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Recently my hubby and I watched Peter Walsh, Life Organization expert “strip down” a family of four who were highly stressed, eating poorly, living in clutter, and only communicating via electronics. Wes’s question at the end was, “What was the stay at home mom doing all day?” Exactly.

The things we take for granted on our farms that we do to create a sanctuary are actually worthy to be on Oprah! I think it is time we stop to appreciate the art of homemaking and those folks, male and female, who work hard to have family meals around the table on a regular basis, play games, ride horses, go to the outdoor rink and stay connected.

Today’s ag. families are texting, listening to professional development podcasts, and checking emails but I also think they know the value of connecting with face to face interaction, healthy meals (much of which they produced) and an orderly environment.

Reflect for a moment on the Homemaker’s Creed, written in l947 by Mrs. F. F. Brudevold:
“I believe my home is sacred; a place where love, faith, hope and devotion have their beginning; where each has his rights respected by others; where joys and blessings, sorrows and disappointments are shared in common; where God is revered and honoured, fellowmen respected and love is law.

I believe it is my duty to live up to the best that is in me to attain this, to fear things unworthy, to conquer difficulties by daring to attempt them, to be a companion as well as counselor to my family, and to teach and live, love of home, country, fellowmen and God.” Remember that creed was penned in 1947 and today we would use more inclusive language, but the intent of the creed has great merit in our wired world today.

I am seeing young farm women who have a career outside the home, a calling at home to raise young children, and a farm mortgage to pay, along with fields to help combine. These young women and their hubbies could use some verbal encouragement and donated pies for their freezers. My neighbour brought a meat pie, buns, and cake last week when her family came for a mid-week supper visit. I felt blessed. Who has time to bake pies? Or, who makes time to bake pies?

Time spent on creating the sacred sanctuary of a happy family home is everyone’s choice. Money can buy some speed to buy house-cleaning services, but money can’t buy time to play games, wrestle on the floor, or share tea with your mate on the couch to discuss the state of your union.

The art of homemaking is being monetized by two women in the United States who last year made over $100,000 doing podcasts to encourage young moms. Check out www.podcast.mommycast.com These women are using their homemaking and mommy skills to encourage a nation of frazzled frantic families.

So, how are you showing up to create a home that folks love to be in? You can spend time surfing the internet to be inspired about de-cluttering, but ultimately you actually have to do the work of recycling Grainews, and shipping off stuff to the thrift store. In Peter Walsh’s TV clip, it only took the family 2 hours to clean out the garage, because they focused on the task, worked as a team, and had been without the distraction of TV and computers for 7 days!

I could live without television, but I am glad I can visit ag families every week on AgVision TV. So am I a hypocrite? No. I just see TV as a huge time stealer for other things that might have a better impact on family life. Last night I did watch the Bee Movie with 6 darling little kids, but I also know they play in the snow fort and spend lots of time drawing and painting. I would love to do more painting, so why it is not happening?

Homemaking as an art takes intentional decision making. I choose to clean my own house, but I don’t put a high priority on perfectionism when it comes to dusting! I have seasons of work that consume large chunks of time, because I love to write, speak and coach. I also choose to cook supper from scratch and invite folks to share it with us. We all make choices, some decisions are less conscious than others.

Families have seasons. Young families with children underfoot all day could really use your support and encouragement. Single parent families are hungry for love and attention from folks who are not family but who would adopt them into the circle of love. Single farm guys are tired of the jokes about “when are you going to find someone to cook for you?” (They are great cooks!) These young producers would enjoy sharing the sanctuary of your home on a cold winter’s night.

Resiliency to cope with the bumps of agriculture is strengthened when we have a strong emotional support group and connections. I challenge you to think about how well you are currently connected emotionally to your spouse, your children, and your parents. I am seeing farming partners pining for friendship with family, and why can’t that start with a great meal at the kitchen table, followed by a game or chuckles sprinkled with committed conversation? (Avoid the farm business talk for awhile).

