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.