May 16, 2011

Being A Farmer's Wife -101.

A while ago I read a hilarious post by a fellow farmer's wife over at The Farmer Has A Wife.  She posted some advice on her blog to potential farmer's wives.  She entitled it The Farmer Probably Just Wants A Shag.  It is well worth popping over and checking out.

It got me thinking - what advice would I give someone considering marrying a farmer?

(A bit of a disclaimer before I start.  The examples I use have not all happened to me, but they have happened to close friends or extended family.  Also - I have to admit to completely lucking in with my in-laws.  They have only ever been generous, welcoming and supportive.  I am not just saying this because my mother-in-law might read it!  The whole in-law issue also cuts both ways.  Whilst there are scary mother-in-laws there are also some less than ideal daughter-in-laws.)

Ok.  So ladies you have got yourself a farmer.  A real, live, romantic man of the land.  What to do?  Should you pop that sparkler on your finger with a resounding yes when he proposes? Which, let's face it is probably what you are going to do anyway.  Well, make sure that rock is a big one girls, because your life is about to change.  Here are some things I have discovered over the past ten years.

1.  You are going to live on a farm for the next 20 or so years. If not longer.  Just something to keep in mind in case you are addicted to shopping, takeaway skinny lattes and good sushi.  Also - a lot of this time the farmer will be working.  And you will be the one doing everything else.

2.  The romantic weatherboard cottage with the outside loo and laundry is not so romantic at 3am when you are 7 months pregnant, busting for a wee and the rain is coming in sideways.  Likewise when there is a snake on the laundry floor and you are perched on top of the washing machine shouting for your farmer.

3.  You will have to live with your in-laws as your nearest neighbours for years to come.  And they will know what you earn. And spend.  Mmmm.  Something to think about.  A lot.

4.  You need a plan to deal with slithering reptiles in close vicinity to your house.  Chances are there is no official reptile removal type person to ring.  If you did happen to get such a person on the phone, it is very possible he would tell you to just deal with it yourself and hit the said reptile over the head with a shovel.  If you get this advice, use a long handled shovel.  Or a gun.

5. Power and water are not reliable on a farm.  Learning how to operate the water pump and generator during the day is always preferable to having to teach yourself at 8pm while your two year old son holds a torch.

6. Think carefully before learning to drive a tractor.  Or getting a truck license.  Because once you can do these things, you will have to for years to come....   Even a C class license comes with duties.  A certain farmer's wife went on maternity leave with her second child. Then for the first week she was on general dogsbody seeding duties complete with a dual cab ute with toddler seat.  (NB - I am not saying don't do the truck, tractor thing - just give it due consideration first.)

7. Make some really good friends.  The sort you can ring every day.  And whose house you can turn up at with a bottle of SSB after a bad day.  Friends are worth their weight in gold.

8. Keep in mind that you will live and socialise in the same small district for many years.  Try and rise above the day-to-day gossip.  Do your own thing and be your own person.  In the long term people will respect you for this.

9. Consider an off farm job.  The money and the break might be worth it.  (I would do my job even if I didn't get paid.)

10. Remember that you love that farmer.  And being able to raise a family together in the country is a wonderful thing.

34 comments:

Georgie said...

Love this post... you always make me laugh! I'm starting to realise number 8 and particularly love number 10. gxo

Emma said...

This is all so true. Our first house we lived in after I moved to the country to be with my farmer had possums living in the old combustion stove and an outside loo down the back of the jungle yard. It was so cold in that house I got frostbite on my toes! But we were stupidly happy. No shower either so used a camp shower in the backyard, and of course my farmer was never home so I'd have to grab the motorbike to go down to the creek to turn the pump on in my dressing gown hahaha good times, I wouldn't change being an (almost) farmers wife for quids!

Fussy Eater's Mum said...

That list was spot on. I've made a point of never even hinting that I could drive a tractor. I'm too busy doing everything else...and whinging about it!

Brydes said...

Aaaah... so true! Great post!!

deux chiens et un garcon said...

Dear FW

This is a good list and full of insight. I've often wondered how lonely it would be. But then relying on your own ingenuity and resources must be so rewarding. Friends through the good and then bad times must provide the ground for some solid friendships.

Hoping those chickie babes from the TV show are able to have a read of your list.

jill xo

Gemma @ My Big Nutshell said...

I loved reading your post. I have only a small insight into country life irregularly visiting a friend out of Moree and I agree about those snakes! And she would agree with all on your list particularly 8 which can sometimes render her a bit lonely.

I'm So Fancy said...

This actually sounds a lot like agreeing to marry a Fancy Man. Seriously. Except for the snakes. I would have someone to ring. No firearms involved. :-)

A Farmer's Wife said...

Georgie - Love it when I give someone a giggle.

Emma - Possums in the stove sounds noisy and smelly! Love the idea of having to turn the pump on in your dressing gown.

Fussy Eater's Mum - Thought it was a post you may appreciate.

Brydes - Thank you!

Jill - I think those chicks on the show think they are going to spend the rest of their lives in an RM Williams photo shoot! Thanks for your kind comments.

Gemma - It can be lonely, more when you first arrive I think, while you are making friends.

Fancy - Funnily enough I thought your post about being a Fancy Wife sounded much like being a farmer's wife! Except I don't have access to a gym.

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

I supposed it would help if you were raised on a farm as well--unless you grew up hoping to marry a City Man!

I think I could cope, with most of it. I would cross my fingers for good in-laws though, that sounds like the scariest part to me!!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Michelloui - Don't laugh but one of my husband's cousins who was raised on a farm was absolutely adamant that she wouldn't marry a farmer. She married an ad exec and is very happy!

