My husband, Jake, and I have been together for over 7 years now. I am used to his schedule, he milks cows morning & night- 5 AM. & 5 PM 365 days a year. That means most of our plans involve either being home before 4:30 PM or so, and/or not going out until after 7:30 PM when he’s done milking cows. You get pretty used to it, and honestly it’s not that big of a deal. I actually loved it when I was working, I would casually run my errands or meet up with friends after work & still have plenty of time to make supper by 7:30. It was some nice me time to wind down after work before spending time with Jake.
I was not prepared for how things would change when we started a family. Really, I think all parents find this out real quickly, things are a little overwhelming. But specifically for me, with a husband on the farm, I was a bit shell shocked. I was lucky enough when our first son was born that my husband was able to spend most of his days with me in between chores. So he helped me get adjusted and we were happy as can be with our new little guy. It was an adjustment going back to work because all of a sudden I had to pick up Joey right after work and at that time we lived about 10 minutes away from the farm so when he was working late during harvest or what not it got a little lonely. But even with Joey, he was pretty portable in his little carrier car seat, I would just take him with and get back into my routine of errands or meeting up with friends. This wasn’t so bad, doing this whole Mom thing!
Then when our second son was born, Caleb, things really changed. I had an extremely active 15 month old and a newborn that was not colicky by any means, but if he was awake, he wanted to be held! All the time. And I did not have the baby wearing thing figured out at that time. It was chaos for a long time. And basically I would get the kids fed & bathed, and just as I was zipping those footie pajamas up, the garage door would open and my husband would be home. Or if God was really testing me, the noise presumed to be the garage door was actually the sump pump. Jake would usually arrive home right after I finished scrubbing poop out of the bath tub or scrubbing rice or noodles off the floor or what have you. Perfect timing for you, my dear! (Blood boiling…) But it wasn’t his fault.
Being a farm wife means a lot of independence. Living off the farm is an incredible challenge. Because one of a farmer’s greatest perks is making your own schedule and having random breaks in your day sometimes between waiting for parts or in between hoof trimming and herd check or what have you. But when you live off the farm, your husband is less likely to pop home for lunch, or take the time to mow the lawn or fix the wobbly shelf or spend an hour with you on a Saturday afternoon. This creates a whole new tension and I remember feeling the weight of the world on my shoulders. During the summer, Jake would only be home close to dark most days so the back yard looked terrible!! I mowed it twice.. Once when I got both kids to sleep at the same time, and once when I had Caleb asleep in his car seat in the garage, and Joey strapped in the stroller. I would mow a row or two, check on them, and repeat. That was too stressful! Poor, Dean, our amazing neighbor came to the rescue countless times (maybe he was just mortified to live next to our yard!). Then there was the old guy who moved in behind us, yes he was definitely mortified because his rider demolished our beautiful weed infested, once-was-a-garden. He drove right over the rubber edging. And proceeded to mow the entire back yard. I guess he didn’t like the view.
Anyway, you get the point. It can be incredibly lonely & challenging living away from the farm. So we knew it had to change. But all of the houses near the farm were way out of our price range. They were either lakeshore or came with expensive acreage. So we knew we had to build. After looking at all the possibilities on the farm there was no where the county would allow us to build due to setbacks and watershed district or without cutting into an existing field. So we requested a variance and interim use permit to build right in the yard, 20-some feet away from his parents house. And by the grace of God they approved it! I will continue next post about how I’m adjusting to life ON the farm & after welcoming a third baby to the mix. Thanks for reading! After I tell my story I will start to share all the things I’ve learned from activities to keep little ones busy to creative DIY’s to quick and easy recipes. Stay posted 🙂