1. The car will only ever break down, get a flat tyre or run out of rego while your FIFO man is away. Ditto for cyclone warnings and power outages.
2. Your six-month-old baby has better facial recognition for the Parcel Post guy.
3. The key to survival is to be the Queen of Routine. When he’s gone, everything runs like clockwork and the kids are in bed by 7pm.
4. Your children learnt to count backwards using the ‘sleeps until dad’s home’ technique.
5. Positive affirmations really help during tough times – your favourite one goes: “Just think of the money. Think of the money…”
6. When your kids’ do Show & Tell about dad’s work, their classmates are in total awe.
7. The FIFO life is hard on your marriage, but great for your sex life. #keepingitfresh
8. You’ve lied to your kids about when it’s their birthday so dad could be home for it. Hell, one year you even moved Christmas!
9. Online shopping? You may have tried it once or twice. (Refer to point 2).
10. When he first gets home, he’s in holiday mode – he’s pouring you a wine at 11am on a Wednesday and the kids aren’t in bed until 9pm.
11. You both know the Golden Rule: if a phone call ends in a fight, you have to sort it out before he starts his next shift.
12. Baby’s first steps and first words will always happen while daddy’s home… Wink, wink! First teeth are harder to bluff.
13. You and your FIFO girlfriends argue about which roster works the best. 1:1 – kinda makes your head spin. 2:1 – now that’s civilised. 3:1 – y’all be cashed up. 4:1 – you’re a broken woman.
14. If he’s working contract to contract, you can Never. Plan. Anything.
15. For a long time, your kids thought their dad worked at the airport.
16. At least once every swing you will have a big old ‘ugly cry’ in the shower… so the kids don’t hear.
17. When solo parenting, you need to stay alert while keeping stress to a minimum. Low-alcohol wine is a perfectly acceptable way to cope with witching hour. #motherslittlehelper
18. You literally hear his heart breaking when the kids refuse to come to the phone.
19. You’ve learnt NOT to hand him a to-do list as soon as he walks through the door. It’s much more effective to stick it on the fridge at beer height.
20. He wants to give up the FIFO life but that would mean going back to ‘normal people’ money. Naah!
21. Your kids refuse to sleep without their FIFO Dad Dolls. You kinda wish you’d ordered one for yourself. #wishuwereheredolls
22. You send him daily pictures and videos of anything and everything – nothing is too mundane, he loves it all.
23. Grandmas and girlfriends are angels sent from heaven. You couldn’t do it without them. Amen.
24. One day you have the sad realisation that life actually feels more ‘normal’ when he’s at work. Not better, just more normal.
25. He’s convinced that while he’s away, your life is super-exciting. Yes, darling, it’s a non-stop, social whirl of toddler tea parties, nappies, nose bleeds and skid marks!