Before we decided to try for a baby, our life probably looked quite odd from the outside.

Having a farmer husband didn’t really change my independence and life much because he worked all hours of the day during the summer and in the winter was off long days shooting in some winter months.  So I would dance 3 to 4 nights a week, work as normal, and then at weekends when he was working I’d catch up with friends, shop, see family and do whatever I fancied.  We did go out occasionally together (anniversaries, birthdays, other events), but otherwise it worked well for people who still wanted to have their own hobbies and do things apart.

Having a child and making a proper family does change what you want to a certain extent.  While (like so many men) the OH’s daily routine didn’t change, mine did.  I reduced my working hours a little, I stopped dancing, I did all the nursery and now school and after school drop offs and pick ups.  I take N out at weekends.   It all works and it’s brilliant having N and spending time with him.

But now, life is still independent and probably more so, despite us having N and my assumption that we’d be more of a family doing things together.  Our version of a family life is definitely not a traditional family life despite the what seems like a traditional set up.

Family holidays – fail

We’ve had one family holiday since N was born.  Not for lack of funds, but just the OH refuses to go on holiday which is worse than he was before we had N.  Luckily I can take N away on my own so we still get a break.

Family photo on Studland beach
One of the only photos of all 3 of us on the only family holiday we’ve taken

Family weekend fun – fail

We’re like a single parent family with a dad at home.  We never do what most other families do and go shopping together at weekends or have family days out.  Luckily I’ve got some friends who also have husbands who work weekends, so we can catch up then, but mostly other friends do family things at weekends so we just do our own thing.

Now N’s older he quite often prefers to go out on the farm with his dad, so I’m having to start thinking of things I can go and do on my own while they do work.

striding dad and son - mothercare shorts
The farmer’s shadow 

playing with car mirrors - Living Arrows

Family meals – weekends only

We also only eat together at weekends.  With N eating his weekday meals most of the time at after school club, and the OH eating his at the farm, it means it’s hard to sit down together during the week other than collapsing in the living room in front of the tv.  And breakfast’s a mish mash because the OH goes out at 5am to work, eating breakfast at the farm in a fleeting break.

Family routine – er, not really

The OH does sort out N’s bath or shower time because N loves to spend that time with his dad, but I do all the reading, homework and the bedtime routine with him.

Family chats – kind of

One of the things I feel is really important is chatting as a family.  My family used to talk for England during mealtimes, but we all had quite a lot to say and I’m sure the OH was stunned into silence whenever we all went out for a meal together.

The OH isn’t a big talker.  Meal times are for eating (not that that stops N from talking), he snoozes in front of the tv in the evening, and doesn’t do the whole chatting about his day thing.  But this to me is normal family communication and a way of showing your interest in everyone and what they’re up to.

N never wants to talk about his school day as soon as I pick him up. He always says he can’t remember what he’s done.  But by bedtime, he’s up for lots of conversation after he’s had his stories, so we chat then.  I ask him what went on at school, he ducks the question by asking me ‘what did you do at work?’ which is a lovely feeling that he’s already learnt that other people like to be asked and that it’s normal to ask and show an interest.

I explain although I’m not sure it’s particularly interesting for him, but it’s all about sharing. Once I tell him about my day, he’ll then share his.  Usually he’ll go off on a tangent about something and I’ll need to ask a lot of questions.  But he’s always been open about what has happened at school, even though he’s a little light on the educational lesson side of things.

These chats aren’t very forthcoming at other times, although he is chatty on car journeys.  I think with him, anything he sees or hears will set him off, and it’s so important to engage while he’s interested and build on conversation as a habit.

So, our family might not be ‘normal’ in the traditional sense, despite the stereotypical farming family expectations but I’m working on teaching N social graces and the important things that help keep families working well together as best I can.

How do your family interact?  Do you do everything together, or have independent activities?

living a normal family life on the farm - Bubbablue and me
What’s a normal family life? How does ours compare.

 

Why not take a look at these similar posts.

teach my son to do   family photography   farming nature or nurture

9 Comments

  1. Hey whatever works for you. I’m not sure if there really is a ‘normal’ we all have to do what’s right for our own family. I can’t help but read this and think that you would maybe prefer a different kind of ‘normal’ with a more present husband? Family life always means compromise but I think that should work both ways!

  2. Thank-you for helping me realise that our family is not the only one which doesn’t do family trips out and things together on a weekend! My OH also is constantly at work. You’re normal. I’m normal. 🙂

    • Glad there’s more of us around than I thought. Thanks for stopping by and commenting

  3. I think life as a farming family must be quite different from the norm, but I’m not sure what the norm is. Your family life actually sounds quite a lot like ours – my husband works long hours and we only eat as a family at weekends. We hardly ever go on daytrips, although we do go on holiday!

  4. I think all families are different. We rarely eat together in the week and the boys don’t bat an eyelid if they don’t see their Dad for a week as they are so used to him being away. It is hard to be the “ideal” family. Everyone just needs to do what works for them x

    • I totally agree. Each family is so different and often more different than we might think they would be. In this day and age, there’s not really a ‘traditional’ left.

      Nice to see you the other day too!

  5. This is a really interesting post – just shows how different everyone’s family lives are!

    • I know. I always think of normal as a family going out together at weekends, doing shopping together etc. That’s what I imagined I’d have, but while we had the traditional marriage before kids and still have 2 parents together, it’s certainly not what I envisaged.

%d bloggers like this: