To This Generations Farmer’s Wife
“Do you help on the farm?” is likely the most common question us farmer’s wives get after hearing that our husbands farm.
For the longest time, when asked this question, I was overcome with guilt. Should I be helping more? Am I supposed to be in the combine? Should I be doing the payroll? Should I be baking fresh bread and hauling the kids out to the field each night to feed #allthefarmers?
I’d lose my mind, I thought.
I’d wrestle with my insecurities and eventually respond to this question by admitting my lack of involvement on the farm – and then quickly, feeling the need to justify, I’d explain why I couldn’t help at the farm more. With my daytime job of – you know, keeping humans alive and the other jobs I worked to help with our finances, I’d explain that helping on the farm more wasn’t a possibility for me.
Depending on the recipient of such a response, it would either be met with great understanding or great judgment.
The judgement sometimes coming from those who understand farmer’s wives the best – farm families themselves. More often coming from farmers or their wives from generations past.
This got me thinking – why is there such judgement on how farm families live today?
Because farm families look different today than in generations past.
The reasons for the change in farm families are many, from an increase of women in the workplace to an increased pressure on family involvement in the schools and in activities. Many farm families no longer live on the farm or near the farm but instead miles away, making life more convenient for community life. With great advances in technology, farmers no longer need to physically watch over the farm but can do so with their iPhone.
Farm families look different today because they are different today. And our farm family looks different than yours.
Those farming in this generation understand this, and those who’ve farmed in generations past may not – and that is okay.
There inlies the beauty. While my beautiful farm wife friend drives tractor for her farm because her kids are now in college and she loves to drive the tractor, another beautiful farm wife friend manages a team of accountants at a multi-million dollar company. Both beautifully contributing to the family and to God’s Kingdom by simply living out the gifts God has given them.
What matters is that you and your husband are content with how you are creating your farm family. We will respect other people’s perspectives – including our in-laws – however, we do not need to create a farm family that works for them. It only needs to work for us.
It takes a great deal of confidence in your marriage and in God to fight off judgement of what others think you should be doing at the farm.
So how do I respond now when someone asks me if I help out at the farm?
I smile and proudly say, “I sure do! For our family, I help my husband by doing my best to take care of things at home so that he can focus on the farm.”
Your response might be different, and if so, I applaud you.
You are a farmer’s wife. Hold your head high. This is no small thing.
I know it can feel lonely, exhausting, and defeating. You discipline alone, you shop alone, you cook alone, you bathe alone, rock-to-sleep alone, clean up alone – because you are alone. For tips on making harvest less overwhelming, read here!
But never are you apart from Your Heavenly Father. He knows, He sees, and He applauds, and He gives you the energy you need to do hard things.
You are doing Kingdom work. We are doing Kingdom work. No matter what your role is at the farm, you are appreciated. You support your husband in ways that go beyond the farm itself.
Let’s applaud one another in our role of farm wife and encourage each other in such work. And let’s not let anyone discourage us with what our families are creating. Farming looks different today than it did in years past; therefore our families look different. Thank you, Jesus, for all of it.
Wife Step: What about you? Do you help out at your farm? Do you help the farm by helping at home? I’d love to hear!
Amanda Davison is on a mission to share how her education in counseling and God’s word changed her life and marriage. Her goal is to transform marriages through the hearts of wives, by inspiring wives to live their lives convinced of God’s love and love others from this awesome overflow. She is The Wife Coach, Founder of A Wife Like Me, a Speaker, and Author. Amanda is a professor of psychology at North Dakota State College of Science and works as the Director of Assimilations at The Naz church in Fergus Falls, MN, where her and her husband lead the Marriage Mentor Team. Her favorite ministry is inside her home where she is the wife to a farmer and mom to three.
She looks forward to hearing from you and hopes you will join with her on the journey of learning to love God’s people well.