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What is life like as a FIFO wife?

My partner has an opportunity to make some amazing money doing Fifo work.Money we could really use to get ahead. We are worried we wont be able to handle being away from each other. Do you get use to it? Any stories or advice would be great. We have 4 kids under 5 but I have a lot of family support at home.


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Answers (20)

We have been doing FIFO for a couple of years now, my husband was 2/1,3/1 and 4/1. The 4/1 is a bitch to get through, we are doing 2/1 now and it is working for us. He doesn't travel in his of time so we have him for a whole week to ourselves! He is wonderful when he is here and helps with the housework and garden as I refuse to do any garden work. It is really hard when they first start, the nights get really lonely so find a hobby (I read and watch movies/tv). Communication is very important even if it is just a text to say we are all well, kids are happy. I have stopped saying we miss you because that makes him feel like crap and vice versa. Keep your goal in mind - why are we doing this? Is it for a house paying of a loan etc. You both HAVE to be on the same page about why or there will be resentment from one of you. Good luck in your decision.

 Thank you this was very helpful.
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I'm a FIFO wife of 2 years on a 4:1 roster. It takes a very strong relationship to make it work. You both need to be honest and understanding of the other. I grew up in a fifo family so it wasn't such a shock for me that hubby was gone. The shock came when it came to how much you learn about yourself while he's away. You learn what you're capable of and what your weaknesses and strengths are.
If you go ahead with this, some helpful tips:
1- as hard as it is missing him, he has more people to miss
2- set a definite goal (eg we do this until we pay off X amount of dollars)
3- call and communicate as often as you can
4- be gentle the first day back home, he might need a moment to check back into home life. (this tip applies to the more intimate moments as well, for goodness sake buy lube! Lol)

I ama FIFO wife and have been for the past 3 years. Usually a 4;1 roster. We have two boys under 3. Prior to being a SAHM i was also fifo, sometimes with hubby and sometimes at different sites. I think if you get the opportunity to see where he works abd how he lives at work then do it. Because i have an understanding of his situation.
Honestly, I have my extremely lonely moments. My family is all in NZ.
It is frustrating at times knowing no one is coming home to break up the day and have adult conversation.
Communication is definitely important and making sure you understand each others expectations while away and when he is home.
You are lucky to have a lot of family support.
That will help.
Keep the end goal in mind.

 Also, sometimes I love that I don't have to consider another adult at the end of the day of demanding kids.
Just switching off and choosing the telly and only having eggs on toast for tea. Leaving the dishes until I can be bothered!

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 Im from a very large family so im surrounded by support. I do like the idea of having some me time. We have a very clear idea on what we want to achieve by doing this. Thank you for your answer.
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If your husband already has a stable, good paying job, don't do it. We tried FIFO and it was so hard, the kids needed their father as much as I did. He loved coming home but we all wanted 'a piece of him'. Look into how many days he has off, is he travelling on his 'off' days and is he flying home at the end of his shift. This means he could lose 2 'off' days travelling. Also check the taxes, we lost heaps in paying extra tax. End of the day, we didn't save any money, just took out a loan for a bigger car!!! If he is a hands on dad and you really need him around every day, i say don't do it. All the best, whatever you decide

 We are a very affectionate couple and very family orientated so this might not be for us. Thank you for your honesty.
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I've been a FIFO wife now for about two and a half years. We have one son and another on the way (hubby is due home two days before my due date). We started on a 4/1 roster which is not family friendly at all. We now have a 4/4 roster which is so much better. Communication and trust are needed to make a successful FIFO relationship work. It's bloody hard and both you and your partner miss out on so much. Having a goal in mind is also extremely important and reviewing your situation regularly will also help. We try to look at the positives that FIFO has offered us and it's not so much the money, it's the fact that he spends 4 full weeks at home with his family, which we find priceless. I will also add though, that the mining industry seems to be on a downturn at the moment and in this industry, it's very much last in-first out. So job security is something else you may want to consider. Good luck ;)

 At the moment he is working 10-14 hour days sometimes 6 days a week. If we do do this he is on 4/4 roster. I love the idea of getting him home for a month. I am also worried about the month he is gone but I think if I keep myself really busy and plan thing to get done before he returns it might help keep me sane. We have been glued together since our first date so we are worried about being apart for that long but hopefully we can keep each other sane by communicating a lot. Thank you for your answer.
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I have many friends and family memebers that are fifo families. The $ is not worth what you give up for it. I have seen alot of happy marriages break down. My friend is an onsite jp on a large site near perth and witnesses atleast 2 divorce paper signings a week. All the extra martial affairs and mine town girlfriends she tells me about would bring out any insecurities i didnt even know existed

 I trust my partner completely and I have heard cheating is a common thing. Im sure on the lonely nights it would play on my mind but hopefully he will be good a reassuring me. Thank you for your answer.
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people claim you get used to it but i don't think you ever do. Been a fifo wife for 2 years now and i hate it. The worst thing I find is the loneliness once the kids have gone to bed just try to keep yourself busy to overcome that. Skype is a wonderful thing for this lifestyle at least can see dad every day. just dont make the decision lightheartedly it will be hard on both of you.

