Pumpkins, mums, and corn stalks decorate front porches. Orchards are full of kids bouncing on wagons with sticky caramel-apple fingers, and parents are capturing adorable family photos. Couples dressed in flannel shirts, cowboy hats, and boots pick out the perfect pumpkin and pose for a fall picture.
Not for us.
Fall has a different decor around the farm.
When the combine rolls out of the shed; that is my cue; I am about to become the "harvest widow." This doesn't mean my husband died; it's a farmwife expression. I will not see or have his help during harvest time. I'm not new here as I have been around for thirty years, but that doesn't mean I always enjoy it.
It was an entirely different story when my kids were small versus today. I reluctantly learned to balance the house, work, kids, activities, and farm chores single handily. Priority was my kids, farmer, and tending our animals. The other duties got pushed to the back burner. Do I miss those days? Honestly, no.
Today, my kids are grown, so I've had to find another way to occupy myself as I spend a lot of evenings alone. So, if I'm not out giving rides, running for parts, or unloading a semi, I bake. It makes me happy, and my guys love dessert, so it's a win! Besides, who doesn't love my favorite; a gooey chocolate chip cookie or an apple crisp fresh out of the oven?
Learning to balance life as a farm-wife is not an easy road to travel. There are plenty of potholes along the way, but it is a life I would not change for anything.
If you know a farm-wife or girlfriend, here are 5 tips to encourage her during harvest:
Let her know you see her rocking the farm life, and she's doing fabulous.
Invite her out for a girl's night.
Offer to help her with farm chores, meals, errands, housework, or running her kids around.
Listen to her vent about the farm or just life in general (it's okay if you do not understand it all, you are listening).
Most importantly, encourage her. A quick text, phone call, or honk when you drive by the farm.
If you live on a grain farm, here are some helpful tips from your fellow farm-wife:
Find something to occupy your time, whether it is spending time in the tractor with your hubby, reading a book, watching your favorite show, or having a girls' night out. Your overall health needs to spend some "me" time. Trust me; it will help your relationship also.
Do you know that painting, sewing, or wine-making class you meant to take? Do it, girl. Hire a sitter, buy take-out for supper, call your girlfriend and go out for some much-deserved fun.
It is worth it.
You are worth it.
You are not alone!