The other day I was reading the Minnesota Farm Bureau Voice of Agriculture newspaper when I spotted this article by state YF&R Committee member Bekki Danielson. It really struck a cord with me so I thought I would share it with you. It is very familiar to a post my prairie living friend Val Wagner wrote once on her blog Wag N Tails . I think I have also wrote some of these exact words (especially when it comes to the whole “everything is related to farming” or being late ) It has me thinking that farm husbands must all come from the same breed…But that is exactly why we love them.
Bekki and Whitney Danielson family
Hometown: Henning and Vining
Children: Dakoda (3), Treyden (2), Daxton (4 months)
Farm Description: Along with Whitney’s parents Warren and Bonnie Danielson, we farm corn, beans, alfalfa, dairy cows and beef cows.
A Farmer’s Wife
Straight out of college I married a farmer – a real, live, romantic man of the land. Although I grew up in a small town, where farming was ever so present, I had no idea how to be a “farmer’s wife.” I’ve spent the past four years slowly, but surely, trying to figure out what this means.
Every day is spent learning something new. It may not be much, but here are a few things that my experiences as a farmer’s wife have taught me.
*Patience is a virtue– On a recent family trip into town, we had to stop at two places, Target and Fleet Farm. At Target, all three boys and Daddy opted to stay in the vehicle. After about 10 minutes, my three-year-old says to Daddy (insert impatient sigh here) “what’s taking Mommy so long?!”
Needless to say he was happy to spend an hour or more in Fleet Farm. So it may not be a requirement for anybody but me in our household, but somebody has to have patience.
*Grass stains are the least of my laundry worries – From mud to manure, I’ve seen it all. I’ve become so accustomed to everybody being covered in something at all times that I find myself saying things like “just wipe it on your shirt, it’s already dirty.”
*Late is the new “on time” – I’ve found that we’ve had to trade our old ways in for new. I used to enjoy getting to church early on Sunday mornings, visiting with friends and enjoying the worship music. Now, I’ll settle for getting the whole family into church before the service is over. Bonus points if no one smells like the barn!
*Everything is related to farming – By the end of my third pregnancy, I had come to terms with the fact that I was going to be compared to livestock. More than once my husband reassured me that, “If we can’t make it to the hospital in time I’ve got mats, chains and twine strings. It can’t be that different from delivering a calf.”
*Everything is planned around the seasons – Be it planting, harvesting, calving or whatever else, it will come first. Holidays, anniversaries and birthdays will have to wait. In fact, it may be easier to celebrate them all at once. Merry-Anni-Birthday!!!
*Multitasking is a must – When my husband calls at noon, as I’m attempting to wash dishes, get caught up on the laundry, feed the three boys, finish my Bible study and chase down whichever child has escaped from the table, and he asks if I’m “doing anything.” I just take a deep breath and say (as calmly as possible), “No honey, what can I do for you?” Even though the screaming children in the background should be a dead giveaway that I’m busy.
*Time frames don’t really apply – so I’ve learned to be much more flexible. If my husband says he’ll be home in 20 minutes, I don’t expect him for at least 40 minutes. Who knows what could happen; a cow gets out, a salesman stops by, he gets distracted by a nice-looking field, anything is possible.
*Laughter is a must – when I backed our car into one of our tractors I was expecting complete sympathy when I went to tell my husband. Even though I was five months pregnant and had our one-year-old in the car, that wasn’t his reaction. Instead he said, “YOU DID WHAT?!?!” then proceeded to go check if his tractor was okay. I may not have been able to laugh about it then, but it sure is funny now. That’s just how farmer’s minds work.
*Dreaming is a must in farming – I have always been someone who sees what is going on now, just black and white. My husband is the exact opposite. He is a dreamer, a planner, a wisher, a thinker. Things I was completely incapable of until I married him. You can’t have a successful farm unless you can see what it can be, and then be willing to work hard to make it happen. These are abilities my husband has truly been blessed with.
*You have to be thankful – Farming will challenge you every day. You have to be able to see through the tough times and make the best out of each new experience. I thank God for each day he gives me the grace to be a farmer’s wife. That said, there is nothing better than chasing cows to pasture, finishing off a good harvest or the looks on my boys’ faces when they go to work with Daddy.