50% of you wonder how on earth we do it and the other half can totally relate. Being a FIFO wife isn't for everyone and certainly comes with many challenges (the obvious one is beginning apart from each other). The most common question I get is "what is it like when he is away?" But no one ever asks "what happens when he comes home?"
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the FIFO life but like anything there are pros and cons to every situation. The biggest challenge we face is routine.
Routine? Yes. That is correct. They say it takes 21 days to break/or make a habit. But what if you only have 18 days? Mr Winniedot's roster is 21 days on, 18 days off. Can you see where I am going with this?
21 days apart. 21 days of just Winslow and me. 21 days of our routine. 21 days make a habit...
The day Mr Winniedot arrives home is still the best day. I get butterflies as I get ready for his arrival - it's true when they say distance makes the heart grow fonder. Generally the first day is wasted by sitting around, chatting, cuddling our tiny human and just simply being in each others company. But life does not stop. There are still chores, appointments, orders and Winslow's daily eat, sleep, play routine.
For 21 days I do this on my own. It is now a habit. The skill of juggling and multitasking come so easily but once Mr Winniedot comes home, that routine changes.
It took me a few stints to realise that although it was a change to our routine it is an even bigger change to his. I admit I'd get frustrated when he didn't know that at certain times certain things happened... I just expected him to know the routine. To know that her morning sleep is 9am-11am and that story time comes after we have a bath. I expected him to know that I breastfeed in the morning and night, and bottle feed during the day. I expected him to know that she likes her food a little hotter and that before leaving the house to always check the nappy bag.
One day it just clicked. I realised he needed to learn all those things for himself, just like I did. The first 5 days home he does just that. Learns all Winslow's new ticks, likes, dislikes. We get into the groove of having daddy home. Another set of hands. More attention. Company. He is such a great dad. Changing nappies, feeding, dressing, playing, swimming lessons- you name it and he is there. And as the 18th day approaches and the new routine for our little family is starting to settle in - it's time to say goodbye. (Insert tears, sobbing, tissues, chocolate and titanic theme music)
And just like that, we are back trying to settle into the old/new/old routine again. It's a vicious cycle but one that is so rewarding at the same time.