Why FIFO works for (many) families

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We hear lots of negatives about FIFO living, but in reality it works for many Australian families. On the Mining Family Matters Facebook page, we asked why - and received an almost overwhelmingly positive response...

"For us, the time Dad has off is a good quality chunk of time, rather than half an hour at night when the kids are on their way to bed. Nice holidays! Also when Dad's home he can take part in their school lives."
- Rochelle

"Having someone to miss can be good for a relationship. You appreciate them more. You look forward to them coming home and you're not in each others hair all the time getting annoyed with each other. And when they're home it gives a new meaning to quality time. You milk every second of that time with them."
- Shona

"We get to have a great time when he is home. He likes his work. He gets to go to school with the girls when home. We never get sick of each other. We have special lunch dates. The list goes on."
- Lisa

"We love our FIFO lifestyle. Our kids don't suffer from Dad being away because they have such wonderful, quality time with him when he is back. And it means if his swing off is during holidays we go away somewhere, instead of having to squeeze holiday time into four weeks' annual leave."
- Clea

"Time off with proper quality time. He gets to do daycare drop-offs, pick-ups and activities with our boys! Fish and chips on the beach in arvos as special treats - Dad does swimming lessons. I've been able to extend my maternity leave and work part-time. There is no wanting to wait up at night for Dad to get home late at night. A great routine. Oh and did I mention learning how much I can do by myself independently of hubby! Did I mention when he takes leave we get a big chunk of time as opposed to only the five days. Winning! We have been doing this for nearly seven years - FIFO out of Sydney."
- Anatasia

"My boys love their Daddy time of school pick-ups and homework and footy kicking while I'm working. When Daddy is away, they love their Mummy time of tea on the couch, evening walks with the dog. They get the best of both worlds. We said from day one if either of our boys struggle with FIFO, we stop. So far they are loving it and we've been doing it for seven years."
- Karin

"All the things he wouldn't get to do being Perth based, he wouldn't get to do school drop-offs and pick-ups, spend time in class, sports, school concerts etc. He gets to do all those things every second week being DIDO."
- Chantelle

"Seeing someone every day can make you complacent ... you appreciate each other more when you see each other after time apart! My kids are only eight and six and Dad has been doing this kind of work for about two years, they can get a bit ratty from time to time but hey what kid doesn't! Quality Vs Quantity wins every time!"
- Toni

"The time off is great. We do not have kids yet so we go away travelling all the time. You can take one swing off and get three weeks to go exploring. The added financial benefits are great. We are very close now to living our dream on some acreage."
- Shane

"My husband was working 6-8 weeks away when he first started FIFO 26 years ago and with that he missed out on seeing seeing our two boys grow up (now 17 years and 21 years). It helped us buy our first house, have nice holidays and so forth but when he was home it was nice to have him around with the kids every night for that week to do family things. Now we have a beautiful little girl (four years old) and he is home every second week and is able to be home more. We live a comfortable life and the kids know dad has worked hard and made many sacrifices for us to have this lifestyle."
- Cathryn

"I fast forwarded my life financially, I've just built my own home, with no help from a partner or parents, worked FIFO for two years and two months, spent the last seven months building a house while boarding in someone's house, I went on five short trips & got rid of debts in my first 12 months, and have also bought a second-hand car. I get every third week off to do what I want, I love & live the lifestyle, now about to move into my very own home next week and planning my next holiday and also studying interior design so I can do up my house. Yes I always look back at working in Perth again but there's no reason for me to do that yet, I have much freedom this way, better then working six days a week for sh** money."
- Beckily

"We live in a town that allows the kids to spend time with their Nonna. My husband retains his work in mining (he's a damn fine tradie). I get to go to uni, while the kids go to a great public school and have fantastic extracurricular activities. Life is sweet!"
- Julie

"The worst thing for me is no roster, so never knowing when he's coming or how long he's home. Makes it very difficult to plan anything. Feel like we miss out on all the good things that comes with FIFO! A sad lonely FIFO wife!
- Judith

"Work gets to stay at work." 
- Jason

"Being able to support my family financially. The time away is hard but I try to make up for it when I'm home on my week off. FIFO is hard for the partners and kids and for the people working away - we talk about what's going on at home with our work families."
- Jeremy

"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
- Ande

"We have been doing shift work, FIFO, DIDO for 18 years now and he has even had a great job in the city. But the home every night meant before and after school care, rushed evenings and weekends were gone so quickly. Now he has his time during the day to do his thing, study, watch TV and anything else, but he does the school run, karate lessons and anything on at school. I miss more of it working full-time myself. It has given us an opportunity to live overseas for a different lifestyle change and back again. It is hard sometimes on our daughter and with number two on the way it will be hard but thank God for Skype, face-time and all the other ways we stay in contact."
- Kimberly

"We work together and have days off together to spend with the kids."
- Deb

"The negative for us is that on the five days Dadda is home, he is just go go go! hahahaha
We have just started this, we are a close family unit, we keep saying to each other that FIFO is for a "better life for our family", making it all easier."
- Val

"My hubby been doing FIFO work for about four years now. We have two kids (six and five). We luv it - the kids don't miss out, we talk all the time, our daughter msgs him off her iPod. He luvs doing school drop-off and pick-up. His week home is family quality time."
- Perrin


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