Balancing it All When You Work Off the Farm

When you work on the farm, it can take up more time than you ever imagined. It's even more stressful when you work off the farm and still have responsibilities on the farm at the end of the day. Farmers are also teachers, vets, nurses, dental assistants, marketing professionals and everything in between. Here are some of the best tips on how to survive it all when you work on and off the farm.

Use your lunch break if you can. This is a great time to run errands, especially if you are in town.

Change out of your nice clothes as soon as you get home. Never ever do farm work in your professional clothes!

Have a couple of pairs of shoes that are only for use outside of the farm. Keep them clean.

Don't try to be perfect. Remember you are probably juggling more than anyone else you know!

Be a part of the team. Ask your kids to pitch in. Do what you can in your free time and let it go when something doesn't get done. Team work is the only way to be successful!

Communication is everything. Communicate everything from your schedule to your feelings with your family. And say it with a smile - it makes everyone feel better.

Have a stress relief. Whether you like to run, read books or make time for friends, you need to take some time for yourself. It will be there when you get back.

Feed the kids then the animals. Grumpy kids don't help anything!

Carry snacks because supper might be at 10 pm!

Get a dry erase board to keep track of where everyone is.

Have a family calendar with everything on it!

Make a to-do list and prioritize. Put everything on your to-do list from laundry to milking cows.

Embrace the Crock Pot. It is your best friend.

Switch shifts. Maybe you take weekends and evening chores if your spouse is on duty all during the week.

Let go of the little things. The dishes and laundry will be there tomorrow.

Do a little before work so you don't have everything waiting for you when you get home.

Know that it is okay if everything is not done to perfection. Balance isn't perfect; it's a matter of prioritizing what is most important to you and your family.

related topics: farming, stress, agriculture, balance

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Brittani Suto - Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 11:36:44 AM
I've only recently had to learn juggling working off the farm and taking care of a man who works ON the farm, and helping him on the farm when I can. The crockpot is a lifesaver and I've found getting up a few minutes earlier to have free time or to get some to-do list things done really makes a difference. Above all- get your to-do list done but don't worry if you're house or the meal isn't perfect. Your farm and family benefit more when you're happy and balanced rather than getting it all done perfectly but falling apart.
Love this post!!
Frances - Thursday, December 3, 2015 at 2:08:07 PM
Do as much in advance as you can. Although most nights I want to finish chores as quickly as possible, I try to get things prepared for the morning. If I have a little extra time before work in the morning, I'll start to prepare for evening chores. Then if I'm short for time for some reason I'm not scrambling to try and get things done. This is especially important for harvest time when you go from the barn, to work, back to the barn, and then to the field before your day is done.
Holly - Monday, December 28, 2015 at 9:34:51 PM
In the corporate world, people get all sorts of sympathy and privileges for kids, spouses, etc. but don't count on getting anything for your farm "business" even though you are taking care of dozens of dependents. It's all about perspective, at the job if I have to take a call, I refer to the tractor as the mower, the pastures as lawns, roads as driveways, calves as kids, :)
Theresa Sutton - Monday, February 1, 2016 at 4:22:20 PM
I found do ahead recipes or just pre cooking ingredients, such as caramelized onions, browned ground meats can be lifesavers waiting in the refrigerator or freezer. One of the best helpers in my arsenal are the Make-Mix-Cookbooks. Above all else, give yourself some "me" time even five minutes a day can the difference between hot stuff and a hot mess or burn out.
Amanda - Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 9:03:29 PM
My husband is deployed, i have one kiddo still at home, a full time corporate job, and a 300 plus goat farm...and we are in the middle of kidding season. Thank you for writting this, I needed to read it. I sometimes get so overwhelmed trying to run everything to perfection, that I forget I am human. I make mistakes, I get physically and emotionally drained sometimes...and thats normal. I love, love your page and your site. I am so grateful and excited to have found you. Thank you.
Mary willisms - Wednesday, February 3, 2016 at 9:18:24 PM
Thank you for this blog. You all sound like my hard working daughter. Thank you for explaining how you feel and what great advice and encouragement.
Jackye - Sunday, April 3, 2016 at 4:04:22 PM
Before I leave the barn after I've done the night feed, I always make sure we've got enough feed in the barn so you don't have to get feed before you start in the morning

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