Monday, March 21, 2011

Behind Every Successful Farmer Is A Wife Who Works In Town.

One of the first things Charlie ever spoke to me about was my job. I'm a teacher. He seemed genuinely interested and beamed from ear to ear about what an excellent career path I had chosen, and all the opportunities it would unlock for me.

He neglected to mention that (right beside nursing) teaching is music to a romancing farmers ears. A wife who teaches is essentially a permanent solution to a bad season. I am the drought relief. Bills can be paid, mouths will be fed, ends will be met. No pressure. Of course, he didn't mention this fact to me until just after we were married.

In the seven years and four months that CP and I have been married, I have been pregnant and or breastfeeding for five years and four months. That leaves a mere two years of us just being married with no strings attached. Allegedly. Except that kids are strings. And I have three of them.

Furthermore, in the seven years and four months that we have been married, I have really only worked one year and four months at a full time permanent rate, and also done the occasional day of relief teaching. In other words, I haven't been a very reliable source of drought relief. Thank goodness for mostly good seasons throughout that time.

And now, here I am, three weeks into my new permanent part time teaching appointment. I have committed to three days teaching, every week until the end of the year. But what does it all mean?

1. A messy house.
2. Quicker, easier meals. Roasts have become a weekend luxury. Meals also require some considerable forward planning these days. After homework, baths for children and a small amount of cleaning in the afternoons, it's best to have defrosted something in advance, or even cooked it the weekend before.
3. Less me time. And less ME time equals less blogging. * Insert sad face *
4. Lobbying hard with the other Kindy Mums to help me with pick up and drop off times for Darcy, because the opening and closing times fall at the most inconvenient times possible for a teaching Mum.
5. Getting organised.
6. Hairy armpits and legs, and a skunk look hair do as my roots grow out, as I no longer have any time whatsoever to look after myself.
6. Time to find someone who can come and help out with looking after Sam. But I'll save that blog for another day...
7. Missing out on key social events, and having to live vicariously through my friends. Who would have guessed that spare change would come at the expense of my social life?!
8. More drought relief.

But not really the drought relief part. The farm is doing just fine on its own.

It doesn't need my help at all.

*Insert happy face *

PS: Would like to add as an afterthought: My sister called to let me know that 'I have had it very lucky by being able to stay home for as long as I have. Many people do not (financially speaking) have the same opportunities that I have had.' Plus I have had a bloody good time in the process - mostly. She was also worried about what people might think about my husband, and reminded me that 'I knew what I was marrying when we got married.' So mostly for my lovely sister's benefit, but also for anyone else who doesn't realise that I mostly use poetic licence to some degree in many of my blogs, I would like to remind you all that I have been truly blessed, and that I am grateful for so much in my life. Sadly that isn't what makes a good blog. But rest assured, all things this end are (mostly) very good in my life. Love you Hannah! xxx

Saturday, March 5, 2011

How To Survive On A Farm (Tips from someone who knows nothing about it). Part 7: Treat Yourself To A Holiday

I just returned from 5 days and 4 nights of looking at this...

How on Earth did I ever survive this island paradise? Hayman Island, The Queen of all island resorts. I was there with my mother, sister and my sister's partner, to celebrate my sister's 'very important' birthday.
And now I am back, elbow deep in washing, cleaning, cooking and managing three small children. But I am dreaming about this...

And this...

And this...

And this...

And this...


I am a glutton for punishment though. Before I left, CP went into such a meltdown about having to look after the children, that I ended up preparing a months worth of food (which I left in the freezer, so that all he had to do was reheat and serve), I stocked the fridges, freezers and pantry, I left all uniforms ironed and ready to wear, I even arranged for a girl to come in and help with child care and baths and lunches etc, AS WELL as leaving this...

Seven pages of 'notes' (including, meal planners, rosters, routines etc.) so that everything would function as per normal whilst I was away. Compulsive and controlling, I know. But as much as it was for CP, it was also for my own guilt-ridden piece of mind. 

At the start of CP's meltdown he asked, "What would you do if I just packed up and went away for a week and left YOU at home with the kids?" To which I replied, "Probably just go on as per usual. Except that I would have one less child, so the stress might be less, and I would have one less person to cook for and pick up after. In fact, if you were planning on going, perhaps you should make it TWO weeks to give me a REAL break, and try not to call too much, because I might be having too much fun! I might not even notice you are gone." Perhaps a little harsh. But my point was that I DESERVE a break from the hum drum of my every day life. It stopped CP in his tracks anyway.

I loved being away, but I was racked with guilt for much of it. Needlessly, I might add. The kids were all happy and healthy upon my return. I am loving being home with my family again. I missed them terribly, and I'm pleased everything is still running smoothly. The question is, would it all still be running smoothly had I not left my 'freezer full of notes'?!

In any event, getting away is good for the soul. I am a firm believer in the family motto 'happy wife, happy life.'
And boy am I happy. Happy and relaxed. I'm feeling energised and content. 

Maybe almost energised enough to go and finished all the jobs that piled up while I was away.