Surviving the “Busy Seasons”

The first six years of our marriage Brad got home for work around five o’clock. Sometimes he’d have to work longer days and get home at six. Three and a half years ago when we first moved West so Brad could farm, his new farming “schedule” was a shock. We had a five week old and and 22 month old, and I think I probably despised anytime he left me alone. That year I was convinced that the farming busy season was all year long.

I’ve learned a few things since then. I don’t love the really busy times of the farming year, but I know I can survive them. When thinking of what to put in this list I kept thinking of things that would apply to any trial in life. I tried to leave those off and only include things that apply to times when you feel like a single parent.

Some thoughts and strategies for coping when your husband is working A LOT

1. He’s working hard, so I shouldn’t get crabby because I’m having to work hard.

2. Have a good book to read for the times when you aren’t working hard or need a break.
Check out my book reviews for some good options. If you’re not a reader, Gilmore Girls isn’t a bad option either. It got me through my first planting season.

3. You are not alone and farming is not the only demanding occupation.
Although it feels like it, farmers aren’t the only ones who are gone from home longer 9 hours a day. Consider other wives whose husbands are farmers, tax accountants, deployed, traveling business men, and the list could go on.

4. If he suggests one or more of the kids could go with him, don’t decline the offer. Maybe suggest it before he makes the offer.

5. If you have or want to have control over such things, try not to have a newborn at the beginning of or during these seasons. Sleep deprivation doesn’t help matters.

6. Leave – temporarily of course.

7. This is my life. I can’t change it, so I better make the best of it because another season like this is just around the corner.

8. Try not to shut down on your husband even though he doesn’t have the time to fill your emotional bank account. Someday he will be more than a roommate, and if you don’t shut down it will only speed the process.

That’s all I can come up with at this time of the night.

What are your survival mode strategies when your spouse is working consecutive, long days? How do you stay connected to your spouse? How do you avoid becoming severely crabby? Any and all thoughts are welcome.


12 thoughts on “Surviving the “Busy Seasons”

      • Yes Julie – Your Dad is right – YOU are wise beyond your years…learning this stuff now will literally save your marriage… I loved the one about not shutting down just because your husband can’t fill your emotional bank account – that was really a TRUTH – I had to learn that very early on – as Pilots too are not there as much as they are there…so good girl. Keep up the good work and the great sharing!!


      • Thanks Joy! I may have learned some things now, but I know I have much more to learn. I’m just hoping I keep learning like you wise people I know.


  1. So good Julie! Cut right to the heart 🙂

    In Chris’ busy season, I try to make special trips up to his work to spend time with him where he is at. It really means a lot to him when he sees his two baby boys making their way into his office to see their daddy. It’s the small things that make the biggest difference. I also try to send him little notes or texts that say how much I appreciate his hard work and his sacrifices. It tells him that is how I feel and helps me keep that attitude.

    Sometimes it’s all easier said then done…but so worth the sacrifice.


  2. Ah, yes. The single parenting weeks! I frequently employ 2 and 6 . . . I really wish I had option 4! And I struggle with number 8. On weeks when K is gone many long days (and often overnight) in a row, we plan something we wouldn’t ordinarily do each night – maybe game nights, fun meals, every now and then we rent a movie . . . just a little something so I’m not creating a whole lot of extra work for myself. I try to put the kids to bed early and work on a project I want to do. (AKA sewing or knitting.) I put on Pandora and settle into time by myself.


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