Since I’ve started this blog, I’ve had a few people ask me how I balance everything.
In a typical week, I’m helping Farmer B around the farm, watering the horses, donkey, goats, llama and sheep (lucky for me they all stay together so it’s just one big tank), feeding and watering the meat chickens and turkeys, and same for the hens. I look after our son when Farmer B is busy/working (which obviously is quite a lot). We have a big house, and a tornado (aka a toddler) a dog and 3 cats that are pretty good at making a mess faster than I can clean it, AND to top it off I’m an avid rider, taking lessons and working at the barn to earn my riding time (and hopefully competing in barrel racing next spring). Did I mention cooking for my family? and thats just the core of my week. Every day brings different things that need to be done.
So to address the question of “how do you balance everything?”, the short answer would be, I just do. Not quite the insightful wisdom you were all hoping for, right?
The truth is, my house always looks like a bomb went off, unless I have at least a days warning that company will be coming. Our son comes outside with us every morning to do the chores, and yes, he has touched a lot of poop in his life. He rides on the tractors, and even the combine, with us ( Gasp!) and eats apples that fell on the ground and are full of holes. He comes to the barn and watches me ride, and has been known to swing the lunge whip at me as I go by (Obviously he didn’t think I was going fast enough)
Someone get out the smelling salts, I can hear people fainting all over the place. The germs!..The safety issues!..it’s too much!
The moral of this story, though, is that to live this life, you have to be relaxed and roll with the punches. A spotless kitchen might not be high on my priority list, but watching my son giggle away as he shares his bottle with the goat makes it all worth while. I use the farm and it’s animals to teach our son life lessons. Sharing, being kind and compassionate, even “the birds and the bees”-It’s all an opportunity to make him a better person. If you really enjoy it, it’s not work. And if you can be flexible, it’s not hard to balance.
My advice is this- If you’re kid running up to you with a hand full of horse poo and saying “Ball?” makes you want to shower in rubbing alcohol, this life might not be for you. If, however, you’re response is more like “Let’s throw that ball far away, wash our hands, and go get a REAL ball” than you might do just fine.
This lifestyle has it’s up’s and down’s, and sure, we get stressed and argue, but at the end of the day, I couldn’t imagine my life any other way.