Being a FIFO mum makes me stronger than ever

My princess and me

My princess and me

If there’s one experience in my life that I would consider one of the most difficult, most challenging and yet the most fulfilling it’s being a mum.

But not just any mum. I’m a new mum, with a four month old, and my husband works up north as a fly in, fly out worker (FIFO) so he flies out for a fortnight and then comes home for one week. Process, repeat, throughout the year.

And yes, I realise we chose this lifestyle so I’m not by any means looking for sympathy, and now that our little girl is here, we want to give everything we possibly can to her – new toys to further her development, save for her education, make sure she never goes hungry and is always clothed. The essentials, if you will, with a couple other debts that most people likely have, similarly.

Today, our princess hit a milestone. My husband flew out and what happened? My daughter and I were doing tummy time and she finally flipped from tummy to back for the first time.

And he missed it.

Living the FIFO lifestyle as a mum is essentially like being a single parent. My family and friends understand this and always offer to help – they realise that I’m with my baby 24/7 and I don’t get a husband coming home every night to take our child off me for even ten minutes to make dinner or do the dishes.

It’s harder to share her milestones and I feel like I want to be recording our daughter every single minute of every day (perhaps I should get a GoPro and stick it to my head…hmmmm…there’s an idea) so I can capture any of those specials achievements.

But it’s okay and I’ll tell you why.

I have discovered I’m a much stronger person than I originally thought I was and that I am capable of living on four hours of sleep. I’m raising a little person, for goodness sakes, and although at times I feel like it’s a job, it’s an incredible joy to know I am having such an impact on someone so small. That the unconditional love the two of us have between one another is something that no one will ever be able to break.

And even though my husband works away, the times he is home are absolute quality. He can take his daughter for hours at a time and play with her, take care of her, do fun activities with her. This week he really helped her with tummy time; last week, she was still screaming and not understanding the concept but with her daddy, they focused on that activity together and today, it paid off.

My little girl flipped!

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