DIARY: Traditional vs. Modern POCFs and the Tides That Bind

woman wearing a Fish Wife sweatshirt

DIARY: Traditional Roles vs. Modern Roles of POCFs and the Tides That Bind

Since the fall of last year, I’ve asked myself this question: As partners of commercial fishermen, how do we honor traditional roles without stifling growth as modern women? 

Whether a fisherman is gone for weeks, months, or just a day, a boat conjures a sense of detachment as vast as the ocean until a ding of a text message or a phone call tethers you back in. You live in two worlds and can almost feel it the moment your partner leaves the dock. 

Because of this, POCFs are more heavily relied on for women’s traditional roles, and many of us don’t realize it until we’re in it. We are called to *maintain the homestead,* and another word we use is “shoreside support,” which can be a different role in itself. Shoreside support extends beyond the home, and/or job, and/or raising kids (which is a f*ck ton already).

It’s running the business side, bookkeeping, advocating for fisheries (and being forced to learn new policies because of it), and more. Overall, POCFs manage the now, plan for the future, and secure deep faith that our guiding Power will also guide our loved ones’ home. 

woman-man-sailboat

In the “cruising community” (a term for those who travel by sailboat for a long stretch of time), specific boat tasks are referred to as “pink jobs” and “blue jobs.” Pinks take care of the galley, cooking, and cleaning, while the Blues fix things (as we know, boats need lots of fixing). Generally, women take pink, and men take blue, just like Jack and Jill, who went up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Tradition, if you will. For modern folks, it’s whatever floats your boat. 

To be clear, there is NO shame in enjoying the traditional roles of a homemaker. Providing a safe and nurturing space for our families is the greatest gift, and it ain’t easy. What pisses me off is when a woman’s value is tied to a paycheck rather than the *life-giving support* we selflessly share daily. Add up every job a woman does for her family, compare it to the market value, then write a check. I bet feelings would change. You are worth more than any paycheck or “highliner” season. Remember that. Fishermen work hard to provide, as do you.

By the way, this isn’t “Us vs. Them.” This is a call for honest conversations, compassion, and mutual respect for each partner’s roles. Discuss what works for your partnership, and try it out. Revisit after the season if you need to adjust. This is your life – make it work for you.

Another HUGE trigger is when women – especially POCFs – are told not to express themselves because it may make others (fishermen) feel a certain way. 

You’ve got to be kidding me, right?  (more…)

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Watch This IG Live: How-To Manage Anxiety & Overwhelm w Maternal Mental Health Specialist Kate Kripke

Y’all! This IG Live may be one of the biggest ‘”gets” for the POCF community to date!

At times it can feel that anxiety and overwhelm are woven into the fabric of a partner of a commercial fisherman. However, this interview teaches that it doesn’t have to be.

Here is a BIG Mental Health Check-in with Maternal Mental Health Specialist Kate Kripke, who is also the founder of the Postpartum Wellness Center in Boulder, CO. I met Kate through a mastermind group we are both a part of, but I was first attracted to her message when she spoke at a virtual event last October. Since then, I’ve followed Kate on YouTube, podcasts, and through her Instagram. I love her relatable, non-judgmental, and caring energy; it is truly a gift to have her speak to our community!

Further down, I posted questions we tackled to give you an idea of how deep we go. The last two are from POCF mamas in our private community, and I am so thankful for their courage to share their current life challenges. 

I hope you enjoy this special time and the valuable information that will carry us through the seasons. 

Here’s to our mental health – you are not alone!

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Free POCF Calendar to Stay Organized during a Fishing Season

I will admit that it’s challenging not to get involved in my fisherman’s business. I love organizing, planning, researching, and all that type-A stuff. On top of that, I’m a writer, so I’m unconsciously looking for ways to postpone deadlines. It turns out that focusing on someone else’s shiz is an excellent/terrible way to do it.

Chris admits that I can be a little overbearing regarding “to-do” lists (he’s not wrong), so a calendar has been a helpful way to keep Chris moving without getting in the way. After dinner, we usually sit down and discuss what tasks are left; then, I write them out per day and week. Here’s a free calendar to get you started!

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