Tag Archives: stay-at-home mom

I Don’t Take It For Granted

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Okay y’all…I know I am spoiled rotten!  I am truly blessed to have my in-laws around to help take care of Eden…well and basically everything.  Sometimes I’m even embarrassed at how much they do for us, especially in our culture of independence.  I honestly don’t think God intended for families to go their own separate ways as they do in American culture.  I am very thankful I have a wonderful relationship with my in-laws, because I know that’s not always the case.  But more than anything, I am so thankful Eden has them to love on her, teach her values, and to make unforgettable memories together.

So Miss Eden Grace did not stay they night with them or anyone else until she was 26 months old.  I had horrible postpartum anxiety (though I didn’t realize it for many months after she was born) and I nursed her until she was almost two.  I didn’t want to leave her with anyone…ever.  But Chad and I were planning to attend a farm conference out of state and Eden couldn’t come so on Thanksgiving 2017 I let Eden stay the night with my in-laws for the first time…and the rest is history!  No but really…she has stayed almost every weekend with them sine then!  I have a mix of mom guilt, gratitude, and liberation.  During the week I pretty much take care of Eden all by myself, so it’s such a blessing to have the weekend to be alone and get refreshed…and actually get things done.

I don’t know if any other moms are like this, but when Eden isn’t home I get some kind of extraterrestrial burst of energy.  I am like the energizer bunny on steroids!  (She rode in the tractor for two hours yesterday and I went crazy working in the yard!) On Friday evenings Chad and I normally get things ready for farmer’s market, eat dinner, and sometimes watch a show, and then go to bed early.  (We have a secret: Eden still sleep in our bed…shhhhhh…don’t tell anyone…but it’s nice to have the bed to ourselves on the weekends…our backs definitely hurt less when we wake up).  On Saturday Chad leaves the farm at 6:15am to get to farmer’s market and my father-in-law helps me do all the morning chores.  It takes two people to do our chores since we move the chicken houses every morning.  After chores, I normally clean house, pay bills, and fold and put away all the laundry that piled up on my kitchen table during the week (that’s when I turn into the energizer bunny!).  This morning my father-in-law and I mowed the yard too.  It also takes two people to mow our yard.  One person mows and the other moves vehicles, tractors, and Chad’s large collection of pallets laying around the yard (insert eye-roll here).

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Selfie with the hens! Farm hair…don’t care!

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Our pastured chickens!  One person pulls the house to fresh grass with the tractor and the other gets inside the house and shoos the chickens forward so they don’t get ran over.  This is one of our two houses.

When Chad gets home from farmers market he’s normally pretty exhausted so we do evening chores and then we try to make Saturday evenings our time of rest.  We got obsessed with reading and watching Outlander so we got the shows on DVDs and watched three seasons over the summer!

Eden always has a great time with her Nana and Aunt B over the weekend.  They go visit her great grandparents in the next town, go to the park, and on Sunday she goes to church with Nana (on the Sundays I go to church I pick her up and bring her to church with me).

I know my in-laws don’t mind keeping her most weekends, and I know Eden LOVES every moment of it.  However, I feel guilty.  I know there are so many moms out there who don’t get a break.  I know my mother-in-law is tired from working all week (though I’ve asked her to make sure to let me know if she wants me to keep her).  I don’t take it for granted that I get the weekend to myself, and that Chad and I can get some alone time together.

When I loaded her up in my father-in-law’s Tahoe yesterday evening I was trying hard to fight back the tears.  I asked her if she was sure she wanted to go.  It’s not always easy to send her away for the weekend.  I miss her snuggles and wildness, but I know the break makes me a better mom…and at least my house is clean for a few hours!  I know I need to relinquish the mom guilt and simply have a grateful heart for her Nana and Papa and my time of rest…or productivity! 😉

 

Not Alone

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Not Alone

As you’ve noticed, I haven’t posted anything since last March.  I’ve thought about it several times, but then I get overwhelmed about what to say and I overthink the whole thing and give up.  But today I don’t care.  Today I’m going to be me.  Since I moved to this farm just over 4 years ago, I’ve been trying so hard to fit in.  For one, my liberal views and hippie mama ideas don’t exactly mesh well with most of Pawnee County (though by the blessings of God I’m slowly finding some wonderful like-minded mama friends!).  And then there’s the whole trying to fit in on a farm with a farm family when you grew up on a paved road 10 minutes from town with a dream of either living in Africa or suburbia when you grew up.  Some days I feel incredibly alone.  Physically alone, but mostly alone in my thoughts, dreams, and passions.  Most days I’m fine and happy and thankful we live out here surrounded by God’s raw beauty.  But some days (or weeks) I’m not.  Being a stay-at-home mom is hard enough when you’re not isolated from the rest of the world.  But then throw in several dreary rainy days in a row and finding the energy and motivation to wash dishes, fold the laundry, and build play-do castles is just plain hard.