The glossy ag. magazines add to the clutter in my home, just like they do in yours. I am not seeing a lot of press about the profitability of a happy, healthy, well-adjusted home life, but I know that my role as a homemaker is important to our farm. “But Elaine, you are never home“ are fighting words to me, because from a distance people can make all kinds of assumptions about how you allocate your time. Cell phones can quickly confirm your availability to connect.

So stop beating yourself up for the things that have become frantic in your life, and make some course corrections. Strip down to your essentials that make a happy home life. Find some margin time on the calendar. Shut off the computer and TV from 6 to 9 in the evening. Park the cell phone, on vibrate at the back door. Break bread together, and laugh and connect. You don’t have to bake the bread yourself unless you want to be like Martha Stewart… you just have to pay attention to nurturing your homemaking abilities that will draw the family back to a deeper sense of belonging, caring, and healthy place to grow.

At one time when I was voting and had to state my current occupation as “homemaker” it didn’t feel right, but now in our whacky wired world, I sense that many farm women and men would see their home life as the key foundation to their happiness and ultimately their definition of success. What does it profit a couple if they gain all the land, and yet have no family who care about them?
Hug your family. Embrace your single friends. Have fun.

Remember, it is your farm, your family, and your choice.

Fixing Your Time Stress Mess

60 minutes

Workaholics will discover helpful strategies for managing their time stress. Gain understanding for the tensions of your age and stage on the farm. Learn why some problems are not solvable, but just need to be managed as polarities. Self-renewing people are joyful and productive producers.

