FIFO Dads – Not just babysitters

Sitting in the emergency room with our sick 3 year old, I watched as a man came running in with pockets full of water bottles and a spray bottle announcing proudly that he needed to please be let back into the hospital because his wife was inside in labour. I was reminded of the important role that my husband plays in our children’s lives along with the poor choice of words that stung him and I, spoken by a stranger in a supermarket.

“How lovely of you to babysit your daughter”, said the stranger in a supermarket. Of course my quick witted husband had a polite comeback (one of his many admirable qualities). It is something we discuss often; the poor press that Dads get of being babysitters and how FIFO dads have it easy missing out on the messy parts of parenting.

Here is where I let you in on a secret….. Mr T + T does messy better than me, in fact he is the master of it. If our children have ever wanted to jump in muddy puddles or make a giant painting using your hands and feet that results in a giant mess, he has always been happy to say yes.

From my years of being a FIFO Wife I have learnt that:
• FIFO dads miss all parts of family
life including the mess.
• It is important for Dads to be
involved in parenting decisions while
they are away and at home.
Communicate – Snapchat,
Skype, Facetime, text, send photos and
talk on the phone. Keeping connected
is important to everyone’s mindset.
• Don’t waste hours on FIFO sites where
it is all about people bitching about
how crappy their partners are as Dads.
You will only find yourself sucked
into the negative vortex.
• Step back and give your partner space
to parent and be involved in the daily
jobs when they are on rostered time
home. Understand that they will more
than likely do things differently to
you.

Parenting is a rollercoaster ride and Dads need to hear that they are doing a good job just as much as Mums do.