Nobody Ever Said Loving a Farmer Was Easy…

Nobody Ever Said Loving a Farmer Was Easy…

Corn harvest started last week and I will admit, I wasn’t prepared for it. My farmer had told me that when corn harvest starts, it’s common for him to not come home until midnight or even sometimes later. At the time, I thought, what’s 2 hours…? I’ve successfully made it through nights where I didn’t see hide nor hair of my farmer until 10 p.m., I can do midnight… Well, I did, for about a week.. And then it happened..

RohrichFarms-3193

 

It was Sunday and I was barely getting out of bed before my farmer was out the door for the day. It was around 9:00 AM, so I got up and stayed busy for most of the day. And then 10 p.m. rolled around.. There’s only so much you can do until 10 p.m. at night. Dishes were done, laundry was caught up, house was tidy. It hit me. It had been over 12 hours since I’d seen my farmer. I mean even for 5 minutes. Being that it was so late at night, most of my girlfriends here have children so they were at home with their kiddos or even in bed themselves… It hit me hard, for the first time since I’d been here.

I felt alone. Really truly alone. I know it was a combination of many things and what it is about 10 o’clock at night that gets your mind racing..? I missed my farmer, I missed my family, and I was missing California. It was like a triple whammy. The love of my life and best friend was gone all day, my dear mother is no longer a quick car ride away, and I can’t call up my friends and meet them at my favorite bar/lounge in Downtown Chico.

Now I don’t want this to be an oh poor Jenny sob story. That’s not why I am writing this. Call me emotional, call me naive, call me whatever. But I know many of you out there have experienced this feeling. You’ve been in my shoes, some maybe in more ways than others. Gave up your life somewhere to start a life with a farmer. Left things you loved in order to build a future with something else you really love. And really, that’s the beauty of social media. It allows women like us, women who “get” what it’s like to live life with a farmer to connect. It gives us a constant way to support one another. At any given time, there could be a handful of women out there who are willing to say to me, “hey,  I understand what you are going through”.

Sometimes all it takes to make us feel better and get us out of feeling sorry for ourselves is someone we can identify with. Someone who’s been in our shoes and tell us it will be okay. And someone who can remind us of all the good things about our chosen lifestyle. Farming is not just a career, it’s a lifestyle. It consumes so much more of your life than a 9-5. And I will admit, not everybody is cut out for it. I’ve already seen that. But I stepped into this lifestyle knowing that these nights were going to happen. When I chose to let myself fall head over heels in love with my farmer, I spent a few nights asking myself… “Jenny, can you really do this?” I knew it wasn’t always going to be sunshine and rainbows.. There would be nights alone, there would be long days and long nights, there would be days where my farmer is out of sorts due to his crops, and at times I would be the one solely responsible for our household, and when we have children… There will be sometimes that I literally feel like a single parent. And guess what, my family isn’t here to take my kids when I need them to, I don’t have a sister or Mom right down the road. Mine are a plane ride away. These are the hard truths about the decisions I’ve made.

But I jumped anyway.. You know why..? Because in the scheme of things, those things don’t matter as much to me as the blessings that I truly have in life now. My farmer is beyond words amazing. We are building a career and a life together. And quite frankly, I couldn’t have asked for someone better suited to me than him. He’s got a family that is just as amazing and supportive. Some people search a whole lifetime and never find those things. I have made some wonderful girlfriends here who totally “get” how I feel, and when I am feeling physically really alone, I have a whole network of farming wives and girlfriends just a click away. I can’t imagine how women that homesteaded so long ago made it… Without any sort of social network, I think I’d have gone crazy. But their love and passion for their life, their family, and even their husbands ran strong. They were strong willed, dedicated, tough, but also compassionate and full of love. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “behind every hard working man, there is an even harder working woman”. I’d have to say multiply that ten-fold for farm wives over the years.

So what do you do to keep yourself from going crazy…? Well, I love to cook, it motivates me and gives me purpose. And I will admit, since I haven’t been having to feed my farmer during harvest, I haven’t been cooking. I hopped on Pinterest yesterday and I got inspired. So even though my farmer may not be home to eat my cooking, it doesn’t mean I can’t freeze it and enjoy it on a night when he IS home. And since I kept busy cooking while he was gone, I can spend that evening WITH him instead of in the kitchen cooking. Score! I love to craft and do artsy things. One of my favorite things to do is make cards… I find myself sometimes last minute scrambling to make a card up for a certain occasion. So I went to Hobby Lobby and bought some new scrapbooking paper to inspire myself to make some cards. That way when I need a homemade card for a certain occasion (birthday, even Christmas, Congrats, etc.) I have some already made and to choose from. And I am keeping my mind busy with something I love to do while I am home alone late at night.

