At the end of March I became a mother for the second time in my life. And again, as the first time it has completely blown me away. The enormity of it is so hard to put into words, as any parent will understand.
Like many people who work for themselves, there is no paid maternity leave, nor funds to employ someone to take ever your role while you take on the job of looking after a new child. Also my husband runs his own business that demands a lot of his time also, so I guess when it comes to the farm "the show must go on."
And to be fair, I adore the farm and all the work involved and rely on the cows and fresh air to provide some sanity (and a break from endless nappies and the wiggles on repeat).
But I was not prepared for the incredible tiredness. With one child I slept when she slept, I popped her in the car seat, or in the car seat attached to the quad bike (I had my first baby in spring so the weather allowed for much more), and got on with the job. Quite often my daughter slept in the car or bike while I worked. However this time is different! Oh so different. One of the two always seems to be awake, so I always seem to be awake too. I am perpetually tired, however every now and then I get a good night in and then completely overdo it the following day as I am feeling so refreshed only to hit a rough patch the following night when I am exhausted!
I know it is something that all mothers experience.
But how do we get the balance right? Has anyone really worked it out yet? And if so, why haven't they told the world, or more importantly why haven't they told ME! Most days I feel that my time has never been stretched so thinly, and to make it through the days "list" EVERYTHING must go to plan. However this is where the problem arises… when dealing with animals or children NOTHING ever goes to plan! A simple ten minute task can end up occupying the entire day. I also didn't plan the birth of my second child that well, as we also were calving 100 cows and then lambing a small mob of ewes.
Although through all of the sleep in my eyes and I can still see how truly blessed I am to be able to raise a family where we are, with the life we have.
Farming can be extremely hard work, and
I am very lucky to have some wonderful supportive people in my life, my parents and mother in law constantly help so that I can keep the farm going and get out and do a bit of work (in three hour blocks as I need to return and feed the baby). My wonderful husband has given a lot of time to help with our children and the farm. I can honestly say that this is the hardest my life has ever been. And equally the most rewarding. Some days are dominated with tiredness and frustration whilst the snippets of joy and happiness assure me it is worthwhile.