Growing up on a farm, I thought I understood what I was getting myself into when I married my farmer. When we were first dating and married and busy season came, we’d have date nights in the tractor or combine and talk about anything and everything under the sun. Plus, I was always busy with school or work so when we had kids and I started staying home, I had no idea how different busy season would be.
Being, essentially, the sole parent is exhausting. I’m the only one that can kiss the boo boos, mediate the fights, keep up with their boundless energy, and absorb all of the good and bad of their days. We’re about a month in to harvest 2017 and the funk is setting in. But I’ve learned a few things over the past five harvest seasons of being a mom and I want to share them with you.
- Find the positives – Without Sidney home in the evening, once I get the kids to bed I have full control of the TV. This is very rare in my house so I relish it and come late August I start compiling the shows and movies I’m going to watch that I just know Sidney wants nothing to do with. Fortunately the new season starts for some of my favorite like Modern Family and This is Us. This also means I can sit and binge watch Hallmark Movies and check Facebook and do online shopping without the sideways glare because I’m on my phone. Or I can just sit and read a book without feeling like I need to be engaged with what he’s doing or keeping up with whatever show is on TV.
- Get out of the house – Since Sidney prefers to just eat dinner at home after he’s done at night, the afternoons and evenings can drag on. Getting out of the house even if it just means going to the park or taking a walk down our back lane makes us feel so much better.
- Get out of the house by yourself – A good friend to talk and relieve all of your stress to is so awesome this time of year especially if they’re a fellow farm wife. They know all too well what you’re going through. A little adult time reinvigorates me!
- Stay Connected – Thank goodness for modern technology! Before kids, I used to ride in the combine with Sidney quite often. But now with two kids it gets a bit crowded. A quick text to let him know I’m thinking about him or something funny that happened during the day is a great way to feel like he’s connected to you during the day.
- Send the kids with him – The kids love to ride in the buddy seat in the combine. They get special one on one time with daddy and get to be apart of all the action and see the hard work their daddy puts in every day. Plus it takes a little load off of you even if it’s only for 30 minutes.
- Take Care of Yourself – This is multi-prong and I feel like I’ve tackled some of the ways to take care of yourself mentally but you need to take care of yourself physically too. It seems like most meals I’m the last one to eat and I think that’s common for most moms. By the time I do school pick up, drop off lunch, feed the kids, and get Evie down for his nap, I’m starving. It’s so easy to just grab junk or eat the kids scraps but I know that if I don’t feed myself some good foods it’s not going to help my energy or patience levels. Have a few go-to favorites that are easy to pull together. This time of year I like a salad with chopped, sweet apple, simple salad greens, diced sharp cheddar, toasted nuts, and a sweet vinaigrette like a Vidalia Onion vinaigrette. All of those ingredients can be pulled from the pantry or fridge quickly. I’m not embarrassed to say I’ve chopped up the remnants from one of the kids’ half eaten apples too.
My other go-to recently is sliced frozen pre-cooked chicken and frozen stir-fry veggies cooked until heated through and then tossed with some jarred teriyaki sauce. Put that over some riced cauliflower or rice from the freezer section and you can have a nutritious meal in less than 10 minutes and that includes time to taking it out of the freezer and heating it all up. Sidney likes this one too.
And when I feel that anxious energy starting to take over and my patience level plummeting I know it’s time that I go for a walk or just do something physical. I take advantage of living on a farm and start walking. I turn on some Bob Marley, get outside, and pretend I’m on a beach in Jamaica instead. Sometimes the kids want to come and other times they want to play in the sand next to the lane so I just do little laps so I can still keep my eye on them.
- Take advantage of a rainy day – Even if it just means relaxing on the couch, ordering in some food, and renting a movie. Soak up that time together and relax! And remember if it’s not a rainy day at least he’s still working and getting closer to that end goal.
- Remember it’s not planting season – To me, planting is so much worse. The days are literally longer and Sidney is up with the sun and doesn’t come in until 10 or 11 at night. At least during harvest the hours are a bit more reasonable.
- Give yourself grace – This one is probably the most important. You might lose your temper or have any other number of things go wrong throughout the day so just give yourself some grace and ask for help when you need it. This goes way beyond harvest season!
Hopefully you can take away a few things to get you through this harvest season!