 Thank you for your answer. Its scary how money can be so blinding tho. I do need to remind myself that he will be gone. we haven't spent much time apart in the last 6 years its so scary to even think about.
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I love it my Hubby did 3/1 and is about to start 4/1 . Has made our relationship stronger and the time he's home is quality time doing stuff as a family. We have a set time every night when he calls just before the kids bedtime so they can talk to daddy and say good night. We do video calls once a week.

 Oh and I also send photos everyday, just stuff the kids are doing whether its arts their making or if we go out and about...... also some xrated ones of myself just to spice things up when its getting close to fly out day 😉
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 He will be showing his work mates the x rated ones

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Not exactly the same situation, but my brother is a FIFO worker. He loses 2 days travelling at the start and finish of his time off. Then on his first full day home, he usually sleeps! On couch, or wherever, nanna naps frequently that day!! He has also missed out on a lot with his children. His daughter morphed into a teenager before he could blink, and he also missed her highschool graduation. His son is about to enter highschool next year, but he was barely around for his primary years. My brother also could not attend my wedding, or my little boys christening. So you need to factor in that there may be events and functions that you will have to attend solo. And with the $$ side of things, my brother and his family really are no better off. They just spend more, because they have more! They are comfortable, but definitely don't have anything amazing to show for it!

 If he his dad didn’t get good money his kids would be attending a feral public school
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Go for it. It is a fabulous life style especially if you have a good roster. Like any change there will be an adjustment period but if you both understand that there may be some bumps in the road it will make it easier to find your new normal. I have two children and my husband has worked FIFO international working in numerous countries around the world for the past ten years. I look forward to our kids being old enough to stay home by themselves so I can travel to hubby and have a holiday.

I am the other way around, I am FIFO and my partner works from home. From my end of living the FIFO life- I dont see married men cheat, or any of us girls hitting on the guys. I work immediately with 100 men and 5 women, and have been doing it for 5 years so far.

I have been a FIFO wife for 6 years with two kids (now 17 and 15). I work full time and my youngest has health issues. I have learnt to use my time at home wisely. I catch up with friends and spend time with my kids. The key is to be flexible, recognise you can't do it all. With enough notice my husband has always been home for major family events (graduations, school concerts etc) but he misses certain things. I have only had to call him off site once and that was when my grandmother died. I have done the midnight hospital runs and school meetings. House renovations, car breakdowns and natural disasters. Life happens. We do what we have to. I work in retail so sometimes my husband and I are a bit like ships that pass in the night when he is home but in our case absence does make the heart grow fonder. We have learnt how to manage our marriage and family by emails, texts and calls including the mundane random crap and funnies. It does get lonely on occasions but for the most part we are doing ok.

 Further on from this my husband is on a 5:2, 5:2, 7:7 roster. Many of the comments here ring true. I have actually gone back to saying I miss you because I found I was censoring my feelings to protect his. Missing him is good and he knows that now too. I know he would prefer to be home and he tells me every time he leaves he doesn't want to go. I find by having the regular contact with him on the day to day stuff he is better able to slot in when he gets home. We had issues in the beginning where our lives would obviously continue while he was away and he would come home and just override all of them. So we had a chat about that. Our lives don't stop. Each week we sit down and I ask him what he has planned for the week, and we meld everyone's in together so everyone gets their time. He doesn't travel in his off hours. First day he useless regardless, biggest thing we have now is that 6.30 maybe considered a sleep in to him but it sure as he'll isn't for me!!!
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Not FIFO but my husband is in the army. The money isn't as great as a mine job however the stability of it is what helped us. He has currently been gone for 2.5 months. It doesn't matter what you do, you will always live within your means. So like the other poster said, her brother is no better off because they just spend more. If you are wise with money then yeah but maybe not.

Fifo wife of 3 yrs and in the next 6 months hubby will give it up for a "normal" job. We had a little boy 3 months ago born 6 weeks preemie and very very small - he is home and doing sooooo well now THANK GOD - but not having him with me during a long hospital stay killed us both. He wasn't able to be there for the excitement of tubes coming out or our son coming home from hospital. I'm lucky and grateful my mum was able to move in with me to help out or I honestly don't think I would have coped.
The money is good, and we have been able to almost pay off our house, and I've been able to comfortably stay home with bub (and will be able to for a long time, which was the goal) we were planning on him doing this work for another yr or so, so when the family grows I once again can stay at home comfortably. He and I have both relised missing all this beautiful family time is not worth it for us, and like other ladies have said it's sooooooo bloody hard. Lucky he and I have always been good communicators and have been able to talk through what we both want and need ( he is actually the one who suggested he stop and would I mind if he did lol)
Do what works for you, until it doesn't and then re assese the situation. I always thought it wouldn't be that hard (I'm an army brat so have a bit of an idea of someone not always being at the dinner table) but circumstances change.
Good luck whatever you guys decide and like everyone has said communication is the key!!

 Thank you so much for your answer. This is to help us get ahead with 4 children his current job keeps us above water but that's about it. Im also a sahm and would love to continue being one. Money is our focus we want to get a house and pay off our loans. For him what he will do there he can do here its just a lot more money in the mines so once we get ahead he can come home and get work here. Im glad your baby is doing better. Xx
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My husband has worked FIFO the whole time we've been together, so it's all we know. It can be very hard. Communication is very important, and the odd naughty pic will keep him eager to come home to you!

 Bet the naughty pic has been shown to his workmates
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