B&B! xx see you

    • Reply June 11, 2011


      Maybe it’s time for us to move south too… I do like the idea more and more as we get older. See you there soon.

  • Reply June 11, 2011

    fairchild street

    Lovely to meet you. Yes kids need their dad around. Thanks for sharing your story. Charmaine

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    That is tremendous hard work for you to keep it all together. It is great things are changing and I hope it’s easy for everyone to slot right back into the routine again.

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    I don’t know how you LAT (Living Apart Together) couples survive. I have a heart attack if my husband is an hour late from work! Mine you, he works six days a week, so there isn’t much ‘family time’ but he is here to help with the crazies in the evenings and that means everything! SO glad that you are together again FT. x

    • Reply June 15, 2011


      Six days a week – shockers! That’s tough for you and the kids… err… and him too!

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    I love that he used to send you Tim Winton short stories – so romantic. Nice that now you get to be close to him full time though. Your husband, not Tim Winton! Gill xo

  • Reply June 11, 2011


    Hi Seana,
    First time visitor and new follower here from Maxabellas. My partner work in the oil industry too, currently in and out of PNG. You are spot on. It was good for us, but not good as a family. We all find it very challenging in so many ways. I can’t see that it’s going to change for us, I just have to accept that it how it is.
    I don’t know many people who live this kind of lifestyle. Your post sums it up perfectly.
    Take care, Lee

    • Reply June 15, 2011


      Great to meet another rotation widow, will come and visit your blog and say g’day there too!

  • Reply June 12, 2011


    My husband used to work 4 on 4 off (12 hour shifts, 2 days, 2 nights) and it worked so well for us. He was home for a block then just when he was beginning to drive me nuts he’d go back to work LOL Recently he had to stop doing that (due to health) and he’s back to a normal 5 day a week schedule.. it’s taken some getting used to but there are lots of good things about the change too.
    I’m glad your partner is home safe with you all, and it sounds like you are all embracing the change to the fullest too.

  • Reply June 16, 2011


    I hear you. My husband often works away and spent a considerable part of last year on various travels. This year a job change has seen him home far more and it has made an enormous and positive difference to our family dynamic.

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