As a mom of two young children, I am an expert at juggling, multitasking and then just plain forgetting some details because there is soo much going on. But then you add my farm responsibilities, a husband that is just as busy and cows that for some reason want to be fed and milked twice a day, everyday and our calender is ready to explode. I fear for when Zweber Baby #3 enters the world.
I am a very punctual and organized person (well I was). When Tim and I first started dating I would get mad when he was 10-15 minutes late to pick me up. Why couldn’t he be on time? Why is there always a farm excuse? Now if Tim is home within 45 minutes of when he said he would be, I don’t sweat it. In fact when he says he will be home by noon for lunch, I automatically calculate that as meaning 12:45pm. I laugh and tell him, “See you at 1pm.”
It isn’t that Tim is unorganized or unable to keep a schedule, farm life really is unpredictable. Someone decided to calve, the auger didn’t work right, a seman salesman stops by or host of other reasons keep us from being on time. My new trick is to tell Tim that he needs to be home an hour before he actually does (shhh, don’t tell him that).
I recently was reading Parenting magazine and there was an article titled “I am a Married Single Mom.” The article was written by a mom whose husband owns a restaurant and worked very long hours every day of the week. Boy did that sound familiar. I am sure any farm wife could have written the same article.
We learn to lead our lives without depending on our husbands to be on time. Our friends know that when we call at the last minute to say the cows got out that we are not just blowing them off, but in fact the cows got out. I have learned that I can go to events or activities for families and it is okay if my husband doesn’t come along. In fact, I recently started going to church by myself with the boys, because it is the only way I am going to get there. And guess what, it has been okay.
So why cannot we just call it a day at 5:00 pm like the rest of the world? Why cannot we just leave those things that “come up” until tomorrow? Simple, our profession is the care of animals. We cannot call it quits at 5:00pm if it means that someone is not cared for. Cows, calves, steers, heifers, pigs and hens depend on us to provide for them. This doesn’t have a quitting time, until all is well fed, watered and cared for. It would be the same as a parent saying “too bad kids it is past the time I want to care for you, fend for yourself.”
I have learned that farm and animal care comes first and thankfully, most of the world understands.
Zweber Farms is a 4th generation family operated organic dairy. We are proud Organic Valley farmer members and sell our milk under that label. We also specialize in sustainably raised beef, pork and chicken and sell it directly to customers in Minnesota.Visit our website to learn more, www.zweberfarms.com. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitterand YouTube.
While my husband and I dated, he and his father milked cows. They sold them a couple months before we married, and we went from a cow/calf operation to feeders now. I taught for 18 years and lived by my quarterly syllabus guides, sports schedules, and school calendars. Time was very precises for me so I totally get the whole freaking out at not being able to plan. After six years of dating and almost ten years of marriage, you would think I would have it figured out by now, but I have to admit I can still feel my blood pressure rise when I realize we are going to be late to some event or cannot plan in advance to be somewhere in the near distant future because we “might be in the field planting, spraying, combining by then”
It takes a very flexible woman to fit into this life. You can’t come in thinking you are going to change him and/or his ways. Lots of deep breathing and patience is a must for a farm wife!
Sounds so familar! Right now I’m headed out so see my family, without my husband. I always want a sign that says, “Yes, I’m still married!” No one from my hometown sees my husband unless it’s a major holiday, like Christmas. The things we dairy wives deal with everyday would drive a lot of other wives crazy. It was fun to read your post and know it’s not just this farm!
Yes a deep breath is needed most days. And I always make sure to wear my wedding ring when I go out to “prove” I am still married. 🙂