Spending only five months of the year with the person who you're supposed to share everything with, the person you look up to and the only person who can cheer you up after a bad day is not easy.
The hardest times are when something huge is going on. Like having a new baby. A time that a 'normal' couple expect to share together, a time that is equally as emotional and life changing for Daddy as it is for Mummy, only Daddy can't be there. He has to leave again.
It's not easy for me, a full time working mum of two boys, but neither is it easy for the children. Just as soon as they're used to having Daddy home, he's back off to work again - for weeks or months at a time. They miss his bedtime hugs, something FaceTime can't replace. We feel most for Daddy though. We're together, whilst he's stuck on a ship, miles out into the ocean. No family, no home comforts, the same faces of the same colleagues, living on top of each other day in - day out. 28 days in a row. No wife. No kids. No love. No affection.
People often say to me "you must be loaded though, so I'm sure it's worth it" when in reality, as a wife of an oil worker, I would prefer that my husband earned a bit less and spent a bit more time at home watching our children grow alongside me. Who wouldn't?
Each time I wake up on the morning of him returning home, I get the familiar excited butterflies feeling which only grows as I get closer to the airport. No matter how many years go by, I find that I'm always excited to see his gorgeous smile again, in the flesh rather than in the photo on my living room wall. So happy to see my two boys reunited with their daddy and see the love radiate between the three of them. Life is normal.
25 days later and our little family is separated again.
My worry for him making that long journey returns. Plane, then helicopter, then boat. We all know the risks involved in this industry; we've all read the news stories. There's not a month that goes by where I don't have that sickly feeling deep down until I've heard from him again. I'll often have to gently tell our young children, "remember, Daddy has gone back to work" and their faces will drop. It hurts, but I pick myself up and the countdown starts again. Yes he may earn a bit more than the average job, but it's not all that. Believe me.
On the plus side, when my husband is home, life naturally gets much easier. He helps with everything. The pressure is well and truly lifted and we life the perfect little life for 25 sweet days at a time. The children spend much needed quality time with him - who'd have thought being dropped off at school by your Daddy could be so exciting?!
We cherish our time together day and night. We don't spoil our boys by any means. We just want to make happy family memories for them. We want them to remember their childhood for all of the fun things we did together, not the fact that Daddy worked away so much.
The release of Deepwater Horizon will give a much needed insight into the lives of oil workers and the families they leave behind. It's a difficult lifestyle that is often overlooked and underestimated, and I am sure many people will have their eyes opened as to the risks faced and the worries lived with on a daily basis. I take my hat off to any family where a parent works away for an extended length of time. We may have a beautifully unique relationship set up, but it comes with colossal sacrifices too.
Deepwater Horizon is in cinemas now
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