Hearing the words, “Honey . . . I’m going to the field,” bring on much different emotions now that I’m a mom of three littles. Before kids, when it was time to go to the field, I was behind the wheel of the tractor helping with the task at hand. But now, with three kids under the age of four and a full time job that also revolves around farming, my time in the tractor cab is much more limited. So, when my husband says he’s going to the field, it makes me feel excited for sure. Spring planting season signifies a new beginning and the hope that this year’s crop will be the best one yet.
But if I’m being really honest, it also now gives me a sinking feeling in my gut because I know that for the next couple of months our time with our farmer will be few and far between. We’ll make trips to the field almost every night so the girls can get some quality tractor time with daddy and so mom can steal a quick kiss from her handsome farmer (I’ve always told him I like him best when he’s in his chore clothes and smells like work). As the season progresses, papa and daddy will start to look more and more weary as their fuel tank will be running on empty and stress will have been at a constant high for too long.
I feel torn in this phase of life where I don’t want to wish away any time with my precious babies. But I also long for the days when I’m able to help in the field and on the farm more. I suppose every phase of life is a give and take and there will never be enough time for everything we want.
For a farmer’s wife, spring and fall days go so fast and yet seem to take forever. A farmer’s wife has to juggle taking supper to the field, doing bathes and bedtime routines solo, cleaning up the house and then jumping on the computer to get back to their full-time job once the kids are in bed. They’ll keep looking out the kitchen window, down the gravel road, to see if any headlights are coming that might be their farmer. They’ll eventually go to bed and check in with their farmer one last time to make sure he’s getting along okay before falling asleep. But they won’t sleep well because they’re constantly worrying about him, knowing that he’s exhausted and hoping that he stays safe. And at some point, in the middle of the night, their farmer will finally collapse into bed for a few hours before getting up to start another long day all over again.
A farmer’s wife always prays for whatever kind of weather the crop is needing at the moment. But deep down she’s also asking God for one little rain shower. One that will bring just enough rain to keep him out of the field for 24 hours so he’ll get caught up on a little sleep and she’ll get to see him too.
There are a few farmer’s wives in particular that never cease to amaze me with their strength, dedication, loyalty and work ethic. If I can be half the farmer’s wife that my mom, mother-in-law and Aunt Janice are, I’ll consider that a success.
As my farmer left today, I had a sleepy baby in one arm and two wild and crazy toddlers running around. He could sense that I was missing him already and he said with a grin “you should have married someone who makes more money and works less hours.” I wouldn’t change our life for anything in the world. Every part of it is worth it. It may not be easy but nothing worth having is.
As spring planting approaches, I want to wish all the farmers and farmer’s wives a safe and successful season.