Every profession requires its own, unique skill set. Being a farm wife is no exception. The problem is that there is no check list or position description to help those new to the farm understand just what it takes to tolerate – and co-exist – with a farmer.
Eight months into my role as a farm wife I’m getting a better understanding of the skills needed. First – and most important – on the lengthy list – patience. I did not enter this marriage with a great patience high on my skill set. I’m very much an instant gratification person. I need it to happen, and happen now. I blame it on my years of meeting daily publishing deadlines.
The problem is there are no deadlines in field work and cattle and farmers must work until the job is done and that could mean 2 minutes or 2 hours.
My husband worked some major overtime this week. On Thursday, after receiving complaints that there was nothing in the house to eat, I prepared dinner. Unfortunately, my husband didn’t come home until 9:30 that night. Dinner was cold by then. And this morning he left to “feed the calves” and came back four hours later with grease, dirt and grass stains. Turns out the simple feeding duty turned into pulling a sprinkler out of the ditch, repairing the motor and, of course, feeding 300-some calves.
I expected my husband to return in an hour. That, obviously, didn’t happen. So I waited, and waited and waited some more. It’s difficult to make lunch plans or any plans for that matter when your husband doesn’t have regular office hours. But a little patience goes a long ways and eventually, they come home.
I will never love not knowing how long my husband will work each day and will never be completely thrilled when “checking a few things” turns into a day of work. But I can work on my patience and learn to roll with the punches. Because, sadly, I don’t see the work load lessening anytime soon.