A Blog by Katie Leckner
What It’s Really Like To Be An “Oilfield Family”
I’m trying really really hard these days not to resent my husband of 6 years, the father of my children, my better half.
He works in the oilfield and has for 4 years now. I understand and very much appreciate how hard he works, away from his family and all he knows, to provide for me and our three munchkins. He is truly selfless and works harder than any other young man I have encountered in my days. He is the only one responsible for our entire financial well being. That’s a heavy weight to carry, and like I said, I am always quick to let him know how much the kids and I appreciate all he does for our family. Buuuuuut….. I hate to say that I resent him for being gone 50% of the time.
I never knew what “oilfield wife” truly meant until I had to be one.It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I am mom, dad, disciplinarian, cook, maid, chauffeur, nurse, book keeper, scheduler, tutor etc. I love my kids with all I am, but a part of me still wishes I “got to leave” like he does. He views it as “has to leave”. That’s where the resenting one another comes in.
He doesn’t place enough value on my job as a stay at home mother of 3 holding down the fort alone. It seems every time there is a crisis, he is either gone or heading out the door. And then I’m left to pick up the pieces and tackle the crisis’ all while caring for a home, 3 children, yard, vehicles. I realize that every time our kids give me a hard time, or there’s decisions to be
made mutually — but can’t be, or I’m up to my neck in dirty laundry with three screaming kids who need to be fed three times a day, every day, that he’s the first person I blame. I blame him simply because he is not physically present in that moment, the moments when I feel like running away screaming and crave adult interaction in the worst possible way.
I feel like a single parent, and that was never my, or our intention.
I’ve even given him ultimatums, for the past two years! I tell him to choose his family or his career because I can’t handle being the backbone of our family anymore. He listens to my rants, and nothing changes. In all reality, I pay the bills and know damn well we couldn’t make it even if we both had full time local jobs. Once you start making more money, you start spending more money.
Now I feel like we are trapped and like there is no light at the end.But I know that I’d much rather have my family together under one roof, even if that roof is cardboard, then to be able to love comfortably. He has too much pride to allow that to happen. He feels that if he can’t sufficiently provide for his family, that he is nothing as as man, just a failure. I commend his morals and work ethic, oh do I ever, but something has got to give. Compromise is key, as well as communication and it’s time to make some life changing decisions, mutually.
For richer or poorer. And we are about to be poor, if I get my way.