The Fly In Fly Out (FIFO) lifestyle can be difficult, and I understand that in today's economic climate some have no choice but to take on a FIFO job.
Over the more than 30 years of clinical practice, I have worked with many FIFO workers and their partners/families. They have shared with me the difficulties they experience each swing in slotting back into family life and then having to leave their families and return to work.
Some report feeling disconnected being so far away for so much of their children's and families lives, and relatively helpless in trying to be more involved. Financial pressures, partners not understanding how tough FIFO work actually is, the travel back and forth and maintaining an interrupted, long-distance relationships can all be a ticking time bomb. However, with understanding and support, you will find it easier to do. I am here to help you make it work.
Long distance relationships are tough, and the FIFO lifestyle often amplifies relationship problems. Issues usually talked through and resolved together, are decided by one side, making the other half feel neglected or voiceless. So, it's important that while on site, partners check in with each other regularly to remain in touch and up to date with each other’s lives. Regular and open communication needs to be a priority.
When returning home, it can often take a few days for your partner and kids to adjust to you being back in their lives. Sometimes, it may feel like you're not important, invisible and not being heard; This feeling is normal, and I can help with changing the way you feel and making sure you are seen and heard.
Jealousy over the imagined 'easy life' of your partner, while you're working hard, is often a problem. It is dangerous to think that your partner has it easier than you. As a FIFO worker, your partner is the “single parent”. Busy with work, kids, school and sporting commitments, managing a household and maintaining contact with friends and family all on her own.
If you're the person who stays home, showing appreciation for your partner working to secure your family's financial future is important; Showing empathy for missing out on milestones and significant life events; Understanding the work is tiring, often in shifts, in extreme conditions over long hours with extended commutes.
Take a moment to stand in your partners' shoes and tell them how thankful you are for all they do. Fostering an appreciation for the role that each other performs is key.
I can help you to put the words to how you are feeling, to communicate them to your partner and work on strengthening your trust and love for one another while you are apart.
I am here to help.