Sneak Peek #9: Mehgin (Megz) Reynolds
Age at this writing: 31
My next interview is with a woman who hails from Saskatchewan. I started following her on twitter about a year ago and have watched her represent farming, farm life, and motherhood with spirit, passion and honesty that is not often matched. I remember seeing the Premier of Saskatchewan talk about how great she was when she posted a photo of herself harvesting with the caption: “why yes my lipstick does match my combine”. She farms with her husband and two daughters outside of Kyle, Saskatchewan.
When I asked Megz: “What does the term ‘farmwife’ mean to you, and do you consider yourself to be one?, this is what she had to say:
A: “Honestly I struggle with the term ‘farmwife’. But then, in turn, feel bad for doing so. There are so many women who are so proud to define themselves by that word and they are so amazing in the way they take care of, and provide for their families. I am secretly a little jealous of the moms and wives that they are. I identify myself as a farmer, a mom, a wife, an adventure seeker, a blogger an ‘agvocator’ on twitter, and an amateur photographer. It’s a very long list of things that make me who I am but ‘farmwife’ is not one of them. To me it’s a traditional term that speaks to an amazing mother, home keeper, cook, parts runner, etc. and I usually feel like I am failing at least 2 of those at any given time. I struggle with being a stay at home mom – I wasn’t cut out for it. I would rather shovel pig pens out than clean my house since having children… seriously, who cleans house with two toddlers running around? Its complete mayhem! I will always choose to be in the field, even if I am fixing a breakdown, over being in the kitchen cooking for the crew. I am lucky to have found a husband, and a family in law, that supports me in choosing the role that makes me happiest on the farm and not trying to force me into something more traditional.”
Q: Is there any piece of advice you wish you had received when beginning your life as a farmwife – and, also what advice would you give women marrying into farm life today?
A: “I’m kind of a ‘blaze my own trail’ sort of a gal so as much as I always enjoy hearing advice, I take it in turn and do my own thing. The piece of advice I like to give when asked is to find the role that makes you happy on the farm. It’s okay if that role isn’t traditional, or differentiates from your Mother in laws, you need to ‘find your happy’ because if you’re not happy or fulfilled then your family life will suffer.”
Q: What are you the proudest of in life?
A: “This question stumped me for a couple days. I have done so many different things and have so many interests and passions that I really wasn’t sure how I could put one accomplishment in front of another. After some soul searching and talking to family and friends the thing I am most proud of is my work ethic and my ability to take on and learn new challenges. I am damn proud of the fact I can float between any job that needs to be done on our farm!”
Q: For grain farmers – “harvest” is undoubtedly the busiest time of the year. How are harvest meals are managed on your farm? (If you’re not a grain farmer – pick an equally busy time of year on your farm and describe how meal-times are managed)
A: “I am happiest when I am farming especially during harvest there is no place I would rather be than in a combine. In order to make this a reality I do a lot of meal prep and freezer meals leading up to seeding and harvest so that I can contribute to our meals without having to spend time in the kitchen when we need to be in the field. My mother in law does most of the cooking during seeding and harvest and my mother helps as well when she comes out for a month each busy season to help with the girls. I try to pack lunches the night before so everything is quick and easy the next morning, rushing out of a house with two girls under three is much like pouring molasses, so the more organized I can be the smoother things run.”
Q: What is something you do for self-care when farm life, family life and work are so time-consuming?
A: “For me my most important self-care tool is exercise, running is my favourite way to clear my head or think about a problem that needs solving. Thanks to auto steer I have created modified workouts that I can do in the tractor while seeding, mind you that’s only if the girls are not with me. Now that I usually have the girls in the tractor or combine with me it is such a treat when I get to have time alone by myself!”
The new book is due out EARLY 2018. You can buy Billi’s first book here.
The author Billi J Miller lives with her husband and 2 daughters on a 106-year old mixed cattle & grain farm on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan in the Canadian Prairies. She is an award-winning farm photographer, freelance writer & author who has no plans to stop telling the stories of inspiring Canadians. She’s on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and you can find more of her work here.