Reliable, flexible, super-organised ... 10 reasons why mining wives/partners ROCK

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Hi! I'm Sarah Long. I arrived in Australia from the UK in early 2010 and met my Mr Miner soon after. We're based in Sydney and he does drive-in, drive-out (or DIDO) to Orange in country NSW. I came out here as part of a six-month backpacking trip around the world, and never went home!

I was having my usual whine about writer's block and not knowing what to write for my Mining Family Matters column, when Mr Miner suggested I write about why I’m so whingey and moany.

After giving him a look that could have turned him to stone, I considered his comment and decided that this month’s column was going to be overflowing with positivity and enthusiasm, without a moan in sight. Annoyingly, this didn't give me anything to write about (gosh, am I that negative?).

So I went to my favourite idea generator, the MiningFM forum. And that's where I found my inspiration for an uplifting end-of-year column – you guys!

So, here it is...

My list of top ten reasons why the mining wife/partner is such an amazing breed:

  1. We’re super-organised. Or should I say, you're super-organised. The number of women who are running a house, a job (or even a business) and bringing up children on their own for weeks or months at a time amazes me. I manage myself, my job, my writing, my house and tidying up after Mr Miner - just about!
  2. We can tackle any job. Blocked drains, furniture removal, bake sales, maths questions, giant huntsman/cockroach/moth infestation - when there’s nobody else around to get a job done, we make it happen! (Please note: chasing a huntsman with a huge can of hairspray while screaming still counts as "tackling it".
  3. We’re not needy. I don’t really like the term 'needy' because it’s a negative word used by unaffectionate men. It’s OK to need someone. It’s part of being in a relationship, a bit of give and take. What I mean by "not needy" is that we understand that our partners have to be away, and sometimes that means no communication too. We can cope without 10 texts and two phone calls a day. In fact we can pretty much cope with one phone call a week, as long as they tell us that they miss us like crazy when they do call.
  4. We’re flexible. Christmas in January? Anniversary a month late? Birthday before he goes back to work? We’ve all been there and would do it again a hundred times, because it’s not about the date, it’s about celebrating the occasion with the one you love.
  5. We’re the best homemakers. OK, so maybe it’s a two-hour scramble to make the place look presentable before he gets home, but as far as anyone else knows we’re the housewives from heaven!
  6. We’re supportive. When he’s been away for weeks, and work/the kids are driving you mad, this one can be a bit harder to deliver. But most of us have chosen to be in mining, and we’ve made the decision together. Whether it’s meeting them at the airport, cooking a nice meal the night before they leave, or letting them moan about the travel, we’ll be there.
  7. We’re resourceful. Moving around is all part and parcel of the mining lifestyle. So when it comes to moving house, making new friends, packing, unpacking and then doing it all over again, we manage without too much fuss and upset (or at least only one meltdown each time!)
  8. We’re capable. We can cope with most things: car breakdowns, power-cuts, sickness, 12 hours in the office and/or with screaming kids, all with nobody else there to cook us dinner or tuck us into bed at the end of the day.
  9. We’re brave. One of the most common questions I get asked is, "Are you OK in the house alone when Mr Miner’s away?" I will admit that sometimes I double check the front door’s locked before I go to bed, but I have friends who sleep with the light on every time their partner’s away. Can you imagine what our electricity bills would look like if we did that?!
  10. We’re happy in our own company. There are times when you stay up a little later because you don’t want to go to bed alone, or occasions when you don’t really want to go to a party on your own again, but for the most part we can quite happily entertain ourselves for a few weeks at a time.

OK, OK, I got carried away, but Number 11 on my 'top 10' list is important:

We’re damn sexy. Other women just don’t have the impetus to spend an hour in the bathroom, waxing, buffing, glossing and preening themselves before their other half comes home from work. And I know more than a few of you have admitted to the old lingerie-under-the-trench-coat move!

Some of these points might seem trivial, and many of them we do without thinking. But I think it’s important to occasionally take a moment, look at everything you do automatically, without a whinge or a moan in sight, and congratulate yourself.

Oh, and if you see a guy walking around Orange with a black eye, say hi to Mr Miner!

More from Sarah:

If you've got a question for Sarah or would like to tell your own tale about mining life, we'd love to hear from you. Click here!