Single Mom Salute!

Aug 26, 2013 by

Recently, Michelle Obama caught some flack after she misspoke, calling herself a “busy single mother.”  She quickly realized her gaffe and said “when you have a husband who’s president, it can feel a little single – but he’s there.”


Though she took heat from critics, I think a lot of women out there completely related to the “single mom” feeling, especially us farmers’ wives!


I don’t mean to imply that there aren’t other groups of women who often feel or actually ARE “suddenly single” moms (military wives, I’m looking at you!), but since I’m a farm wife, it’s how I relate.


Harvest is right around the corner, so my tour of duty as a “single mom” is something I’m spending a lot of time thinking about and preparing for these days.  Although I am a stay-at-home-mom and, therefore, used to managing the household and childcare, harvest (and planting season) are a whole other ball game.


During not-so-busy seasons, my husband is home around dinner time and we can all sit down to a nice family meal (with perhaps some food flinging and screaming from our son).  During harvest, we have a lot of “daddy-less dinners.”  I don’t get a break at 5 because my husband typically isn’t home until 10.  Motherhood becomes a serious 24/7 job with little to no help.  I am responsible for every errand, every chore, cleaning up after and caring for my 2- and 4-legged children, and my husband for the 5 minutes a day I see him between one of us sleeping.  Seriously.  He leaves before we wake up and he often gets home as I am going to bed.  So I definitely understand the “single mom” feeling!  But at least he is home at night.  I can relax knowing that he is here, safe and sound, even if I don’t get to spend much time with him.


Because that’s the real problem isn’t it?  When you don’t see each other, it’s hard to communicate.  You get frustrated.  Things slip through the cracks.  One year, our schedules were so busy (during planting season) that I had to drive out into the corn field to remind him that it was his birthday and dinner was in town (an hour away), in two hours!


This year I have a head start on “single mom” duties since my husband is in Canada on a week-long fishing trip.  Let me go ahead and say it…full-time single moms…I don’t know how you do it!  PROPS TO YOU!  Don’t get me wrong, I have a wonderful little boy, but he is also two years old.  AKA he is very busy.  And I am very TIRED.  I think even the dog is counting down the days until my husband gets home!


It seems that women are always told that we can have it all, do it all, be it all, but the fact of the matter is we can’t have/do/be it all…all at the same time.  That’s why I hope that we, as women, and as wives, can take a lesson from Mrs. Obama and admit when we are carrying the brunt of the load.  Then maybe, just maybe, we can ask for help when we truly need it…even if that “help” is just a coffee date with a friend or 30 minutes to ourselves once in a while.  Harvest may only last a few months but it can feel like an eternity!


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  1. Hi! I just read this blog on the ILFF blog and loved it! It’s exactly what I feel this time of year with a husband who is busy all day and night farming. When I first got married (I was from the Chicago suburbs before moving to my husband’s farm), some women in my new small town said that I’d become a “farmer’s widow” once harvest started. I didn’t get it until harvest began and I was left alone most of my days and nights. The only time I had with him was when it rained or when I’d go sit with him in a tractor. Now, with two toddlers, life is just crazy busy and tiring, especially without my better half. I always say, “I don’t know how single mothers do it!” Thanks for posting what is shared by many of us “farmer’s widows” this time of year. Hope you have a safe and happy harvest!

    • Thank you Kristen! Glad you liked it! 🙂 I, too, was unfamiliar with the term “farm widow” until it happened to me! 🙂 We have a 2 year old son and I’m currently pregnant with our second child, so between taking care of our son and being tired from pregnancy, sometimes we don’t even go on “rain dates” because I’m too wiped out! I think sometimes being a farmer’s wife feels like a living, breathing, every day commercial for the whole “It Gets Better” mantra. 😉 Our harvest is going pretty well so far and I’m not sad that it’s almost over! Good luck on your harvest as well! My husband is jealous that you’re bringing home cooked meals to the field. He says he’s tired of Subway. 🙂

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