Journal Motherhood

To The Lonely Mama At Harvest Time

To The Lonely Mama At Harvest Time www.herviewfromhome.com
Written by Leah Peterson

I see you.  I know you stand at the kitchen sink as the moon rises and strain your neck to catch a glimpse of the lights in the distance.  The heavy silence has settled over your house as the children are in bed, but if you crack a window you might just hear the whirr of the combine and tractors that race to bring in the year’s bounty.

As you resume cleaning up the supper dishes and regrouping for the next day, you pause to wipe a stray tear that threatens to escape from your weary eyes.  They burn with the exhaustion of “going it alone” these days of fall.  They weep over the plunging corn prices and worry that is etched on your husbands face.  You smile through the tears when you think of your littles who want to be “just like dad” when they hop off the school bus and race through homework so that they can go on a ride along.  And, the lines of wisdom that form around your eyes tell the story of year after year that feels like it should get easier when the seasons arrive, but in the dark times, it doesn’t feel anything but hard.

You forget how quiet it is when you sit inside all alone.  The missing piece that leaves a seat open at the supper table, and an unread newspaper and magazine waiting next to his recliner.  The resulting whine and cry of the little ones who struggle to understand why daddy has to be absent from meals and school activities and bedtime stories.  You grieve the “honeymoon” days that came before kids, when you rode on the tractor seat arm and shared sandwiches on the tailgate and laughed under the stars.  While every bit of you knows and understands the sacrifices that must be made each season, those sneaky thoughts come into your house through Facebook and conversations and memories of a different “path” that you could have chosen, and that others chose.  One that seems less complicated and more fruitful.  One that might feel more secure, and less hectic.

RELATED:  Making It Through Harvest:  5 Ways To Stay Connected To Your Farmer

When the dishes are done, and you have a few moments to yourself, you might sink into the nearest soft place with a glass of wine and a chance to text your love to see how things are going, or when he might be home.  He might respond, and he might not.  For some nights, the return of the pickup to the yard means an end to the days’ work.  And sometimes it means a breakdown or some other trouble.  When you turn over in bed to greet him as he finally lays down to rest from his weary day, you pray for a few moments of conversation before exhaustion overtakes him and he slumbers away.

And when the sun rises, and he sips his coffee before putting on his boots and favorite seed corn cap, you hope he will take a moment to hold you.  To tell the children to mind their mama, to promise to be safe, and remind you all that this season will end soon.

And as he drives away, you wipe the tears again.  The ones that give thanks for your wonderful life and the man who works to provide for you and all the world.  The one who chose you to be strong and lonely at times.  The only one who could fill that role.  

 I see you dear mamas, and so does he. So stay the course, and take heart.

“To everything there is a season, a time and a purpose under the heavens.” 

The end is in site.

With respect and admiration,

Your fellow farm mama

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About the author

Leah Peterson

Leah Peterson is a native Nebraskan, living on the ranch her ancestors homesteaded in 1878. She and her husband Matt, met at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and returned to the ranch in 2012 after working and living in Central Nebraska the past 12 years. They are parents to two daughters, Maggie and Lucy. Leah has an undergrad degree from UNL in Communication Studies, and a MA in Leadership from Bellevue University. Aside from her work at the ranch and opportunity to be a stay at home mom, she enjoys writing, photography, community involvement, spending time with friends and family and trying new recipes in her kitchen. Leah published her first children’s book in 2011 titled “An Apple for Dapple” and enjoys traveling throughout the state to share her book with children and raise awareness about the importance Agriculture in Nebraska.

3 Comments

  • If your husband being in the fields for a few weeks is so hard on you, try being married to a truck driver or a railroader or a field agent for a large company. My husband was gone for 16 days a month for 38 years. I raised 2 daughters alone half of the time. He missed half their life, let alone piano recitals, ballgames, school programs…….etc. etc. At least he’s in his own bed at night and not alone in a motel.

  • I participate in harvesting. I drive in loads, climb grain bins, help repair what’s broken, and call Casey’s to order a pizza(occasionally). My kids take turns riding with me or my husband. Sometimes the laundry piles high and some homework is half done. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Blessed to farm with my best friend and raise our kids on the farm.

  • This is exactly what I needed to hear tonight. I can’t tell you how much I relate to this. Thank you for seeing me and knowing me… thank you.