Being a FIFO (fly in/fly out) worker brings unique challenges to family life. The usual routines which keep things ticking smoothly along become fundamentally different when one parent needs to do the work of two at home. And although the majority of FIFO workers are men, more women are also taking on the role of working away for periods of time.
With lockdowns and quarantines hurting mental health, and redundancies and cut hours hurting hip pockets, people all over Australia are doing it tough in 2020. Yet, as much as this year has been a test of endurance, it has also been instructive in the working arena.
Since early 2011, Australia has had a Paid Parental Leave scheme. This allows eligible working parents to get paid for up to 18 weeks when they take time off work to care for a new baby or recently adopted child.
There’s lots of information around for mothers who plan to continue breastfeeding when they return to paid work. But there’s less when it comes to bottle feeding. Perhaps because the practicalities seem a whole lot easier. After all, what could be simpler than making up a couple of bottles in advance and keeping them in the fridge until the baby’s hungry?