I work side by side with my husband on our farm. It is rewarding and I love the animals, but it is extremely hard work. We both work during the week, he drives truck and I work 3 days off the farm... Every weekend we work our butts off with something around the farm - fencing, disking, planting, cutting, raking baling hay, vaccinating, chopping, chores...
This past weekend really has me whining about not having enough time as a couple. I am about ready for a meltdown. Anyone else partners in farming with their spouses? How do you cope? Do you just say that is it and try to get out for an evening for yourselves?
Please feel free to reply to my discussion...
its very hard to get away when your on the farm. I am not sure your finacial situation but maybe one of you could quit your other jobs and that could allow more time with one another. Or if you farm with your parents, maybe you could take a weekend off during the down time to have a get away or maybe it could just be a day alone. But the best key I can say is just to communicate with each and talk about everything that helps alot. It helped me and my fiancee alot. hopes this helps
Don't know from personal experience as I am not married yet but can definitely relate to some of the stuff your talking about, my girlfriend helps on the farm all she can during her times when she isn't working full-time but sometimes talks about this same thing, wishing there was more "couple time."
My sister has a blog where she recently discussed this topic and thought maybe it could be of some help to you, I know she loves to talk about this topic with other farm wives. Here is the link:
We can relate.....
We farm 400 acres, each have high stress day jobs that require nights, weekends, and travel and throw on three kids for good measure. I finally said we need to stop doing some things and two week later she joins the school referendum committee. That makes me Mr mom again tonight.
- a few things that help
- Open discussion when there is not stress. Pick a good time. Ur married u know what I mean
- Plan things off farm and far in advance. Boyz are not planners by nature. They gripe about going but once they are gone....
- We go to church as a family to be a family
- travel away from the farm I worked on a dairy in college and they worked 12 hour days seven days a week year round. They would take long vacations to points of ag interest. Seem to work for them
- Communicate, if its not going well dont try a push through. Start again some other time.
We dont live far from u. Stop and visit on the way into the cities sometime.
Ohio? LOL I live in Minnesota.
The farm is in Ohio, I live in Delano MN. As if farming wasnt hard enough already. :)
We farm together and are blessed that farming is our only job. We do little things like eating breakfast, dinner and supper together as a family whenever at all possible, even if that means going back to work after supper. We also are trying to do better at lining up baby-sitters at least once a month to have a date night. We also agree with the church comment. We go to church as a family every week and then usually do something as a family afterwards.
I don't have any answers, just questions. Do you set common short term goals? If so, hopefully you jointly decide on a manageable task. Or does one person set goals? Is it him? Setting impossible goals is one way to always stay busy, stay in charge, stay focused on things outside the relationship.
Do you have over arching, long term objectives, such as eventually farm full time and quit the other jobs, or will the current arrangement continue indefinitely?
What is your transition plan for when you have children? How will that affect farm work partnership?
On our farm, my wife prefers that I manage the farm and she contributes in other ways. Some farm families are pretty much a partnership and in some the guy drives the tractor and the woman makes the decisions. It's probably a work in progress to develop a farm management style that fits you as individuals and as a couple.
So, what I'm asking is, is it time to ask really soul searching questions of yourself and your spouse? Where are you going and do you like the journey?
Sorry, that's probably not what you wanted to hear, especially if he's not interesting in that line of thought.
What you need is your life back so that you do not have to deal with the paperwork and record-keeping on your farm. We have automated this process for a large number of operators and would be happy to help you too.