Becoming A Farm Wife!
It was 2010, I was in love with the tall, dark man of my dreams. A Norwegian guy with a name to prove his heritage! Between the flurry of planning a wedding, quitting our jobs, selling my house, getting married, moving across the state, seeding our first crop, living in a travel trailer, and harvesting our first crop, I got a crash course in the stress, up in the air, controlled chaos, excitement, and unending challenges that come with the role, which I have fully embraced and have become so proud of...Farm wife!
I wear it like a badge of honor. I am proud to be a Farmer's wife. It is hard. It makes me feel incompetent. It makes me crazy. It makes me a better person. It makes me stretch. It makes me grow. It makes me fear that I'll never reach the ideal of the perfect, fully competent, “Farm Wife”.
That first year was a doozy. Learning to be a couple. Learning what it means to farm. Learning that true flexibility goes well beyond the definition and what you think is "full" flexibility. We got pregnant. We toughed out a winter that kept us housebound for 5 days! We grew. We stretched in so many aspects of our lives.
Now, in our 6th year, we are still stressed. Maybe a bit more. We find new things to worry about. New reasons to move forward. We learn. We grow in new ways. I've learned to take action, not hope for it to happen on its own, in my marriage and in responsibilities with farming and family. I continue to learn to constantly adjust. I’ve learned to focus on things like gratitude, that small area on the kitchen island I've conquered and cleaned while the rest of my house lies in chaos, and those unexpected joyous days where weather has driven us out of the field and inadvertently given us rest.
One night as I lay in bed, with my mind spinning, I began to think about what I would have told myself 6 years ago, when that blue-eyed, dream-filled, girl married her farmer and gained a new role as a Farm Wife! Here it is in a nutshell. Actually there is no “nutshell” to anything in this life, so here it is in all it’s long, wordy glory!
Enthusiasm is good, but it can wane and that's ok.
Determination, drive, and shear will, will get you further.
You may think you're flexible.
Keep going. You can always be more flexible!
Balance! Finding balance is a myth!
Don't set your expectations on this. There is no true balance. Just be willing to look honestly at your priorities and constantly adjust.
You are strong.
You will get stronger, but don't kid yourself. There will be times where you figure you've lost your way and you are only surviving. It is ok. Cry on your farmer's shoulder, but remember you can and will dry the tears, brush away the exhaustion and slight embarrassment, and plow forward.
Asking “Does it really matter?” may become your mantra!
Whether it's the condition of your home, the argument over the filthy jeans left in the entryway for the umpteenth time by an exhausted hubby, or your daughter's crazy untamed hair in all its glory on a trip to town. Considering what reallymatters will become a day to day and sometimes moment to moment meditation.
Never lose faith.
Keep this first. It's easy to say. But always, ALWAYS seek God’s face and the rest will fall into place.
You will change.
Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the not so good. Keep changing. Keep growing. Keep molding yourself into who God wants you to be. Have faith that God chose your best for the role he's given you!
Meals. Forecasts. Checking. These are all pillars of a life in agriculture.
Put effort into each, but don't be afraid to throw caution to the wind and show up at the edge of the field with frozen pizzas, and “poo, poo” the weather man!
Understand that “checking” is an integral part of farming.
Checking cows, forecast, seed depth, rain gauge, water tanks, farmers almanac, and the list goes on and on. All are ways to educate oneself and mitigate stress! Be willing to help carry that stress by offering to check and giving a confidant, detailed report!
Set aside expectations for extended family relationships.
Extended family relationships, whether in-laws or your own family, are complicated by distance, differences of opinions, each person’s needs in and out of the operation, and the unique constraints of now having an agricultural lifestyle as your first priority.
Keep the fun!
I’m not sure I’ve got this figured out yet. When times are stressful it is hard to joke and laugh. But it is so important for your marriage, for your kids, for you! Look up corny jokes on google, tease your farmer like a little kid, but find a way to laugh, even if it is just a little giggle everyday!
Scroll past drama like it's your job.
Whether it's on a friend’s Facebook page or in a favorite group, You don't have the time or energy to spend on such silly things. (Now, that doesn't mean not to educate, but choose wisely where and when to spend your time educating.)
Kids are a challenge and blessing.
Add kiddos to living an agricultural lifestyle and times the challenge and blessings all by 10! You are going to screw up repeatedly. Get comfortable with asking forgiveness, admitting you are wrong, and taking them along for the ride!
Surround yourself with true friends.
Cling tightly to true supportive friends. Don't worry over or hesitate when considering letting go of friends who expend your energy or friends who just simply take all your energy.
The Farm Wife role is not glamorous, in fact there is more dirt, grime, mud, and poop than I’d like to admit, but it is intriguing, captivating, and cultivating of growth in so many ways.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world!
Do you think I missed any areas of growth or qualities that are integral to being a Farm Wife? If so, comment with them below! I'd love to hear them!
Love to you and yours,