The West Australian
Updated June 13, 2013
When Deanne Hislop's young son Jai began clinging on to his father
Paul's leg whenever he tried to leave the house - fearing he would be
gone for an unimaginable length of time - she knew she had to make him
Mr Hislop, 33, began work flying to Karratha from their Perth home on a roster of 15 days on and six days off 18 months ago.
For the couple's children Jai, three, and four-year-old Chenin, it was an incomprehensible change.
"My little girl would say things like, what does Daddy's other family look like," Mrs Hislop said.
"It was mainly the understanding for my little boy and trying to explain to him verbally how long dad was going to be away."
help them understand, Mrs Hislop made a calendar and stickers that
showed the children when their father was on the plane, when he was
wearing his high-visibility workwear and when he would be coming home.
said it made a real difference to the children's understanding, so she
started making the calendars to sell and has sold almost 4000 to date,
with part of the profits going to charity.
Despite the early
hiccups, the Hislops, who live on a 2ha property in Two Rocks, said they
put a positive light on their FIFO lifestyle.
"It enables me to
stay at home with my children and gives us the ability to live outside
of Perth because Paul doesn't have to commute to work," she said.
the challenges of FIFO are clear, none more so than for Tania and Steve
Bourke who had their first child Connor five months ago.
Bourke, who works four weeks on and one week off, said it was hard to
see his son take a few days to be able to recognise him again when he
"I think the roster is the biggest challenge," he said.
"It's tough, especially having a new boy and being away that amount of