Emma said...

Love it and there was some good advice for all of us in your list. x

The Farmer's Wife said...

Love it! Funny funny! xxx PS: Thanks for the mention too! :)

Donna said...

I wholeheartedly agree with every point - you know my life inside out!! Thanks for the laughs!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Emma - Thank you!

The Farmer's Wife - Glad you like it. It was my pleasure to give your blog a little shout out.

Donna - I think farmer's wives have the same issues all over Australia. Having travelled a little and done some farm tours in other countries I actually think these issues (+/- different wildlife) are pretty universal.

Scotty Lover said...

when we arrived on the cattle station, my first present from the husband was a 410 shotgun. The second present 2 minutes later was a peice of poly pipe. The third lesson was how to use the two together, pretending that the pipe was a snake. Best lesson I've had and your lessons were a reminder.
Unfortunately, when I did see a snake (nasty one at that) all I could do was swear like a navvy, get the kids inside and get the gun for the husband. Thank goodness I had a great cat who spotted the slimy beast first and watched it till it was got!.
All other slimy beasts were sighted with others who could do the deed.

Thanks again for rejigging my memeores.

WildKat said...

Hello fellow Farmer's Wife
Your post made me laugh out loud! It's so true! I grew up in Melbourne, met my NSW farmer in the USA and we married 16 years ago. We have four beautiful daughters and I'm still madly-in-love with my gorgeous blue-eyed Ploughboy! Yes he works very hard and very long hours but damn he still looks hot when he walks in the door! I'm glad I worked through my homesickness and depression to stay on our farm. I couldn't imagine living in the city now. I have wonderful friends who have been by my side through the good, the bad and the ugly! Life is never dull or quiet in the country. Whoever said that has never lived in the country. It's a great life!

A Farmer's Wife said...

Scotty Lover - Last time I saw a snake with no one around to help I had to use the poly pipe as a snake whacker as there was no one (not even the dog) handy to watch the snake while I got the gun... (it was in the kids sand pit trying to climb up near a window - ugh)

WildKat - Hello! I couldn't agree more about country life not being quiet... Thanks for taking the time to comment.

The Farmer's Wife said...

Hi!
I have just given you a shout out on my blog! I love your stuff - and may even borrow some of it at some point... If it means sending people back here for a visit, I'm sure it will all be good! :)

Annette Piper said...

All so true - we become a breed unto our own once we marry a farmer!

Littlemissairgap said...

Hmmm ... that's' certainly not what "Country Style" has us believe ;-) Great post.

Kellie @ Three Li'l Princesses said...

Ah, there's elements of the country I miss and other aspects I don't so much! OK, so our farm wasn't very big. OK, it was 11 acres. Yes, it was a hobby farm. But it was in the country!!
Great post! Made me laugh and reminisce! (Now married to a very slick, suburban type of guy!)

Melanie said...

Those hit home so hard. The snake one particular made me laugh because I did a post on that exact thing. (htttp://www.hereslivinthedream.blogspot.com/down-on-farm-rattlesnake-crossing.html)

Anyway, I love, love, love the post!

Ry said...

Lived on a farm for 4 months when I was 9 years old. Which for me was a great adventure, not so much for my poor mother who would probably agree with most of your key points. Excellent post!

Ry

Seana Smith said...

Oh I am such a suburban housewife and mu hubby is a vegetarian, not-at-all-handy engineer. Great to get a wee glimpse into life in real Australia.

Being Me said...

Love #8 especially. Really interesting and entertaining post! (I can't say I would be very good at the slithering reptile removal thing.... at ALL)

Catherine said...

Thanks for the laughs! I grew up around farms and knew it was not a glamourous life so stayed away from the farm boys.

And #6 can apply outside the farm. My husband asked me if I wanted to learn to use the lawn mower. When i had stopped laughing I asked him if I looked like I wanted to learn to use the mower. End of discussion.

Kakka said...

I always wanted to marry a farmer, the romance of the country appealed to me. But in a way I am so glad I didn't ever find one, I am too much of a not get my hands dirty kinda woman and I hate the dark and lets face it, there ain't no streetlights on a farm so when it is dark it is dark. Snakes, I could handle them - maybe. Thanks so much for sharing. xxx

Jodi Gibson said...

This is a great post. I have to laugh when I watch shows such as 'Farmer Wants A Wife' and these funky, hip city chicks turn up ready for life on the land.
I am spent a bit of time growing up on various farms so I know that it entails a lot of hard work, getting your hands dirty entwined with the wonderful beauty of the land. It takes a special person to be love it, and not just the 'idea'.

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

Brilliant post! Just love it. I know a lot of farmers. Am not married to one. But I can see both sides of that equation.

Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro!

Melissa said...

Great post! I confess, I'm utterly sure the farmer's life is not for me.

I'm far too fond of air conditioning, skinny lattes and sushi. And not so good at that nature stuff....

therhythmmethod said...

Love this post. If I didn't marry Mr Karen, I reckon I would have found myself a farmer. I'm pretty handy with a shovel. ;)

Catch the Kids said...

Great post. Funny and so, so true. I don't live on a farm, but gosh I love reading about them. Thanks for the giggle.

Donna said...

This is a hoot! My Dad was a farmer so I understand quite a bit of this. Great read!!

Kerry said...

I can relate to everything you have written!!
I married my gorgeous Farmer 15 years ago & we are raising 3 wonderful farm kids & I wouldn't have life any other way!
I had read the blog over at The Farmer has a Wife & loved it also!!