How strong is strong. And by strong I do not mean physically, but a strong-able-to-cope way. How resiliant are we, our kids? What does it mean to be or have resiliance. A way of coping when things become hard to deal with. Can we learn this or is part of our genetic make up…?
Can a marriage survive if one half is working a 10hr plane flight away..?
Interesting questions I ask myself for probably only the second time ever – since I found out how string I was and how resiliant my kids (and I) are.
My husband and I talked breifly about this subject and the repercussions of certain things when he was accepted for a job that requires him to do FIFO (fly in, fly out) work from Tasmania to the north of Western Australia. A full day’s travel each way by plane.
We have been married nearly 17 years and have had our share of good and bad times – who hasn’t – but it wasn’t until we moved to Queensland after 10 yrs of marriage that we fully realised the strength our marriage has and what lies in each one of us. Our kids included. It was only a year (or less, I can’t remember exactly) of being there that he bagan working away from home. At first it was only 90 mins up the road, but he would be working up to 10 days and then seeing us for 2 or 3. Then it became an 8 hr drive and we saw him once a fortnight. Becoming a ‘single’ mum with 3 boys and no family for support made it hard. But, you know what, I never really ever thought about how hward it was too much. I just got on woth the job that I had to do. We would talk regulary and on occassion I would drive up with the boys to visit.
Then he decides he wants to go a little further… close to, say, around 2000kms away. Now to say I wasn’t happy is an understatement but we discussed the options and off he drove. this time round though, I was 10kms out of town, with NO CAR, 3 kids to mother and only 2 friends with cars I could borrow. Now, I hate to rely on other people, and just the fact of borrowing a car irked me no end. I may be a control freak but I like to be independant, and I in that way it wasn’t too a hard job to keep doing what I had to.
I wont say it was easy, by no means, but I had a job to do and I knuckled down and did it. There is no point complaining. The kids need me etc etc. Some days there was no phone reception and we couldn’t even talk, other days we could talk quite well. Some times the bad days just stayed that way… which made it really hard.
Six weeks later there abouts the call was made that the place was pretty good and we would be moving up – to Mount Isa.
So I just get down and do what I had to do. Plan a garage sale, organise storage, book the train trip, sort out the school plus all the many other bits that were needed to do. I had gained the strength to do what was required and in such a manner that I didn’t even realise that it was there.
By the time we ‘met’ again it had been just short of 3 months. Our kids showed great strength also in the way they conducted themselves over this period. Some kids may have become right little terrors, or disappeard ‘into’ themselves, but mine just plodded along and were my kids, doing all the things they normally did. They were even exceptionally well behaved on the day and half train trip from A to B. Maybe they do listen to us afterall!
Now that we have moved back our beloved Tassie it is about to start all over agian.
But, back to the resiliance and strength… we discussed that even just to 7, 10 years ago our marriage would not have survived. But the strength I have gained has been inciteful. I realise now that I can handle all sorts of situations and not break down or stress (too much) about what needs to be done. I may not be calm in all situations, but I am able to handle things now that would not have been possible before. In hindsight, I was brought up to become fairly resiliant and independant, but it took 30 odd years for me to realise this. My kids are happy that their father is travelling for work (in a good way, they love him dearly) but they have the knowledge that all is good and even if something happens, we can handle it together. I have seen glimpses, and know they have a strength that they have yet to realise. I know they can handle anything, they jsut have to realise it first.
How strong are you, could you or your marriage handle a situation like this. If you became a single parent? We do not need life threatening situations to find strength and resiliance. But a knowledge of dealing with the things we cannot change and those we can.
Til next time, keep smiling