My husband, is seriously, the hardest working guy I know. He recently started a new job, the pay is great, but the hours suck. He is still driving truck but is hauling asphalt and gravel vs. the feed ingredients he used to haul. He leaves for work before the kids get up. and doesn’t get home until the kids are sleeping. (Apparently due to all the rain this spring and summer, road construction projects have been delayed which explains the long hours.) Sadly, the end is not in sight. As soon as things will start to wind down with hauling, fall harvest will start. So, my immediate thought is, this is going to go on and on and on and on. It’s going to feel like forever!
What does this mean for our family? CHAOS. MELTDOWNS. LOVE. SUPPORT. LONGING.
CHAOS- SUPPORT- LOVE. It means that this momma, besides working full time, is single-mommin’ it. (Kudos to all the single mommas out there. I don’t know how you do it!):
- Daycare pick up and drop off
- Supper cookin’ and clean up
- Bath time
- Story time
- Bedtime snuggles
- Work 32-40 hours a week
- Pick up the house
- Make lunch for the hard working husband
- Pay bills
On top of the daily duties there are extra tasks occasionally sprinkled in that need to be accomplished during the day:
- Preschool open house
- School shopping
- First day of preschool
- Parts return/ pick up
- Grocery shopping
- Doctors appointments
- Family visits
- Clean up leaking rain water
MELTDOWNS. This obviously means mommy burn out is starting to set in, my fuse is growing short and I’m running on empty. How do I still make time for me? How am I coping? Well, to be 100% honest with you. I have days where I’m completely fine and days where I want to cry, sleep, or throw my own temper tantrum. My gym workouts have become home workouts after the kids go to bed and my runs have turned into family walks or bike rides. (Occasionally, I do get Samuel to run with me while Rowyn sits in the stroller!)
LONGING-LOVE. Probably too much information for most of you, but I miss my best friend, my husband, my lover. Sure, I miss the physical part of our relationship (we still try to get our freak on as much as we can) but I miss our talks, our snuggles and even being in the same room as him the most. When the chaos kicks in with the kids, gosh darn it, I want him there to enjoy it too 😉 I think Tyler feels the same way. As a matter of fact, he’s said, “miss you guys!” “can’t wait to be home!” I’m sure he would rather miss out on the screaming and running around of naked butts while I’m trying to get the kids in the tub…. but regardless, he misses us!
LOVE- MELTDOWNS- CHAOS- LONGING. For my children it means something completely different. It means lots of time spent missing their daddy. Samuel will sometimes out of the blue say, “my daddy is working!” or on our way to daycare drop off, ask, “my daddy pick me up today?” and when he is having a bad day, “I want my daddy!” This past Sunday, Tyler came home from his annual fishing trip and Rowyn just needed to snuggle, she plopped herself next to Tyler, rested her head on his chest and just melted. It’s obvious in the way he plays and acts with them that he misses them too. This is when his “daddy” role comes all out, no holding back- making farting noises and silly faces to make the kids laugh, taking the kids on tractor and ranger rides and even watching The Incredibles.
Learned. Implemented. Helped.
To the farmer’s wife, the single momma, or the go-getter sister, here’s what I’ve learned, what I’ve implemented and what has helped my family. Maybe, just maybe, it will help you too.
Gratitude- I am so thankful for how hard Tyler works to ensure a bright and promising future for our family.
This is something we try and practice daily. If you ask Samuel what he is thankful for, it’s usually ketchup, his blankey or the mailbox that we walk, run or ride to almost every day. Gratitude makes us appreciate what we have and when we have it.
Re-Focus- Tyler may be gone a lot, but he is working hard and soon, we will be able to enjoy tractor and combine rides!
If you look for it, you will find it. Stop focusing on the negativity and start focusing on the positive. Look for that silver lining.
Habits- No habit is too small and it’s never too early. Healthy habits include brushing your teeth, showering, moving your body every day for at least 30 minutes, drinking water, practicing gratitude, clipping your toenails… you get the drift. The sooner we start introducing these things into our daily routines, the quicker they become habits. (Like my children, three and one years old, habitually brushing their teeth before bed.)
One tidbit of information on habits. If you are trying to (example) workout every morning before work, create a little reward for yourself. Mel Robbins likes to reward herself with coffee. OR, if you are trying to start flossing more (example) try the building on a habit method. You already brush your teeth every morning, so to build on the flossing habit- have the floss next to your tooth brush (so you have the visual reminder) and floss immediately after brushing your teeth.
Be the best version of you- There is only one you and even though we carry different titles: employee, wife, mother you still have your own identity. You need to do what you are passionate about, what brings you joy… be true to yourself.
Act The Way You Want To Feel– previous blog
Give yourself credit- I may feel like I’m falling apart and failing as a mother, but hey, my kids are clothed, fed, clean and alive… that alone is a huge success. I maybe didn’t get to run three miles today, but I at least took my kids out for a walk.
Celebrate the little wins!
Excuse the mess- for those with anxiety, this is for you. Your house may not be clean 100% of the time and that’s OK. The more times you pick up the shoes, books, dinosaurs, baby dolls, the more anxious you will be. A house is meant to be lived in. A lived in house filled with messes, joy and chaos is a home.
The only good time to clean up books, toys and clothes is when the children are sleeping, otherwise, honestly, it’s a lost cause.
Values- When Tyler is home, the kids and I take full advantage of it… we probably suffocate him with all the love and attention he gets! “We sure miss daddy and that’s ok. Daddy works so hard so that someday the farm can be passed on to you and so we can enjoy some of the finer things in life like family vacations.”
Remind your children everyday, even your daughter after climbing on the table for the tenth time: they are smart, they are strong, they are brave, they can do anything and that they are loved and should love themselves. (Thanks, Rachel Hollis)
What’s important to you is a priority. Family. Hard work. Joy. Authenticity. Fearlessness.
THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY.
As much as I hate winter, I am looking forward to it. For with the coming of the winter season, hauling slows down, the crops have been harvested, field work is done and we can all be together. We can soak up every last minute of CHAOS-LOVE and MELTDOWNDS together. Living, Learning Together Forever (snippet of our wedding vows)
I feel that I should also mention, although other people’s opinions don’t matter, I knew fully well what I was getting myself into when I married a farmer, but who knows. maybe this will is going to help someone else. Even if it is only ONE other person, well, I’d consider that a job well done!
Again, to the farmer’s wife, the single momma and/or the go-getter sister: you are smart, you are strong, you are brave, you can do anything and YOU ARE LOVED!