parent opinion

"We are not rich." 6 misconceptions people have about being a FIFO mum.

I'm Rebecca, I'm also known as the Fifo Mum.

I'm a 27-year-old mum to three beautiful children - six, five and three years old.

I work full time in Real Estate.

I'm married to the kindest, most patient, and hardworking man I know, Jake.

We are like any other family, the difference is, my husband flies to work. We live in Tasmania and he flies to NT to work.

His swing is currently 2:1. Meaning he works two weeks straight, then returns to us for a week.

Let me address some of the most common Fifo assumptions Fifo Families hear:

"We are rich." 

Couldn't be further from the truth. There's no denying there is more financial gain working in the mines. BUT the unspoken truth - by the time you pay taxes, for some including us - flights and if you're even luckier, your income estimate will be so high you'll pay four figure day-care bills a fortnight. 

Let's definitely not touch on the hours they work, the sleep and events they miss, the hours or even days they spend travelling to and form to earn that well-deserved pay check.

"The 'at homer' does sweet F all."

I've received so many comments or messages assuming I make Jake work in the mines while I spend his lovely pay check on whatever I like. I, like many other partners at home, still work full time. I know, I know, crazy!

I work full time, I raise three beautiful children, do school and day-care drop-offs and pickups, I continue to run the house, bills, appointments, events. Even if you don't work - The list will quite literally never end and I can guarantee you - our partners will be home for a week or two with no bumps, the second they go, something ALWAYS happens.

"We have hot steamy reunions‍."

Most times Jake comes home, we are at work and school/day-care. We'll come home and he'll be there waiting at the door or in the driveway eager to see us. There's normally excitement for just about seven minutes, then it's straight back into "Did you grab milk?" "Did you get something out for tea?". Or my favourite, "Great, you're on bath duty tonight!".


On This Glorious Mess, Holly Wainwright speaks to a defence wife about life with kids when you're constantly relocating. Post continues below.

"We have solid routines."

When hubby is away, my house is like clockwork. I have alarms for everything. I have five alarms in the morning so I know what to do and when to avoid being late for work and school. I have a strict routine, right down to what I clean and do on a certain day. And my house is spotless. Jake arrives home and it's GOODBYE ROUTINE.

It always goes out of the window. My bedroom looks like a bomb hit from his bags, kids never go to bed on time, I clean half of what I normally do. But that's weirdly the best part, it all takes a back seat so we can really enjoy each other.

"Workers live it up on their time off." 

The lack of belonging in your hometown means you can’t do things like commit to coach a sporting team or ongoing hobbies. And, of course, your workmates actually live all over Australia and it’s sometimes harder to make connections with people locally when you’re away so much. 

Your hometown friends don't generally want to have sink beers on a 'school night'. Most of the time it's spent doing overdue maintenance at home, assisting at home and a much-needed sleep in.

"'At homers' are independent and don't miss their partners."

This one kills me, it's as if outsiders consider the 'at homers' to be independet goddesses who don't need their man and actually prefer they work away. It couldn't be further from the truth.

We don't miss our men any less because they go frequently. For me, some swings go quicker and before I know it, he's home in time for all my online packages to arrive. Other times, I'm cursing the clock wondering when he's coming home three hours after he's walked out the door.

Are you a FIFO parent? Let us know your experience in the comments below. 

For more from Rebecca, follow The Fifo Mum. on Facebook. 

Feature Image: Supplied.