$15

Rave reviews

“A joy to work with, heard loud and clear. When the farmers laughed or asked a great question, I knew they were listening and really wanted to learn from her. Her tips were easy to understand. It was just about understanding that conflict happens, and to have the confidence in yourself to ask for what you want. In the glowing review from farmers after her presentation, I knew they had heard that loud and clear.”
Maddy Berner, Event Planner & Communications Coordinator, National Milk Producers Federation National Milk Producers Federation
“I wanted to say a HUGE thank you for your virtual kitchen table chat with Arlan Academy. My wife and I signed up as it was exceptionally relevant to our current journey with potentially transitioning to her parents’ farm. The session was able to cover so many aspects of these crucial conversations and hearing you speak to both sides of the conversation was eye opening for my own perspective on this topic. It seemed to be very well attended and sounded like there were many other people who would echo my thoughts and feelings on it.”
N. Oakley, Farmer, Ontario
“Elaine helped me allocate $1 Million of assets the night I listened to her. Elaine’s presentation brings value to the use of my services in my office.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealth Management
“I recently joined in and listened to your Healthy Farmer Agriwebinar for FMC. I truly enjoyed hearing your perspective and even went and grabbed my Mom, away from her work, to come and listen in on some of your main points as well! One area that really stood out for me, both personally with our own succession plans and with our clients, was your discussion involving "Instant Influence" and how ready are you to change? I loved this concept!”
Annessa Good, FCC Transition Specialist, Alberta
“Elaine Froese truly is the Farm Whisperer. With her big heart and stern resolve, she guides families through uncharted waters and helps them arrive safely at their desired destination. She has been there, done that, and has helped hundreds of families come out on the other side. With your family and your farm legacy on the line, you owe it to yourself to start this conversation. You do not need to do it alone. Let Elaine Froese guide you through. Your legacy is being written day by day. How will you be remembered?”
Tracy Brunet, Host of The Impact Farming Show & CEO of Farm Marketer
“You speak like you’ve been sitting at our kitchen table! You know our family issues well. I am feeling more comfortable understanding what we now need to do. Elaine Froese is real.”
Audience Member,
“I attended the meeting you spoke at in Stratford Ontario recently. We held an emergency family/farm meeting today because of issues that I had enough of. We used a 'talking stick' like you recommended and wrote a chart of rules. The rest of the family thought the idea that we needed a meeting was worth rolling their eyes over, until we got started. The younger ones were quick to clue in that they now have an opportunity to be bluntly honest. The older ones took a bit longer to believe they could truly say what they think. In the end, the meeting needed two sessions because there was so much to talk about… and so many things people didn't realize were a big deal to the others. Your lessons and encouragement have given us the tools we need to get to a better place in our relationships and our business. Truly thankful.”
Kim Martin, Dairy Farmer, Ontario
“Helped me develop my framework to start having constructive and meaningful conversations around the farm.”
Tennille Wakefield, Farm Partner
“Some great lessons, Elaine! You continue to do some remarkable and potentially life-changing work.”
James Mitchell, Principal, Conversations Consulting
“Our family had a good farm meeting yesterday afternoon. Your Fairness video was a great topic of discussion. One of the action items after the meeting was to have my two non-farming siblings watch the video before the next big meeting they are involved with on the farm. It will be a great conversation starter as we catch them up on our current plan. As they are younger, we also hope it will help them to ask new questions that may not have been on their mind.”
G.G., Farm Family Legacy Coach, Alberta
“Elaine gives me excellent tools that help me work with my clients!”
Laurianne Osmack, Financial Planner / Partner, Doell Osmak Wealth Management
“She has a sense of “knowing” quickly what is happening in the family dynamic. Her messages to her audiences drive home what needs to be done next to solve the complex issues of farm transition and conflict resolution.”
Audience Member,
“Eye-opening. Excited to open the door of communication with my spouse and farm family.”
Ashley Hoppe, Farm Partner
“The Strong Farms, Strong Families session gave farm families an opportunity to meet face to face with Elaine Froese... hear her own story, experiences and skill set. From this information packed session and related materials, families could identify areas of success in their journey and other places they need assistance. The greatest take away was that participants could see that Elaine Froese is someone they can trust with the things that they hold most precious.... their family and their farm.”
Nancy Atkinson, Nobleford Ag Society, Alberta
“Elaine’s real-life scenarios help her audiences know they are not alone, knowing there are creative solutions to help them get the life on the farm they have always wanted.”
Audience Member,
“A long time female client who had refined the art of procrastination was so moved by the end of your presentation that she accepted your permission to “drop the bananas.” She contacted me soon after for an appointment to do some planning which included the selling of the family “Century Farm.” A very, very emotional decision on her part that was not likely to have occurred without your presentation.”
Don Forbes, Forbes Wealthy Management
“I just have to say… that your work is amazing and I have never forgotten your teachings from our session in Williams Lake at TRU. It is super important work. I know so many people going through the trauma of succession. I hate to use that word, but I was an “out-law” and know it can get terrible. I continue to forward your emails on to others. Keep doing what you do! You are amazing. You kind of walk into the fire regularly… and with a smile. Proud to have met you.”
Megan, BC Rancher
“As my husband and I eagerly started the course we were optimistic and excited to be taking this next step in our Farm Transition. We were starting to question ourselves and whether or not we were just being selfish and greedy, and if this Farm Transition was still an option for us. We barely got through the first Module and were already having such a huge relief. As we moved through the modulus there were so many times that we just sat back with our hands in the air and thought YES. My husband and I would smile with relief because all of the concerns that we have been struggling with were relevant and came up in the modules. We really enjoyed the course and are excited to move on to the next stages to find our farm resolution.”
Shannon Gilchrist, “Get Farm Transition Unstuck” online course participant
“My hubby farms with 2 brothers and parents, and it’s become a really toxic place. No communication, no respect, etc. Twelve months ago, my husband’s brothers told him they don’t want to work with him anymore and offered him a pay out. His parents did nothing to stop it! He had no choice but to leave. Three months later, we moved off the farm and into town. He has been offered heaps of jobs and is now truck driving and carting hay and grain. We have tried communicating with his parents about what happened but they are not interested. So basically my hubby has lost his family. Very sad but we as husband and wife are overall in a good place and moving on to create our own life. Please continue on with all your wonderful work in helping families on the farm. I continue to tell any farmers I know about you, that they must ‘google’ you, and read your books.”
Donna, Farmer, Australia

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