We are in the thick of harvest. Craig leaves at 8 am, he’s home around 10 pm. If I want to see him, I’ve got to go to the combine. This is nothing new. I grew up watching my Dad harvest the same fields Craig is now. I know the drill.
I don’t rely on Craig for anything anymore at this point. He can get the kids on the bus (usually) and that’s about it. He’s WHOOPED. He’s so exhausted. Craig and I really have a 50/50 deal when it comes to parenting. House work is a little closer to 60/40 but we try to keep it pretty even. It’s 100% me these days.
I’m working less hours at work to make the boys’ lives still feel a little normal. I’m getting more intentional about reading books with them and spending more one on one time to make up for Craig’s absence.
The Fall yard work has been a struggle in the past Falls when harvest gets wild We have an INSANE amount of leaves in our yard – enough that we HAVE to do something about them or we have a MESS in the Spring. One year I broke our lawn mower by trying to mow too many leaves at once. One year I tried to burn a bunch of wet leaves and ended up with a giant patch of grass around our burn ring that never recovered. It’s always been put off to the LAST minute and then is a frantic rush to clean up the yard before the snow comes.
This year, I’m getting better. The leaves have been a weekly project so they don’t get out of hand. When Mom offered to keep the boys today, I’m getting better at accepting help and I finished up the leaf project. I borrowed mom’s leaf blower and mowed the lawn one last time.
The porch is all tidied, the toys are all cleaned up. I consider the outside “winterized.” This is something that would have made me angry in the past. I would have been angry and resentful that Craig wasn’t here to help. I’m getting better at just tackling the projects on my own to take it off of his plate. I sold the truck for scrap that had been sitting in the yard for years. It looks so much better without that eye sore.
I’m getting better at making sure Craig has Supper ready on the stove when he gets home, I’m getting better at making sure his clothes are clean and laid out. I’m getting better at keeping “his half” of the house clean. I’m not as resentful of his absence as I’ve been in the past harvests.
I’m getting better at keeping myself busy. I rented a carpet cleaner today and tackled my area rug and upstairs office area. I’ll definitely rent again, it’s a great machine and it looks great! I have the laundry caught up. I have some meals prepped. I put the beer in the fridge. I’m getting better at being alone.
It doesn’t make it easier. I could be mad. I could be sad. I could be resentful. I could be picking fights in the times that I do see him because I miss him so much and I’m carrying so much weight but I’m getting better. Every year I get new skills and new coping mechanisms to get through these long lonely months.
I’m also getting better at reaching out. Weekly, I make sure to pop my air pods in and get the housework done while I call each of my siblings, Craig’s parents, Craig’s Grandparents, and my friends. Staying connected has made a huge difference for me. I’ve also started working with my personal trainer again every Thursday morning which has been great for my mental health and to connect with a friend again.
Anyway, that’s me. Nothing cheery here. Still literally hundreds of acres to go so I’m going to sit tight and get good at getting lonely. I’ve got a whole date planned where Craig and I go shopping for some new clothes for him, we get him a hair cut, I get a new coat for Winter, we get Christmas gifts for the family and get to connect again. I’ll just keep dreaming.
Thanks for reading friends.
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There are times in a marriage/partnership when one person has to carry the load. Hopefully it’s not ALL the time. Hang in there, enjoy your boys and get some “stuff” done to keep yourself busy.
Those are long and lonely hours riding in that combine and I’m sure Craig would rather be home with you and the boys.
It’s hard to see him so exhausted. At this time last year they were already done – still hundreds of acres to go 🙁
Congratulations on accepting one of the more difficult aspects of married life. Sometime one partner has to carry more of the load and hopefully sometimes it’s the other. It’s a partnership and requires constant attention and renegotiation.
OH my goodness, I think this is VERY cheery. You’re working through how to make this life with a farmer work!
I remember getting home from an OR on-call day at 1030 PM (called at 0630), and my husband asking what was for dinner. I was so F….ing mad! I said “My pillow” and I went to bed. If he’d said “I have everything ready for a quick grilled cheese before you drop into bed”???? what a difference that would have made. I know you know the feeling of horrid long work days as a RN. Thank you for seeing Craig’s work in that same light and going the extra mile for him. Soon you’ll have him for the brief winter downtime.
Maybe go ride the combine with him for an hour this afternoon? Talk about how you’re feeling and you’re adjusting your mindset and working on your marriage? It’s OK to suggest a “thank you’ by having that conversation 🙂
Cheers to you this beautiful Thursday we’ve been given !!!
Thanks Elle, I think some people thought I was whining…not at all. I think you’re right, a combine ride is in order!
It appears you are maturing. Marriage is never 50 / 50 unfortunately.. Imagine the lives of women 100 years ago. They cared for children, worked the garden, mended for all family members, made yarn and wove socks and other items of clothing. I grew up working on a farm, but I didn’t have life as tough as my mom, her mom, etc. And of course, my children have had it much easier than I did.
You get to choose how you react to any circumstance and you are making a happier choice for yourself! My mom used to deal with the same sort of thing during tax season, from February through April 15, when my dad was a CPA as he would easily work 8AM to midnight and during those two weeks of April, sometimes he would be working all night. We just knew to not make any plans that included him during that season. It got a little better when he became a lawyer, but he still did some tax returns for clients. My hubby is basically MIA from April through September because that is planting/harvest for us in Washington and he has a farm implement business to run, as well as the farm we live on. I totally get the alone stuff…but you have work, kids and family close and that does help…I’m retired and my kids are at least half way across the country from me. I quilt for that very reason!! I’ve found I’m happy being a hermit. I’m so glad you figured out how to deal with that balancing act called marriage-with-kids life during the best years of your life. Keep working on keeping that balance working for your family!
Craig has decided if he never works in agriculture again, he will NOT choose seasonal work!
Sounds like you’re growing up. This is what adult married life is like, when one person is working an insane amount the other one must pick up all the slack without whining. I’m sure he’s done the same for you at times.
They left this part out of the fairy tales and Disney movies! HA!
You are doing a great job! Keep it up. Hopefully it has helped having experienced it with your father. I know it is different when it is your own spouse, but I’m sure everything you are doing to help is greatly appreciated.
Thanks Kate <3
I agree! I am so ready for harvest to be done, too. Thank God, I am down to just 1 child at home and she is pretty self sufficient. You are doing awesome!
Very well said and good advice. The more we accept what is the easier it gets. Hang in there Kalissa💖