Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Legend of the Farm Wife

Long ago, outside a tiny town lived a sweet farm family. The mother of this brood was a perfectly charming, efficient, helpful and handy woman. She was a master at frying chicken, packing it fresh for lunch during planting season. She ran the grain cart during harvest season, assisted with the livestock chores in the dead of winter, all the while making sure the children were on the bus on time in the morning in their coordinating home-made outfits.

Think this sounds like a myth? I'm hoping it is, because my picture of a farm wife is a little less cute and a little more crazy. While my life as a farm wife has only spanned two farming seasons, I feel like my baptism by fire into this lifestyle has created a need for a definition. From what I have found, there isn't one. Farm wives come from all different backgrounds, professions, even generations. I have come across teachers, nurses, retirees, piano teachers, bank associates, insurance saleswomen, even business owners, who claim to also be "farm wives." I am from the group of farm wives who are at home raising the kids, which I think is JOB ENOUGH! However, I was SHOCKED to find out that there's another group. . . a group of farm wives who actually FARM! They run the grain cart, cut beans in the combine, and some even manage the marketing! As I am not even allowed to TOUCH the lawnmower (due to an unfortunate run in with a culvert in the fourth grade), I didn't know such a thing existed!

What a revolution we have upon our hands! Gone are the days when farm wives would meet at each other's homes for sewing bees and cookie exchanges. Here come the days of women who lead their county's Young Farmer Committees, work 60 hours a week, and ---pause for affect--- BLOG about their experiences!

I myself am a study in farm wife-ology. I am a town girl. Although I grew up in a farming community, and my dad taught agriculture, I never lived a "true" farm life, according to Joe. Thus, upon moving out here, I tried to adopt this lifestyle. We only had our first child then, and Joe was merely helping out my dad and uncle, still working a 9-5ish job with a regular paycheck. Therefore, I was happy to run to town with my one child and get parts and food and what not. Once we had more kids, one needing to go to preschool, and, as an operation, we gained more ground, being the "fried chicken farm wife" was more difficult. I found myself frustrated and trying to be the perfect farm wife, but wasn't sure who that was. Joe was very understanding, although hungry most of the busy seasons, as I became less of a "run food to the field wife" as I continued to have more children!

I'm still trying to figure out what type of farm wife I should be, or would like to be for that matter. Am I one who will run the grain cart? Probably not, I would rather run a marathon. Am I one who will study the commodities report? Probably not, I would rather study the Pottery Barn catalogue. Would I be caught in the pasture with my Northerners? Probably not, I'll wear my "fashion boots" (as my three year old says) and stay in the car, thank you very much!

Although farm wives are all different types, most of us speak the same lingo: we wish the season would end, but don't want our husbands to hurry and get hurt. We hope for no break downs- mechanical or mental- during trying seasons. We pray for more rain or less, depending upon the year. As each farming season varies, so does the farm wife, and I will continue my study on this interesting breed!

1 comment:

  1. I'm just starting down this Road that you are traveling on now!! I'm from a small town that is surrounded by farming but my parents lived in town and didn't have anything to do with it. Now, I will be married to farmer in 6 months. I'm living on the farm learning the ropes as they say. His family runs a Hog Operation and Cattle Operation. I hope to read more about your experiences.