FIFO & Motherhood: In Five minutes…


Twenty eight days ago I became a solo parent.

My amazing husband left.

And you’re probably thinking if he is so amazing why did he leave you?

Okay, so no he didn’t really leave me, and yes we are still crazily madly in love and happily married. But he physically left, for 4weeks, and left me alone with our 4year old and our 6month old.

He became one of those husbands. A FIFO husband. Me, I became a FIFO wife, and our kids, well they became FIFO children.

It has been an adventure. And one of the hugest learning experiences of my life. So here goes. BLOG TIME.

Day 28, its been pretty good. My child listened to me. Yes, I know. Listened. I can’t say the same for days 25-27, they were a bit of a write off. But today its been great. My child did something so truly innocently beautiful that It brought tears to my eyes, and made me wish that I hadn’t been so short with him on days 25-27, and had just tried to enjoy each moment a little bit more.

I find myself caught sometimes between being in that moment and documenting it as much as I can. But I love looking at those moments through my camera, I find myself noticing things I would otherwise not notice. Beautiful wrinkles on my kids cheeks as they try to do their biggest cheese, or tiny fingers curled together as my children hold hands, or the way I can capture the love my husband has for us in a single photo.

Today, day 28, I was able to do both.

So I’m hoping I’m not the only parent out there who more than once a day will say to their child, “I’ll be able to help you in a few minutes” or “In five minutes we’re leaving” or “five more minutes of television and then turn it off” (that’s a big one in my house)! Today however that got turned around on me. I have found that solo parenting is a juggling act, especially when you have more than one child, so my Mr Four gets the “In five minutes” line quite often.

Day 28 included a visit to family and a trip to the supermarket. After which I had on my hands, one very hungry Mr Four, and one very ‘hungry- due for a bottle -I’m going to scream like mental if you put me down’ Mr 6month old. This is where my juggling and the five minute line came in!

About 15minutes of complete chaos went a little something like this:

Screaming baby, hungry child, hot day, one mum. Attempt to get Mr Four & baby inside simultaneously, leave them for five minutes to scream and moan to get groceries out of a hot car. Dump food on ground, chuck an apple & bottle of water at Mr Four while holding Mr Baby and making a bottle.  By the end of which, Mr Four has had the “in five minutes” line  about 100 times. And then I sat down. In the quiet of the nursery, feeding the baby, while Mr Four watched Doc McStuffins.

A few minutes later I hear a little rustling, the fridge door opening, some cupboards closing and notice a little boy walking back and forth past the open nursery door. A moment I then captured.


The rustling then stopped, and I saw a little boy creep into his baby brothers room, and in his not so quiet whispering says ‘mummy is brother sleeping?, are you ok?’ after a quick ‘yes my son, I’m okay, i’ll be there soon” he whispers as he kisses his brothers head. “ok, I’ll come check on you in five minutes”. This beautiful sweet spirited child, had sensed the pressure of my flustered few minutes and had wanted to come to check on me. It was one of those moments which you wish you could stop time, and stay in forever.

Putting the baby down, walking into the dining room I see empty grocery bags strewn across the floor and a little boy with a beautiful smile waiting for me. He had put every single item from those bags away.  I felt a heavy heart, for allowing the pressure and stress of what was only a few minutes show so vividly to this little boy, but also such love and admiration for a child who was so proud of himself for this service he had just performed. After some kisses, cuddles & a bowl full of snacks, I knew this was a moment I wanted to capture. Those empty bags on the floor, and opening the fridge to find almost all the groceries piled on the lowest shelf, memories I would probably one day forget. Captured.


Tonight as I tucked in this precious little boy, who reminded me so clearly today how important it is to slow down, I thanked him for his help on this day, day 28. To which he replied.”It’s ok mummy, daddy asked me to look after you”. Tears welled up in my eyes as I realised the depth of love this little boy has for me as his mum, and how too often I forget. We all forget.

So tomorrow Day 29, is a new day, another chance to capture moments while being in them. But tonight as I said goodnight to Mr Four, and turned of his light, his little voice quietly said “mummy, can you come check on me in five minutes”.

To which I whispered.

Always Son. Always.

5 thoughts on “FIFO & Motherhood: In Five minutes…

  1. ;o) i loved reading every bit of your blog “in five minutes”. Mr four you definitly have a huge spirit and goodboy for looking after your mummy #fifosucks (sometimes)

  2. Definitely more tricky with girls. While I feel there was a big eipmashs in my house growing up on being thin and pretty (my Dad played professional baseball and unfortunately that mentality is rampant) my parents always encouraged my sister and I to be well-rounded. Looking back I almost feel like they encouraged mediocrity (ha!) but I don’t think they wanted us to be kind, friendly, athletic and to just try our best at whatever we did. Whatever the results, then that was okay with them. Maybe that was the best approach because my sister and I both got straight A’s and played year round varsity sports without feeling like we were going to disappoint my parents at any given moment.I have a 3 year old daughter and I probably took things to the extreme in the beginning. If my husband told our then 6 month old she was pretty, I would appear out of nowhere and say But more importantly, you’re smart and are good at sharing . I laugh at that now, but I don’t want her to grow up thinking that is her best trait and that if she’s not the prettiest in her class then she doesn’t have anything else to offer.Hey, Tonya. You’re smart, an amazing writer and very thoughtful mother And you’re pretty too. Ha! Had to sneak that in

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