Women ask other women all the time…
How do you balance everything?
How do you balance being a wife, mother, and farmer? Before I blush and say modestly that I don’t do anything special I’m going to be very honest with myself and you. Balance looks different to each of us and I know my version of a balanced work and family life looks A LOT different now than it did 3 years ago.
Three years ago I had a 6 year old, 4 year old, and 1 year old. I was elbow deep in dirty diapers and always getting snacks for the oldest two. I was desperate for help, for some time to myself, and for my husband to wake up during the night so I could sleep longer than 3 hours – NONE of my children were good sleepers, I failed sleep training 101.
The arrangement between my husband and I then was: I take care of the house and kids first, farm second, he handled the farm and chores and walked his wife off the verge of epic meltdowns regularly. Balance for us was doing all the things between two people. I didn’t ask him to bathe the kids or do nighttime feedings because he was milking cows at 5am. Likewise, he didn’t ask me to haul manure or do morning chores because he knew I was tired too.
Our responsibilities have never been a competition among us, he works hard at what he does and I work hard at my job of being mom. Now a days my children are older and more independent, and THAT changes everything. I have time to help with chores while the kids can run around the farm where my husband and I both watch and teach them. I do more jobs now because I’m not tied to my children…. In the fall I’ll have all of my children in school and for the first time in a decade I will have my days to myself. Ladies, this is HUGE!
We all strive to have balance in our life, I think it makes me feel put together and like I’m not screwing things up. But you cannot compare my days to yours when you have babies, or children with special needs, or you’re a single parent, or you milk 40 more cows than me, or WHAT EVER. You need to decide what balance will feel like for you, in your life, at this stage.
Finding the balance between your family and your job might look like hiring a cleaning company or ordering dinner meal kits weekly. The way farm life looks for your family might be hiring a relief milker or enrolling in daycare one day a week. Maybe you want to set time aside for yourself a few times a week to workout and you’ll accomplish that by asking for help from your partner or your family.
When I look at powerful women, those who run successful businesses and answer to mom simultaneously, I see a commonality in that they delegate responsibility. They ask for help because women should not expect themselves (and it’s unhealthy) to do it ALL.
If you find yourself feeling unbalanced, feeling like it’s either the house or the children or the job, that something will be left unfulfilled no matter what you do – you ARE normal.
How will you find a way to balance it all? You’ll start by being kinder to yourself, my sincerest recommendation. Then you’ll find a rhythm that fits YOUR life for the stage you’re in. Good luck mamma, we can all learn from each other and we can all support one another too! Xo, Nicole