Dear Family Whisperer,
My husband farms part time with his family. He is gone virtually all of May and June for seeding and mid-August to late October for harvest, basically leaving me a single parent. I dread these times of year, and I get very resentful of all of the “extra” work I have to do when he’s gone. I’m a teacher and, unfortunately, my busiest times coincide with seeding and harvest. A lot of other women in my situation feel this way, and the men don’t seem to understand. Mine tells me that “lots of other people manage.” How can I get him to understand the burden his part-time occupation places on me (and that our daughter who is now 21-months really misses him)? How can I get past the resentment? Is there anything we could do to work towards overall balance of responsibilities throughout the year so his absences feel less like a burden? (Technically that’s more than one question, sorry 😉
Dear Resentful Wife,
When you make a life with someone, the two of you are never in the “same boat.” Rather, you have decided to travel down the same river. And if, at times, life takes you to different rivers, you need to believe that both of you are at least heading towards the same place.
Whether your husband will give up part-time farming remains to be seen, especially if he’s been part of his family’s planting and harvesting rituals since childhood. In the meantime, as partners and parents you need to figure out how to run your family together–each steering your boat–despite your separations, despite whatever else the world throws at you in years to come. Continue reading article