Missing big events: Tips to make it easier

18 September 2020 , Posted by Rachel Bate & Julie Loveny

It’s never a good feeling to see your work roster and realise it clashes with a birthday, a school carnival or a special event. Families must consider 4 terms a year worth of school events alongside the often highly anticipated birthdays and Christmases, which may leave you to feel like you’re missing out if you can’t be there. It is an unfortunate aspect of this type of work that you can’t be around every day, but there are ways to make things easier when you must miss a milestone or a life event.

– If you must miss a milestone such as a performance, a school/sports carnival or a graduation, work together with your partner to make a big deal either over skype or once you return from work. Have a ‘regaling’ inclusive of pictures/videos as much as possible, and maybe even have your own celebration once you’re back home.

– Set aside time to plan ahead for annual events such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays such as Christmas with your partner. If your little ones know ahead of time that their birthday celebration may be in the weeks before/after then they have time to adjust as well.

– Try to organise to call, or if possible video call, if you are rostered during an important event. Plan the time of the call in advance to not add extra stress, but by doing this you can experience the emotions of the day first hand.

– There’s nothing saying you must celebrate an event on the exact date, such as Father’s and Mother’s day, but if you do want to add something special to a day you find important, consider sending or giving your FIFO partner a care package to open on the day. And for your family, you can put or even hide gifts or cards around the house

– Spoil yourself a little. It’s tough to be away at times, so take some of your favourite food or drink with you and create your own celebration.

– Try to connect to others on-site. Chances are many of them will be going through a similar circumstance with their families especially during holiday periods. Families at home can also surround themselves with people who understand what they are going through.

There are many ways to improve your mood when you must miss a milestone or a celebration, and it may take time but it is important to find what works for you and your family. Most importantly, remember to be kind to yourself.