I call myself the Farming wife. It’s not because I see myself as an extension of my husband linked integrally to the farm but because I see it as a badge of honour. I have paid my dues so to speak.
I’ve bogged the car 30 km from home with no help in sight. I’ve cooked for ringers and shearers on smoking wood stoves. I have bribed, cajoled and hustled my kids into the school room and even done their writing assignments for them! I have branded, ear tagged and needled, dragged cows out of dams and watched my clean for five minutes house get dusted by a whirly wind.
I’ve come to accept that when you have a house in the bush, you have the bush in the house. Farming wives have to deal with the dust and cobwebs, the snakes, spiders and frogs. They are fundamental to life on the land and there’s no point in being squeamish about it. In fact, having frogs in the bathroom is very reassuring; it indicates the snakes haven’t been in to eat them!
There are many farming wives across the rural areas of Australia. We play many roles and no two of us are the same. What we do share is a love of the land, hope for the future and eternal optimism. This is what makes us unique, strong and resilient. We are the heart of the family; we arrange the family dinners, remember the birthdays and organise the Christmases that bring everyone together.
One thing women of the west soon learn however, is that in the bush there is an equitable sharing of the work load and there is chivalry too, as in ‘You hold the mob, love and I’ll open the gate for ya!”
This Farming wife started life as a city girl who longed for a paddock and a horse and I can’t imagine life any other way. I love our muddy river, our Mulga, Yapunyah and river gums and get excited by the prospect of rain.
My favourite website is BOM and I track the path of an oncoming storm more avidly than a punter urging his race horse to a win. I love to lean out of a window and inhale the smell of Gidgee trees, wet and pungent after a summer storm.
There have been many mistakes along the way and although I can laugh at (most) of them now, at the time they seemed disastrous. So I have no hesitation in calling myself the Farming wife and I look forward to sharing my life on the land with you through Rural Resources.