I could go on and on and on with things I could come up with to do. I guess I am fortunate enough that I love to be creative and I have a vast array of hobbies. But sometimes, you just lose motivation. And once you lost motivation, your mind starts to wander. And then you end up in that place, feeling sorry for yourself, feeling alone, and forgetting how good your life really is. It’s easy to hold onto anger, bitterness, and negativity in life. I could so easily be angry at my farmer for leaving me for so long. But what good does that do..? Instead, I can love him for working so hard for us. I can admire the fact that he inspires me with his passion for his career. I can respect him for working so hard and know that someday he will instill those good values into our children. You see the beauty life yields when you turn away from the negativity…?

Bottom line is it doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for one year or twenty years, I’d still venture to guess that farm wives sometimes still struggle with those “hard nights” every once in a while. And sometimes it’s good to know that you aren’t alone in how you feel. Someone out there has been in your shoes. And guess what, the internet makes it so much easier for us to all connect. Amen to that! Nobody ever said loving a farmer was easy… But I bet you the majority of women out there who fell in love with farmers and decided to make the leap will tell you they never regret it.

So tell me, if you’re a farm wife or girlfriend, how do you manage those “hard nights”..? What do you like to do to stay busy..? What’s been the best piece of advice ever given to you? I’d love to hear some stories from some farm women out there!

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30 Comments

  1. October 2, 2012 / 2:36 pm

    I can totally relate!!! My job has taken me 3.5 hours away from my farmer. Although I absolutely love my job, when 10:00 rolls around is when I really start to miss him and my family. Even though I know exactly what I am getting into with harvest season, it doesn’t seem to get any easier, especially since I can’t just hop in the car for an evening visit. I usually will just go to sleep although your post has inspired me to start scrapbooking again!

    • October 2, 2012 / 2:46 pm

      Glad to inspire you!! Yep I gave up the other night and just went to bed. Sometimes it’s nice to know you aren’t the only one who has felt that way. And yes you’re right. Harvest will always be there. It will always go on no matter how we are feeling. So may as well make the best of it right?

  2. Denise
    October 3, 2012 / 7:04 pm

    You don’t know me. My husband went to school with your farmer. We now live in Zeeland and I am a farmer’s wife and love it! I sometimes bring super or a sweet treat to my man and ride along. I bring one for myself so we are at least eating together. I don’t always stay the whole time, but he said it breaks up his evening. I even sent him some cookies one morning and asked him to call me that evening when he ate them. I put him on speaker phone and the kids and I got to have our bedtime snack with daddy.

  3. October 5, 2012 / 10:40 am

    Oh Jenny – I do feel your pain.

    When Hyatt is gone working with hogs or on trip to look at cattle (at least twice a week), it’s really hard to get through that time. I save my house cleaning chores for the 9-11 time frame. I wait to run all my errands on days that he won’t be home at night that way I don’t get home until 6:30 or 7. Then I ride my horses, work out, cook dinner and watch my fave tv shows! I just try to stay as busy as possible – I’m looking into taking piano lessons for extra distraction! It’ll get easier – I promise. Call or email anytime if you need to πŸ™‚

  4. brandibuzzard
    October 5, 2012 / 10:42 am

    Well i wrote a comment and it must have disappeared or not posted: stupid WordPress.

    Anyhow, I save all my errands for nights that I know he will be gone. Grocery shopping, Hob Lob trips, buying livestock feed, etc. Then when I get home it’s almost 7 and by the time I ride horses, eat dinner, workout it’s 9. Then from then until bedtime, I do the house cleaning stuff and watch TV. Staying busy as much as possible is my key to success, lol. Call or email anytime – it gets easier. I promise!

