I’m going to set a scene for you. You’re married. You’re 26 years old. You are over the moon about your job and this month you’re traveling to five different states. It’s going to be a crazy few weeks, but totally awesome because you’re doing what you love. Meanwhile, your husband is back home holding the fort down. Right now, he’s busier than a floral shop on Valentine’s Day with 120 calves destined to be on the ground before April 1. Does that sound familiar? Probably not.
Let me start over and level with some of you a bit more. Your husband farms and his life is at home with the crops, the livestock and the constant maintenance of a farm. If it’s not Christmas, getting out of town for longer than 24 hours at a time is near impossible. You’re the wife who works full time in a job that gives a handful of opportunities to grow. What’s more, travel is involved and you get to see the world with a company that takes good care of you on the road. Starting to sound a little more familiar?
When we got married, there were all of these glamorous thoughts that came to mind. Things like, “I am going cook supper in this cute apron that I got from Grandma because my Parmesan pork chops will taste way better if I look cute while I make them.” Or…”The house is always going to smell like cinnamon spice because I want all of my couple friends to enjoy nice evenings at mine and Kirn’s home with wine after a long week of working.” At one point I even thought pies were a normal thing to bake at least once a week.
…pausing for a moment so you can take all of this in.
Did you get your “throw your head back laughing” out of the way? After a year and some change of marriage, it’s crazy how different things are from what I thought they would be and we are still pretty fresh off the farm. There are probably many of you reading this that may have more to say than I would even know to talk about.
While I’m not a mom yet, I am a wife (Good start, Ashlee) and being just that can be a challenge when you have a career that you want to be so dedicated to. Meaning, sometimes work-life balance may not exist or maybe it simply never exists. This past week, I was in Orlando for a trade show. It was an amazing week with a ton of high points. But back home, I had a sleep deprived husband who had tended to 18 calves in a two day span. You can imagine between our crazy agendas, we had a few miscommunications. Furthermore, when you are 900 miles apart those miscommunications become rather magnified and to top that off, if you know me at all, I am much too stubborn to admit it was my fault. I’m here to tell you- this never works, ladies. Learn to go full Elsa on your attitude and “Let it Go.”
I had a friend tell me not too long ago, there is no such thing as work- life balance; it’s all about intermingling the two. I always knew that when I married Kirn, 90% of my dates would be a few beers in the barn on any given day talking about dreams of what someday will bring us and I was good with that. I had accepted my intermingling roles as the farm wife. But never in a million years could anyone have told us that the real challenge would be finding ways to involve Kirn into my world and career as well. “It’s all about give and take.” Wouldn’t you like a dollar for every time you’ve heard that?
Finding ways to involve your significant other into a corporate world, can be difficult and at times probably feel like they don’t care much to hear about it. The stories have to be that much longer to explain why it took you all day to do one thing. (Try telling a farmer that it was a busy day of answering emails and I guarantee you lose their eyes in the back of their head). When you’re traveling, it seems like all of this wining and dining is just a lot of fun, but if only you could explain to them it’s also the prime time to network. Especially, when Kirn’s networking is a few cups of coffee at the co-op or lunch time at the local diner in town. The saving grace for life on the road…Technology. I am blessed to work with some really great folks and I watch moms/ dads close that gap with their spouses and kids each day they are gone, by a quick FaceTime every chance they get. Since Kirn is stuck is the Samsung life, texting to send an update and making calls before you start and end your day will have to do.
I think the biggest take away here is to always share your day’s highs and lows with your honey buns. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they can at least understand the reasons you may feel overwhelmed, stressed, excited, anxious… whatever it is. That’s what a marriage is about, COMMUNICATION. Growing with one another as life gets busy…sometimes messy. It has nothing to do with Parmesan pork chops, cute aprons or cinnamon candles. What is going to get you from one good pie to the next are the moments shared in the living room talking about the crazy cow that almost broke Kirn’s knee cap or that I am on cloud 9 after a long but rewarding week at a trade show.
Do these two rookies have it all figured out? Not even a little bit. But can we say we are working on love; buying on time, without somebody, lovin’ ain’t worth a dime? Still no, Alan Jackson would get your for copyright. What I think couples should really hang their hat on is knowing that you’re not always going to be walking in the same direction in all moments of your life together, and that’s okay. Those are the moments to truly embrace.