What do you think of when you think Farmer’s Wife?
Go on, have a think.
This is what I think.
Rosy cheeks, a rather plump old-ish woman with tight curly hair.She is wearing a piny. She has rough hands and kneads bread.
She churns butter, knits, feeds chickens, has a wicker basket for eggs. Wears a head scarf. She probably milks cows on a tiny little stool.
She spins wool from fleeces and knits by the fire side at night. She bakes every day and doesn’t wear make-up.
Some of you won’t be surprised with this post. I asked my Twitter followers and fans on my Facebook page what they thought and they all thought like me.
We got cakes, wellies, hard work, feeding the chickens, breakfasts round the table and an Aga.
I don’t feel like your typical farmer’s wife. I was brought up in a town, I work in a city. I wear make-up, paint my nails and like pink, leopard print and glitter. But I am one.
I try to bake to fit in with what we all think is the archetypal farmer’s wife. We have a five-foot by five-foot kitchen table. We have shaker-style kitchen units and, while I don’t have an Aga, I have a beautiful range cooker. I do have rough hands sometimes and I can knit (badly).
I’ve tried the farmer’s wife ‘look’ and I do quite like it. I’ve got a green gilet that matches my wellies and, just putting that on makes me feel like a farmer’s wife.
I would like a Joules field coat and some Hunter farm boots and I would really, really love a Range Rover. But even if I don’t ever get these things, I will still be a farmer’s wife, I will just have to continue with my ‘proper’ no-frills wellies, my green gilet from Sainsburys and my MPV.
These days, farmer’s wives still do all the things they did years ago, cook, clean, look after the children, look after animals, but now they have taken on many other jobs too. Most of them work outside the farm, do the paper work and do some of the jobs that years ago were reserved solely for men.
One of the comments on my Facebook page said a farmer’s wife is: “someone adaptable with ever varied tasks…though they always include cooking much wholesome goodness and washing tons of clothes soiled with earth, poo and grease;).” But guess what? Katie, my cousin in America who wrote this, is also a farmer’s wife and she really does hit the nail on the head.
Next time you think of a farmer’s wife, think again. When I finally believe that I am one (a real one, not just pretend) I will try and get rid of the old stereotype.