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Don’t let ranch stress negatively impact your marriage

10 tips for being more intentional with your ranch spouse and taking care of your marriage through the ups and downs of production agriculture.

With the volatile weather that has plagued our area (and so many others) in 2019, I know I’m not the only one who is feeling the pinch as we attempt to catch up and get things done before winter arrives.

We are three-four weeks behind on everything this year — weaning, pregnancy checking, hauling manure, harvesting corn, hauling hay home, marketing show heifers, etc.

As I type this, it’s raining again, but thankfully, yesterday, we did check hauling manure out of our main feedlots off the to-do list. After dark and once the kids were in bed, we even managed to get our seedstock replacement heifers and bulls registered.

Just getting things checked off is a major morale booster, and I know if and when the weather cooperates, it’s going to be “go time” around here. For Tyler and I, that typically means divide and conquer. We each take a kid or two with us and work swiftly to get as much done as possible while there’s still daylight.

For example, yesterday while Tyler hauled loads of manure, the kids and I headed to the calving barn and unloaded a wagon of square bales. We previously couldn’t get to this barn because it was underwater, so being able to drive close and unload the wagon was a great blessing indeed!

As millennial ranching parents, we are in the throes of daycare and preschool pickups and drop offs, sack lunches, show-and-tells, meals in the field, running errands, doing laundry, paying bills, washing dishes, filling creep feeders, baling hay, fixing fence and the list goes on.

Can anybody else relate?

I’m hoping once we catch up on fall work around here a little bit, we can take a breather and just enjoy some time together as a family. With our nine-year wedding anniversary approaching (October 8), I asked Tyler what we should do to celebrate. At this stage of life that we are in, I don’t need a fancy steak dinner or a destination vacation. Right now, Tyler and I both agreed that just sitting on the couch at home watching a movie uninterrupted by our children sounds amazing! How romantic are we?

But even in the thick of it, when markets are down, the weather is challenging, free time is scarce and the to-do list is unending, I appreciate that I have a partner in life to have shared goals with. I love that we both work from home and get to spend quality time together on a regular basis.

Now, everyone’s love language is different, and I think maintaining a relationship (whether it’s with your spouse, your siblings, your parents or friends) takes a concentrated effort.

I recently read a blog post by farm coach, Elaine Froese, titled, “Ways to increase the cherish factor with the one you love.” While this blog was published on Valentine’s Day, in times like harvest season where time with your spouse is precious and rare, I think this blog is even more of a critical read!

In her post, Froese shares 10 ways to be intentional about increasing the way you cherish your mate.

  1. Agree to do a “caring” list — what is your love language?
  2. Protect each other from verbal harm.
  3. Provide certainty for your future together.
  4. Be present with your time.
  5. Share household management.
  6. Find ways to be romantic.
  7. Listen more and look at each other when you talk (not at your cell phones!).
  8. Dream and set goals together.
  9. Spend quality time together doing something you both love.
  10. Cook together.

If you want to hear Froese explain each of these ten items in depth, check out her blog post here. If you and your spouse have been married and ranching together for awhile, what would you add to this list? I think we can all be more intentional about spending quality time with our spouse and dreaming together, as well! Don’t forget to take care of your marriage when you’re busy taking care of the cattle, the land, the to-do list and more!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Management
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