You’ve heard the line “farming isn’t a job, it’s a way of life” and many more besides but is being married to a farmer really different to being married to some other professions? What about doctors or vets or pilots or lawyers – don’t they all involve long hours too that can go way past the standard 9-5 with an hour commute? I’m not so sure that I could identify a person as a doctor or a teacher or a lawyer than more than I could identify a spouse (male or female) of any of these professions. Yet, just as farmers can be spotted a mile away by their walk, by the huge fist up in the car windscreen as a friendly wave, by their dress sense, by their farmer’s tan ….. I think most farmer’s wives can be identified pretty easily too. Here’s ten signs that show you are a farm wife:
1. Optimistic – Although you are too realistic to think that the grass might be greener on the other side (unlike some of the cows), you always have a ‘glass half full’ attitude. Otherwise, you’d be sobbing all the day to the bank on the regular basis. After all, the silver lining of a bad financial year can mean less money is going to the taxman.
2. Resourceful – You might not be able to create miracles with 5 loaves and 2 fish but you come close. With an ever ready supply of milk and eggs on the farm, not to mention your foraging and gardening skills, you can whip up a tea at fairly short notice even if you just get 15 minutes notice that contractors are on their way.
3. Bucket Walk – Just as the farmer is recognised for his long farming strides, you have developed your own walk whereby you inadvertedly carry shopping bags, even if they are filled with new clothes, as if they are buckets filled with milk on their way to the calves.
4. Reliable – All the contractors know exactly what time dinner is at in your household – as well as all the other farmers’ wives in the neighbourhood.
5. Resourceful – As you drive to the shop, you wonder if you brushed your hair at all today and try to make it look brushed by running your fingers through it.
6. Appreciative – Just as the farmer likes when there is ‘good drying out’ for the land, you are just as grateful for the ‘good drying’ for the clothes on the line. However, it can happen that the clothes are almost dry, get soaked, almost dry again, get soaked and are eventually brought in while damp to dry off in the ‘hotpress’ (happens a lot in Ireland anyway)!
You also know that if you want to see the farmer in the evenings during a busy time of year, you have to look at a night of driving into the sunset on the tractor as a romantic date.
7. Non Observant – Others may ask if your husband is growing a beard but you’ve scarcely noticed because you just know it is is ‘unshaven busy time’ of the calving season / lambing season / planting season / harvesting.
8. Queen of Multi-Tasking – You have become incredibly competent at doing more than three tasks at the time. Having to cook a dinner, keep an eye on a calving monitor (TV screen), help kids with homework, sweep the kitchen floor, answer the phone and look for an important missing piece of paper is just another ordinary afternoon to you.
9. Confident – Having to go to events on your own doesn’t bother you in the least whereas other women might hate it. Over the years, you’ve become accustomed to calving cows, stray sheep or sick cattle taking precedence over attending dinner dances or weddings. If it’s a case of staying at home or going on your own, you’re confident enough to go if the event means enough to you.
10. Fit – You may not be able to outrun cattle – yet! – but between walking to herd the cattle and sheep, running after children and working at milking cows or feeding calves, you’re reasonably fit considering you never darken the doors of a gym. You have a ‘farm’ bra, a ‘going out at night’ bra and a ‘going shopping’ bra to mention a few!
Can you think of any other ways you are easily identified as a farm wife, apart from the muck on your jeans of course? Or do you disagree with any of my ten reasons?