On Saturday morning, I was laying in bed with Further listening to the rain tapping on the tin roof. Jesse had left early that morning for market, and we had the whole day to ourselves. We were snuggled up under the quilt and I was envisioning my morning: cleaning the house, washing diapers, maybe doing a little bit of knitting…

Then I heard that sound we have so come to dread: the snarfling, snorting sound of pigs in the front yard. I closed my eyes for a moment and then got up, grabbed the baby carrier, and off we went.

Somehow, I managed to smoothly wrangle the pigs, get them back into their paddock, re-string the electric wire fence, bring them food and water – all the while tromping through the rain and mud in my pajamas AND simultaneously breastfeeding Further! All before 7 AM. I got back to the house and couldn’t help but feel pretty dang proud of myself.

Well, I am sure you know how this sort of story goes. It wasn’t half an hour later that I was back outside, in more rain and mud, chasing pigs and not feeling quite so smug. This time, Further was screaming his head off and slamming his face repeatedly into my chest, and I was saying a lot more choice words. Finally, by 11:30, and with the helping hand of Ira, the pigs were all in and accounted for. I started cooking my much-needed breakfast and felt completely spent. My leisurely morning: gone. My plans of returning any sense of order to the cabin: nixed.

This is often how I find myself these days – zipping back in forth between feeling somewhat accomplished and feeling like a total failure. I have come to grips with the fact that I cannot always be out in the field helping Jesse. But when I can’t even manage to get the floor swept and the diapers are piling up and I can’t find one clean fork, I just start to feel somewhat useless.

I know, I know, I know that being a Mama is important. And I know that this is what it is to be a parent: to try every day, to fail every day. Some days we read books and play games and laugh and learn and I love my baby every single minute, and some days I just can’t wait for him to fall asleep so I can just sit alone in a room and not have anybody touching me for five seconds. But I am trying these days not to be so controlled by my emotions, trying not to let those ugly feelings of failure creep in. This is hard in being a mama, and it is hard in farming. Hard to not despair over lost crops, weedy gardens, buggy broccoli.

So: I will embrace the dirty kitchen. I will wait for Jesse to come home and help me with the pigs. I will try very hard to treasure every moment of this little child of mine, this farming life of mine. And tomorrow, I will try again.

– Hannah.


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7 thoughts on “THAT MAMA LIFE.

  1. all of these are precious moments… and before you know it they grow and you wonder where all that time has gone. I so enjoy watching little Further grow. Thank you for sharing him with us xxx

  2. It’s all hard. And it doesn’t get any easier, really, it just gets hard in different ways. But it’s SO worth it, and you’re doing a great job.

  3. Hannah, you put this into words so well…the fatigue, chaos, untidiness, the fact that what YOU want to do (even if it is dishes and sweep the floor) is last on a long list. I feel like it really does get easier. Once you have a little helper that can be trusted to sit and play out of the rain while you chase pigs, or a little one that can “help” alongside you in the garden, you will suddenly marvel at your “freedom” even if it is just the freedom to be ten steps away rather than always holding, feeding, carrying. I know you treasure all of those things–needing a break from it and doesn’t change that. Someday you will tell Further about the time(s) you put the pigs in together and his little face will light up at your adventures and you will somehow be glad that you shared those trying moments. Thank you for being honest about what motherhood is really like. It is wonderful and it can bring you to your knees. Bet you wouldn’t change it though, huh?

  4. Uf! :-) Thank you for this post! So honest and yes, beautiful!
    I’m in the countdown to living these things you describe, and reality seems a bit harder than my fantasies of happy baby and chickens and farming all at the same time. Bummer. Oh well. I’m pretty sure in a few years these memories will amuse you!
    I’ve been loving your posts on parenting!

  5. I feel like I had this very same experience. Except..I had a young naked two year old running around in the rain while I tried to wrangle 8- 60-70 lb pigs back into their pen. I thought, too, that I had won the battle and not 2 seconds later I hear a scream for my daughter, turn to see what it is…only to realize I had miscounted and one was chasing my naked daughter around in the rain. Farming and being a Mama are hard, separately and collectively. Keeping ‘your a failure’ out of my daily thoughts is probably the thing I wish would have done..and could still do now. It steals your happiness, joy, and wonder of raising a little human being. We are at 3 1/2 with my sometimes clothed child, (hah!), and I can say for sure I do find times NOW that no one is touching me. :) Something to look forward to.

  6. In the blink of an eye you will be looking back on these precious moments and wondering why you were so hard on yourself when everything was going to turn out okay. Enjoy your sweet boy while he’s still so little because soon enough he’ll be a man. My oldest son is going to be 23 next month and I remember him at your son’s age like it was yesterday. I can say the same for my 19 and 13 year old sons and my 5 year old daughter. Time goes way too fast to be so hard on yourself. So glad I found your blog and looking forward to catching up. : )

    ~ Wendy

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