You know what's hard? Being a mom. Do you know what's also hard? Being a farmer. Now put to the 2 together....yeah.
Now say, you are a mom of 2 under 2 and a farmer and are the wife of a man who works 14 hour days. Let me tell you, it's HARD. And it also sucks. It sucks real bad when you try to sneak out of the house to get chores done while the kids are asleep, you try to rush through as quickly as possible and, of course, the cow is at the other end of the pasture just to taunt you. You come into the house, already sweating and covered in poop to strain the milk and the kids let you know that you just weren't fast enough and they are PISSED. Really, it makes you just want to turn tail and run when you hear the infant crying like he's been starving for the past 6 hours but didn't realize it until NOW and a toddler who is screaming at you and does NOT want his diaper changed right now and needs food NOW but not THAT for breakfast and throws it at you and we start the day with a time out. Oh yeah....the milk. By this time, it hasn't been strained or chilled fast enough. That batch will have to go to the pigs.
Do you know what is hardest of all? Admitting that you can't do it all. I can't keep an epic garden, weed and flood free. I can't build the pig fences by myself. I can't drive the tractor to clean the barns and move 30 round bales of hay with 2 kids to watch. It's hard to admit that, even though I'm living the life I want, I can't handle it. I can't raise my family and keep my farm and juggle life. It's overwhelming and exhausting. Now add in that I just had a baby 11 weeks ago and you have the perfect formula for Postpartum Depression, also known as PPD.
If life isn't hard enough, throw PPD into the mix. Suddenly you have heart attack like episodes, suddenly, you are scared to drive for the irrational fear that the car will blow up, or pop a tire and you lose control and you flip over and the kids die and worse yet, YOU live. Suddenly, the baby is sound asleep and you lay awake wondering if he is still breathing. Suddenly, you find yourself irrationally screaming at your toddler like he just committed the worst crime in history, you know, playing with the kitchen drawers. Suddenly, you find yourself thinking your family will be better off without you. You suck as a mother, you suck as a wife, you suck as a farmer.
I need to take a step back. I can't do it all and everything is reaffirming that. Floods that haven't happened in 50 years, takes out the garden. Calves that you loveingly bottle feed morning and night die. Your favorite goat passes away. The pigs get out, the cows get out and I can't keep my cool.
Things have got to change.
The pigs. I love my pigs. I really do. You know what I love more than my pigs? Bacon. So we have been trying to provide, what I think is the absolute BEST bacon, to central ohio. (and WV if they want to get in on it!) But sometimes, bacon isn't worth it. It's not worth the hours put into the pigs, moving them from pen to pen for their pastured and milkfed goodness. I understand why the big pork producers leave them on concrete all the time. That would be so EASY! But because it stands for all I am against, instead of raising easy, plain, boring concrete pigs, I will have to sell my lovely, sweet, yummy, happy pasture pigs. And by sell, I mean the live ones. Daisy in all of her 600 lbs will probably end up as sausage links. It's not her fault she's so much work.
The cows. Cows are gross. Really. They lick their own boogers out of their nose with their tongues. They have 10 lbs poops and can pee a river. Not to mention they eat a ton....no, literally.
They are worth it for the milk they provide us. so we will just be keeping the milkers. After this round of beef in the fall, we will not be offering anymore. We MAY raise one up for us, and might sell off half, but it sure won't be every year. We started this year off with 9 cows on the property. By Nov. I want to be down to 2. That will take a lot of the load off.
The chickens are gone. They weren't a lot of work, but we didn't have a proper coop for them. They were in the barn, pooping on all of our stuff and hiding their eggs in placed I couldn't find. NOT WORTH IT!
So I sold them. We may get new ones after we build a coop and train the new ones to it. Until then, I will be buying eggs off of my friends.
The goats. You know what's funny? I look at all the animals here and all I see is work and stress. I look at my goats and I feel peace. I like to put my kids to bed at night and go out and sit with the goats. They come up to be scratched and they offer me as much or more, comfort as I offer them.
The goats will stay for now. If and when they become too much for me, they will probably go too. I hope that time never comes.
I want to cry, I want to mourn losing what I've worked so hard for but I can't. I'm numb. I laugh and smile for my kids because I am supposed too, but I don't feel the joy I think and know I should. I have lost the ability to feel emotion it seems. That isn't fair to the kids. To have a mother who isn't really there.
I know I need help. And I have gone to professionals who can get me the help I need. But until I start feeling like myself and feeling like I am the super mom I once was, the farm will have to wait.