  5. October 16, 2012 / 2:21 pm

    I’m not a farmer’s wife BUT I do know about those long evenings! Before we started our summer harvest run as a family, I stayed home with kids. THAT was like being a single parent with two very little kids! I did think I was going to go crazy and needed adult conversation. I remember that so clearly! I, too, didn’t have any help. However, I got through it and I’m sure you will too. You’re on the right track! My only suggestion to you is this – learn how to drive the truck and get the heck out there with your farmer! πŸ™‚

  6. CountyLineFarmwife
    December 25, 2012 / 6:43 am

    I can relate, and my answer was to get invovlved in the community. It is a double edged sword, but with caution, becomming invovlved in our little communites is a win/win for both.
    This is assuming that you are living in rural ND. I am new to your blog and was internet surfing, and ended up here. I can relate to many of your posts, but I will consider myself the “mentor” as I am now an “experienced” farmwife of 5 years.

    • December 26, 2012 / 3:59 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment! And yes, I know that more and more I need to become involved in the community. Make and establish relationships here. I am working my way towards that but it’s sometimes so hard. So many people have been established here for so long, have long time friendships.. Being the new girl in town is difficult. With time and some work, I will get there! πŸ™‚ Do you blog…? I’d love to check out your blog, otherwise thanks so much for taking the time to stop by, read, and comment!

      • Paula Moch
        December 28, 2012 / 9:44 pm

        I apologize for taking so long to respond to you. I do not have a blog, but it is on my to-do-list.
        I live north of Braddock ND and work in Linton ND. I Facebook creeped (you and sent a friend request) and read that you are in Ashley ND. That is about and hour and 15 minutes from my house.
        I look forward to getting to know you and welcome to ND.

        Paula Moch
        701-321-3193

  7. April 5, 2013 / 2:50 pm

    Hear you on that one! It is no fun when your farmer has to leave family Thanksgiving early to finish ripping up a field πŸ™ or when you get called at midnight that same night to pick him and his brother up in your pink fuzzy guitar pajamas! πŸ˜‰
    Cooking is definitely one of my vices while he is gone. I think I bake like crazy! I also keep some seasons of my favorite TV shows on hand for late night TV watching while he is gone. And I think I end up cleaning like crazy too. If I’m feeling really ambitious while he is in the field, I reorganize our filing cabinet…yikes!
    But my favorite way to spend the time, is to get out in the combine or tractor with him for a few hours every night. It makes it much easier!
    I love reading your blog!

    • April 5, 2013 / 2:53 pm

      Sara- you have some good ideas!! Specifically organizing our finances (ie file cabinet!). Tax season this year took up half my living room floor! Lol! Thanks so much for the comment! And thank you for following along on this crazy journey! It always feels nice when someone else can relate to you!!

  8. April 21, 2013 / 12:48 pm

    Love to read this! I am a farmers girlfriend of 4 years, in the uk. As the weather here is so varied my farmer could be out a lot of the time one week and then not so much the next but he’s always busy doing something. I don’t actually live with him.. Yet, which I see as a little blessing in some ways but also it can get quite hard when I haven’t seen him for ages and as we don’t live together I don’t even get to meet him in bed! But I get on so well with his family that I usually just pop round in and evening when he’s finishing early and spend as much time with him as I can. It’s so hard at times but I wouldn’t swap hi, or our lifestyle for the world!
    Great to know others are in the same situation.. All over the world! Sophie x

  9. Katie
    September 26, 2013 / 10:01 am

    Hi! I’m a MN farmer’s girlfriend. I just moved in with my love 3 months ago and am facing my first harvest while living with him. we’ve been together nearly 3 years. I have to say that if it weren’t for my dog and my part time job as an overnight nurse at a nearby hospital some of those nights I might go crazy! I wouldn’t trade my life with my farmer for the world but those nights are definitely hard! I recently learned how to can vegetables and I know how to sew so I’m beginning to build my hobby bank up. Nice to hear from someone who knows what it’s like!

    • October 2, 2013 / 2:58 pm

      HELLO! Welcome to the club! I am not sure what we should call ourselves, but it’s awesome to have a support group! I am super jealous of your canning abilities!! I told myself I’d tackle canning next summer/fall when I don’t have a wedding to plan! I’ve been seriously considering a dog.. It helps to have a companion when your mate isn’t there πŸ˜‰

  10. Caitlin Jackson
    October 9, 2013 / 1:50 pm

    A few friends of mine and I are starting the “Stripper’s Wives Club” LOL! Cotton stripping that is.. But we are going to get together during harvest and eat dinner with each other and go out to eat.. Fun stuff like that to keep ourselves from going crazy during harvest.

