Ten Probable Differences Between You and Your Farming Mother-in-law

When you marry a farmer, you marry the farm and his whole family. As I mention in my book ‘Would You Marry A Farmer?, no matter how big a house is, it would be an unusual daughter-in-law and mother-in-law who find it large enough to contain the two of them without too many arguments. It’s often just the different personalities and ways of doing things that leads to a building of friction. The problem is that friction can intensify until you are both at screaming point. The Australians have an unwritten rule (and remember the isolation of many farms out there – there may be only those two houses for miles) that neither farming household should be able to see the other’s clothes lines!

The following differences between a potential woman and her mother-in-law are probably closely modelled on my mum and I. It reveals me to be somewhat lacking in the domestic goddess department. I often think how lucky I am that it’s my mum that lives near us as she only has herself to blame for having brought up a daughter to be so undomesticated!!! Luckily she loves me and I hope she still thinks I’m wonderful!

On a serious note though, life is very different now to what it was like when our mums and mothers-in-law were our age. Partly because of the marriage bar in Ireland until 1973 and partly because farming was more profitable in the 80s (for example, apparently a farmer was able to make the same income from 25 cows in the 80s as 80 cows now) many farming women then didn’t go outside the home to work. While many would have worked outside on the farm, many would have spent their time looking after children and doing the housework. While female farmers work on the farm, farmers wives are often looking after the home, sorting kids, working part time or full time off farm and getting home from work to find contractors waiting for food or farm paperwork waiting.

Mother in Law!!Mother in Law as depicted in my book 🙂

Your Mother-in – Law You
She puts the clothes pegs into a peg bag when not in use. You leave the clothes pegs on the line all year round and then wonder why they become brittle.
If farm reps call, she will offer them a cup of tea and slice of cake or a scone. You offer them a cup of tea and a biscuit if you are having one.
She makes the Christmas pudding and Christmas cake in August. You wonder if she is making you one this year or if you should buy one in M&S.
She leaves the kitchen spotless every night, washing up whatever dishes don?t fit in the dishwasher. You hope the magic fairies will come and finish the washing up while you sleep. Otherwise, it will go in the dishwasher in the morning.
Dinner is served promptly at 1pm. Dinner time can fluctuate.
Farming clothes are ironed. Farming clothes might be folded (and might not)
Farming clothes are mended. Farming clothes are passed to mother-in-law to mend.
Dinner is almost always meat, potatoes and two veg followed by a hearty filling dessert. Dinners include vegetarian options.
Bakes almost every day: homemade bread, spot o dick, cake or pie. Bakes once or twice a week (if he is lucky)
Always has an extra dinner in the pot. Left scrambling for something if a contractor arrives suddenly.
Was a full time farm wife May be doing other things such as working full time off farm

What do you think? Am I way off the mark or can you think of any other differences?


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