So, you’re married to an oilfield man! Days on … hitch … Whatever you call your husband’s time away, chances are he’s going to be gone a lot. At home, your job is to be both mom and dad much of the time, and these duties include the practical stuff. It may not be glamorous, but a certain sense of order has saved this family a lot of headaches. I’d like to share a short series on tips for keeping your oilfield household running smoothly; this post will focus on the day-to-day running of your home sweet home.
- Get yourself on a cleaning schedule. I’ve assigned certain tasks to days of the week. I miss days here and there, but no matter — that task gets done the following week, or on my catch-up day (usually Saturday). This breaks up the cleaning, and makes it seem less overwhelming. If you have kids, even better! Assign them regular, age-appropriate chores. An oilfield home runs most smoothly with all “hands” pitching in!
- Know how to change your furnace filter, and what type of filter it takes. Had I known how to do this before last year, I could’ve saved us a $50 technician visit! Not to mention a few poorly muffled chuckles on the part of the tech. Oops.
- Batteries, tools, flashlights, and extra light bulbs should all be kept in an assigned place.
- Know how to use your fireplace, and keep it clean and ventilated, if you have one.
- Know where your electric panel / fuse box is, and how to work breaker switches.
- If you have children or pets, write out care plans, in case something happens to you. If your kids are school-age, make sure someone else is able to pick them up, in case of emergency.
- Make sure your car is getting the regular maintenance it needs!
- Give your husband, close family and friends a neighbor’s number. If not a neighbor, the number of someone nearby who can check on you if you suddenly become unreachable.
- Keep a list of trustworthy repair services to call when something breaks. If you don’t have a large emergency fund, consider a home warranty.
- Have a list of key phone numbers visible in your home. The babysitter, immediate family, pediatrician or family doctor, a close friend, poison control, the local police. Most of us keep these numbers in our cell phones, but it’s always a good idea to have them somewhere else, too!
What basic household maintenance has saved you money or grief? Help us add to this list, by sharing in the comments below!
Katie lives in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado, where she raises her sweet daughter, Maile, who will be 2 in the spring! Katie has been married to the love of her life for going on 6 years; every one of those years as a roughneck wife. The family also includes two spaniels, and a very persnickety old cat. Katie spends most of her time reading books with her little one, going down the slide at the park 10,000 times, painting and playing pretend, and dreaming of growing all her own food. You can also find her at her family lifestyle blog, Standpipe and Sprinkles.