We have all heard the expression and title of the book “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” but farm men come into their own. Usually brought up on the farm all their lives, they can find it hard to understand life from any other perspective, and if their dearly beloved is from a non farming background, allowances often have to be made on both sides. So how can the farmer transform himself from an ordinary farmer to an ideal farm husband? Here are ten top tips:
1. Maintenance Days
While it is lovely to spend time off together, sometimes you have to recognise that you both have different needs when it comes to doing things to make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated. She might love the idea of a spa day so book her in as a treat. What can you do that makes you feel revitalised? Bliss to you may be a day of uninterrupted maintenance on your tractor. So book both of you in for separate, yet essential, maintenance days.
Being romantic doesn’t have to mean expensive flowers or meals out (although they are appreciated too). You can show your romantic side quite easily. You might be in the farm store purchasing fertilizer. You see strawberry plants or new wellies or a tool you know she wants. Saying “I saw this and thought you would like it” will earn you brownie points.
3. The Limits of Telepathy
You may think your instructions are as clear as water but in reality, they are often as clear as mud. Your efforts at telepathy (don’t stand there, stand there, yes stop the black and white one – the one that is blackest on my side) even if aided by shouts and pointed sticks don’t always work as well as you think. If going to work at cattle or sheep together, always always have a hug first and tell her you love her.
4. Farmer Time
Farmer Time is different to any other. 20 minutes to a farmer often turns out to be two hours especially if it comes with the words “I’ll be in for dinner in twenty minutes”. Unless you’re up to your armpits in a cow or in the innards of a tractor and you know you’re going to be another hour, try to send a text with an update. Apart from anything else, the number of accidents on farms means that getting the text reassures her that you are safe. And your dinner will be waiting for you rather than in the dog.
5. Pick up those Socks
Don’t leave your dirty socks anywhere but the farm laundry basket – not under the bed, beside the bed or beside the laundry basket. That goes for all your farming clothes. She doesn’t want to have to reach for a tongs everytime she has to pick them up either.
6. Date Days and Nights
We all know that getting away from the farm can be tricky at times but it is possible to spend quality time together on the farm. Double up by doing jobs together such as putting up fences or bringing in the cows. The passenger seat on the tractor is there for a reason.
7. Never Say
There are some things you should never say. These include “My mother never did it like that” and “Stand on this gate – it needs a bit of weight to close it”.
8. Stock Your Sheds
We’re all guilty of “borrowing” things from the kitchen in an emergency. These include measuring jugs, whisks, bread soda, washing up liquid, sweeping brush, knives, vegetable oil, towels and the worst of them all, the good scissors. The thing is these things never make it back inside again. Stock your shed with all of the necessary equipment before a busy calving or lambing season.
9. Never Choose Favourites
Never ever play your wife off against your mother and vice versa. Never choose the cooking of one over the other. If both made a potato salad, take an equally sized spoonful from each bowl.
10. Take the Kids
Looking after small children is hard work so taking one of them out with you for an hour while you herd or spread fertiliser will be appreciated. It’s about making memories too and spending precious time with them when they are little. As the parent of an 18 and 16 year old, believe me when I say they grow up very quickly once they are out of nappies.