I’m not a fan of labelling or being labelled a farmer’s wife. I never have been, and I’m not exactly sure why. Did I marry a farmer? YES. But that’s as far as it goes. His name is Wazza, and he is not just a farmer; thus, I did not just marry a farmer. That is not my identity; it’s only part of it.
The good and bad of labels
Sometimes, when we hide behind labels such as ‘farmer’s wife’, we can forget ourselves and what lights us up. So we slip into this ‘role’ and fail to make it about ourselves. And you know what? It is not just this label. Men and women get labelled constantly, making us believe we must ‘be’ a certain way.
It can be a confidence thing. If we feel stuck in a rut, don’t know how to move forward or where to start, hiding behind the farmer’s wife label (or again, I emphasise – any label) stops us from stepping out of our comfort zone and having to face the overwhelm. Sure, this can be great for a while, but it’s not sustainable for you.
To be honest, it might even be a teeny tiny bit of laziness coming through. So often, staying put can be easier than figuring out who we are or how we get there. But again, it’s not sustainable. And the worst part of it is, sometimes, not only do we resent ourselves, but we resent those that are part of the label—even when it’s really not their fault.
What’s your perception of self?
Let me ask you, do you see yourself as ‘just’ a farmer’s wife? If the answer is yes, then let’s break that down.
What does being a farmer’s wife mean? It means you keep everything running smoothly so the farming business can operate to the best of its capacity. This means that you are a vital part of generating income and growth and an integral team member in a business that cannot succeed without you.
When considering any label you might be allocated or embracing yourself, it’s essential to realise it is only part of who you are and not allow it to limit your perception of your value and contributions.
Ask yourself . . .
- Who am I?
- What do I like to do?
- What do I do?
- Where do I want to be?
Reflecting on your understanding (or assumptions) of yourself helps give a sense of purpose and the confidence to believe you are worth working on yourself and your ideas. You start to see and believe you are part of the team that is your farming business; if that happens, you will want to be more involved and so are creating a far more productive business.
It’s not about ‘re-labelling’ yourself; it’s about ‘de-labelling’ yourself! This exercise should also be judgement free. You have done the work to determine who you are and what you want.
If you find that you want to be that person that’s home to greet the kids after school, doing the ‘behind the scene’ stuff then that’s great. Or you might uncover a desire to be more front and centre in the farming business. Whatever you discover is valid.
At FLF, we understand there is no one right way to live the farming life. We 100% support and validate anyone who is happy with who they are and their purpose.
If you would like the support of a diverse and welcoming community focused on Farm Life health and wellness, head on over and our FLF Community membership.