Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Single, full time working, diversified farmer mother

I tried an experiment the last 2 weeks. I let my husband go literally half way across the world for 2 weeks. I instantly became a single, full time working, diversified farmer mother.

I can now imagine what it would have been like if I had been a farmers wife with 3-8 kids and my husband went off to fight in the war. I can also imagine what it would have been like if I then decided to make some extra money and went to work at an industrial job helping make bombs or airplanes or whatnot.

Time is an interesting thing. It stretches and somehow things get done. Sometimes when you have so much to do and it just MUST get done, you tend to focus and really make it all happen.

I can tell you that my kids got good at walking home from the bus stop - even in the pouring rain one afternoon. They learned to get along for a few hours before I got home from work (I only had 1 phone call of tattling on a sibling). They remembered 75% of the time to let the dogs out to pee. Poor dogs did have to wait the other 25% and were looking at me like I didn't train the kids well. So the kids did well. I had to lean on them to help me out and they did. Maybe I don't ask the kids to do enough on a regular basis- I'm going to do more of that in the future as I think it helps them become independent. The kids did learn how to make homemade soft pretzels and they made huge batches on Sunday while I had a friend over helping to start the seedlings. And my youngest actually cleaned his room on his own. I nearly fell over when I saw it. Mom, I needed my table to be clear and I just got on a cleaning kick so I can't stop now. Amazing! Who's child is this?

We all learned how to make crock pot meals that cooked all day so we didn't have to eat out the entire time. I make a mean crock pot dish - leg of lamb, beef stew and beef BBQ.

I am great at driving the tractor now and I can carry 2 bales of hay at the same time and fling them up to feed the sheep. I can fix gates and learned to use pliers.

We did have help the first weekend from Grandma Mary. I do think grandparents are important and I do wish ours lived closer. If I had been that working mother in my imagination I would guess I would have had support from a grandmother or sister or aunt.

And neighbors help as well. I think I have some of the best neighbors in the world. I did so well the entire 2 weeks, would you know what happens on the last day?
I must not have closed the barnyard gate correctly and the sheep and 2 guard dogs escaped. Our neighbor was kind enough to track me down at work. Imagine my surprise when a colleague says to me "um Annette, some guy says he's your neighbor and that your animals are out".
When I found out it was just the sheep and the guard dogs I was happy. The sheep weren't gonna go far because they just wanted to eat the grass because as they say THE GRASS IS GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE. And my daffodils were a nice tasty snack for those pregnant mommas. It only took 3 minutes and Frank the Border collie had the sheep back in the barnyard. Rocky was a little tougher to get back in the barnyard as he wanted to scope out his land. He kept ignoring me and pretending he didn't hear me. But after 10 minutes all was back to normal.

So I did learn that I can do things that I let my husband normally do and that my kids are fantastic. I also learned that we miss our father, husband and that when families have to be apart that it is hard. I'm happy to be back to married, full time working, diversified farmer mother- that's a piece of cake!


WeldrBrat said...

Kinda reminds me of something along that line - from the other side of the fence (the kids' view). I thought it was so cool when my dad finally taught me how to make coffee with the percolator (old fashioned 196...something stove-top burper model) - until - it became my chore. I think I was 9 years old then. LOL

The day just may come when you get to hear, "Mom - remember the days when you'd drive us to school and pick us up after school got out?"

Anonymous said...

Annette, that was a fun post!

Marylin said...

I think you learned a lot about how people did it back in the day. My dad was the youngest of 7 children in a family where they made their living by farming and picking cotton. I remember my aunts and uncles talking about how they helped out as kids, the older ones assigned to mind the younger ones and do chores and such. Kids had to grow up faster, and they tended not to stay in school as long, but I think having chores does help "build character", as they used to say.

Cool post! Thanks!

Toni aka irishlas said...

Bravo to you, but, you've let the cat out of the bag now. Now he KNOWS what you are capable of.

Always keep them guessing - it give us women more time for a glass of wine! hahaha

Seriously though, isn't it amazing what you can do when you need to?

Great post!

SteveandAlina said...

Great job, Annette! You are super Mom and super Farmer and super Working Woman!

I like your perspective that our kids can do more if we ask them to. Your neighbors definitely sound like nice people, too.

Michael@greenakeys.com said...

Next week: Antarctica