    • October 9, 2013 / 2:30 pm

      Friends are a MUST during harvest! I am fortunate to have two sister in laws and an amazing mother in law on top of friends in town! Sounds like so much fun!!! You’ve GOT to find things to do so you don’t go crazy! πŸ˜‰

  11. Andrea Hora
    October 9, 2013 / 2:28 pm

    One of my friends shared your 10 Ways Marrying a Farmer Will Change Your Life Today on facebook, so I decided to check out what all you had on your blog. I married my SoDak farmer September 7th of this year, it was picture perfect. I grew up on a farm in Nebraska and then went to college in South Dakota. There is not a day that goes by that I dont thank God for giving me the man of my dreams. He is always busy with either selling seed, farming, ranching, or his repair business. I get to help alot when it comes to the rancing part (working cows and putting up fence). I have disced fields, spread manure, chop stalks, raked hay all on my own, SCARY!!haha. But for the times I cant help I usually try and do the running around for him, pick up parts, go grab this tool, or like last night fall asleep in the combine..oops, but I don’t think he cared because we had a little bit of quality time together.
    I found So God Made a Farmers Wife by Sierra Angell (http://www.raisinglena.com/1/post/2013/05/god-made-a-farmers-wife.html) one day on etsy and I think every farmers wife should read it, it is a good reminder for not only ourselves but for everyone else who thinks farming is an easy job.
    I am really enjoying your blog! PS John Deere is awesome!

    • October 9, 2013 / 2:35 pm

      YOU GOT MARRIED ON THE SAME DAY AS US!!! SO glad to hear your wedding day was amazing!! We were blessed to have the same, it was like a dream come true! It is a small world! Sierra and I are actually social media friends, we’ve never met in real life but when I get down that way I cannot wait to meet her!! I love her page, she’s an amazing quilter!! Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting and browsing around my blog!! I love making connections with fellow farm wives especially ones that are so close to where we live!!

      p.s. we are actually only 7 miles from the SD border! πŸ˜‰

  12. Courtney
    October 11, 2013 / 7:00 pm

    I stumbled across your blog and I’m so happy that I did! I’m a farmer’s girlfriend. I recently moved in with him after dating for about a year and a half. I never really understood the hours that he puts in during harvest, planting, spraying etc. until I moved. I’m a ways away from my family and friends so I totally get the being alone thing. I do have a job that takes up a lot of my time but it’s the getting home at 5pm and then not really knowing what to do until he gets home. I’ve made a few friends in the area which seems to help, starting cooking more, and since we have so much property I’ve been getting more serious about hunting. I also found a few TV series that are really good! I’ve really learned to cherish the time with my boyfriend when he is around, I LOVE hearing about farm stuff, looking at fields, etc. It’s actually quite interesting! Thank you for all your posts, I’m so happy I found this! πŸ™‚

    • October 12, 2013 / 6:55 pm

      THANK YOU for finding me and commenting! I LOVE making friends with new ladies that are in the same situation as me! I TOTALLY agree that harvest time and late night planting time is when I catch up on my tv series! HA! It gets better with time, this year I really haven’t had any time during harvest to get super lonely and I am also working outside of the home! Getting out of the house for that little bit during the day helps so much!! Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you ever need to talk!!

    • October 12, 2013 / 6:56 pm

      p.s. what tv series are you hooked on!? I always love suggestions!

  13. Kristin
    February 22, 2014 / 4:25 pm

    There are nights and weeks I feel like an only mom. But the best nights are having family dinner in the combine, planter, disk, sprayer. You name it we have eaten a family dinner or dessert there (with the dog of course). Even better than that is having your son beg to go work with dad in the field and then come home and replicate what they do for each season on your living room floor. Being a farmers wife takes a special type of woman, welcome to the club. It only gets better with time!

  14. August 4, 2014 / 10:11 am

    I came across your article 10 Ways Marrying a Farmer Will Change Your Life on Pinterest and LOVED it! I am also very happy that you wrote the post above. Both are very true. I am not married to a farmer…yet. I am engaged to one and we are planning a wedding for next spring. I know how lonely and unpredictable the busy times of the year can be. I have been thinking about starting a blog for some time now as a way to stay busy when work and chores just aren’t enough. I also feel that blogging about the farm and daily operations will help me to feel more involved. Any tips you can provide to get started would be very helpful!

    • August 6, 2014 / 2:45 pm

      Hi Katie,
      Thank you for commenting and reaching out to me!! I have a wealth of resources on this topic I can point you towards! I am with you in that blogging about the farm and how things work FOR ME is a way to make sure I feel involved and that I am visiting the farm, my inlaws, etc. enough! πŸ˜‰ Blogging is a ton of work, but it is something I love and enjoy. It is something I’ve been fortunate enough to be blessed with and the friends I have made through it are numerous. I wish you the best of luck on your blogging journey, whether you stay with it for many years to come or it is short lived. I hope you experience the same successes and blessings I have from my blog.

      My number one word of advice for bloggers is honestly, just be yourself. This is something I have held near and dear to my core values throughout blogging. It is also something that has taken me a LONG time to figure out. I strive for my writing is to be real. I don’t want to come off as fake, trying to sell something, trying to write like an expert, etc. And I think that element of being real, being informal, writing from the heart, and connecting with people leads to my message of any particular post to resonate. Whether it be agriculture or food or photography. It doesn’t matter that I live in the country and you live in the city, we still have common interests, common fears, common aspirations. I want people to read all my posts and be able to see themselves somewhere in there.

      I think in this world that is booming with everyone on the social media scene it’s hard to stand out. So we try to conform to what the β€œpopular” people in our circles are doing. Break away from the pack and forge your own path. Keep writing, there are people out there listening even if it doesn’t seem like it. Give feedback to get feedback and make friends with bloggers or writers you admire. Eventually, you will get there. πŸ™‚

      My resources for you:
      http://www.oldbluesilo.com/2014/03/beginner-blogger-tips-questions-to-ask.html
      http://www.oldbluesilo.com/2014/03/beginner-blogger-tips-creating-content.html
      http://prairiecalifornian.com/lessons-learned-from-a-blog-overhaul-with-farmnwife/
      http://prairiecalifornian.com/5-easy-ways-to-update-your-blog-design/

      Please feel free to contact me anytime! [email protected]
      Lots of love,
      Jenny

  15. Erin Schneider
    March 12, 2015 / 12:36 pm

    I love that you blogged about this!! I have only been dating my farmer less than a year. All of these firsts have also been hard for me to adjust to and to get use to the fact that “normal” dating is a thing of the past. No matter how difficult some days are, the time we DO get to spend together is just that much more important. He is also the biggest blessing in my life. I met him during harvest of last year so I think this winter I have been spoiled having him present more than I realized he would be during calving season and now getting ready for planting. He reassures me that this is just a very busy time of year along with fall but I have a feeling that this is just life for him. His hard work ethic is just one of the many things that draws me to him and makes me proud of him. I have also asked myself many times lately if this is what I want in my life…and no matter how difficult I find it, I have come back to the answer of YES every time. I am a nurse so I am busy working and also have really enjoyed learning the in’s and out’s of calving season since I have never been around livestock. We had our first Valentine’s day date in a barn delivering calves. πŸ™‚ I live an hour away from him so not only is his schedule difficult to work around, but the distance currently is a little tricky. Just this week I sat down and wrote down a bunch of hobbies I want to re-involve myself with or things to keep myself busy. I find myself wanting to go with him on the weekends to complete all his chores and that is fine occasionally, but I do realize that sometimes he can probably get more done when I am NOT there as well. I don’t want him to feel like he has to entertain me while he is working. The weather is finally warming up so I found myself hiking in the Loess Hills while he was finishing chores the other day. Thank you so much for posting about this, I was starting to build a resentment towards myself for having these feelings of selfishness for wanting to spend more time with him or wanting that time to be on MY terms. It is nice to know that there are so many people with ideas on how to conquer and deal with these feelings!!!

    • March 14, 2015 / 2:53 pm

      You are so welcome! I am glad you found this post and that it spoke to you! The truth is that WE ALL have struggled at various times in life being married to a farmer. And if someone ever tells you they don’t, they are lying! HA! But seriously, it’s a shared struggle. We LOVE our lives, our husbands, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t hard!

      Finding yourself is a key part to being able to make it, at least for me it was! From what you’ve said here, it sounds like you are well on your way to “getting it” and making steps to make your relationship great! It’s a fine line finding that time to spend together and just some times it comes in the form of farm dates! πŸ˜‰

      If you ever need someone to talk to, my email is [email protected] or you can find me on Facebook. I spent many nights crying in the bottom of the shower because I was new to town and didn’t have anyone who understood how I felt, talking helps so feel free to reach out to me ANYTIME! And I mean that!