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This was my living room a couple weeks ago, and it pretty much looks the same today! And I have no idea what Eden Is doing!? Ha ha!

I guess I’m writing this to let you know it’s okay to have a bad day…or a bad week.  I get so sick and tired of Facebook and Instagram because sometimes that’s my only connection to the outside world and everyone looks so perfect and happy.  All the stay-at-home-moms are having the best day of their lives in their work-out clothes (with makeup) drinking their latte while their 3 year old naps for 3 hours.  I know that mama has bad days.  I only post the good stuff too…that’s why I’m writing this.

I’m writing this to let all the mamas know they are not alone.  We are not alone.  Even if you’re not a mom you are not alone.  I think everyone desires to be known deeply.  Everyone desires to have companions.  Unfortunately, there are times in our lives where those things are hard to come by.  I’ve tried really hard this year to be consistent in my “Jesus time” everyday.  I have been using “New Morning Mercies” devotional by Paul David Tripp and it is AMAZING!  God has been speaking to me in so many ways, but I have been so encouraged and comforted by knowing that God knows me.  The God of the Universe knows ME and He WANTS to know me…deeply.  Psalm 139: 1-6 says,

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

No matter how alone I feel or how badly I just want someone to “get” me or to care about the things I care about or actually listen and try to understand what I’m saying GOD DOES.  He “gets” me.  He knows my heart.

Another thing I struggle deeply with is wanting to please people.  I want so badly for the people around me to approve of me, to like me, to encourage what I’m doing…and what we are doing as a family.  I think a lot of us women (and it gets worse when you become a mom) struggle with this.  The good news is it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks!   Galatians 1:10 say,

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” 

I have to remind myself daily that it does not matter what others think, but what God thinks.  I could write an entire post about caring too much about what others think but I’ll save that for another rainy day. 

Bottom line is:  it’s okay to have a bad day, but remember you are not alone.  And mamas out there: y’all are doing a great job.  Do what is best for you and your family.  Don’t get overwhelmed by little comments your neighbor Sally said about you still nursing your 3 year old or about the fact that you let your boy toddler play with your makeup or tea set.  Will worrying about those comments/opinions matter in 10 years?  Nope!

Now that I’ve got that out and wallowed in my self-pity I’m going to go get something done around here…starting with washing the pee out of our queen-size bed sheets since we’re co-sleeping hippies! 😉

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We made butterflies during craft time! 🙂

Mom Blahness

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So my goal is to write a post at least once a week…maybe on Monday mornings.  Mondays are basically our Saturdays anyways since we are at farmer’s market all day.  On Sundays we have church and often do something with friends and family, so Mondays are our day to relax (or at least try to!).  Well, obviously I didn’t write anything on Monday…or Tuesday.  Chad keeps encouraging me to be consistent on here, but I just never know what to say that’s interesting to other people.  And then I read a blog post earlier this week from a fellow mother who writes simply about her life: her struggles, her hopes, or daily activities, but a lot about her feelings.  She talked about how she wishes there were more blogs like that because anymore they are  focused on one subject, like cooking, fitness, or finance.  It was encouraging to read the comments on her post as well.  People relate to feelings.  And I have LOTS of feelings!  So many that I could probably write two posts a day on here!  I think I’m saying all this because  I’ve been feeling a little blah lately.  I’m tired, have very little motivation, and have been rather negative ( Chad would agree!).

I’m pretty sure my problem is simply myself!  I am so hard on myself and have been my entire life.  I remember before I even got pregnant being so fearful that I would be a bad mom.  And the whole time I was pregnant I worried about the same thing.  I had BIG plans for being a stay-at-home mom.  And yes, I’ve done most of the “granola-hippie mama” things I intended.  But there are several things I just don’t have the energy to do.  Like make ALL my own food.  I was going to make Eden food from all natural products, but if I’m honest she probably ate a whole sleeve of Keebler club crackers today.  And I sometimes use Johnson and Johnson baby wash (instead of the natural stuff) because I have tons of it from all my showers.  And I let her eat pizza and chocolate pudding this week.  Eden has now watched 3 episodes of Baby Einstein today and originally I wasn’t going to let her watch tv at all.  Plus, I asked Chad if he would cook dinner tonight because I just don’t know if I can muster up the energy to do it.  And it’s so easy to tell myself I suck at life and that I’m a horrible mom and I’ve failed miserably!  I know what you’re thinking.  But I know I’m NOT the only mom who does this.  We are all hard on ourselves.  But we must stop it!  We can’t do it all.  We have to stop comparing ourselves to other mamas (and people in general).  And we must quit putting opinions from other people in our head, because most of the time they probably don’t even think those things about us!   If our children are alive, healthy, and thriving I think we are doing a pretty awesome job! 

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Eden Grace sitting on daddy’s lap at church on Sunday! 🙂

On top of beating myself up, I think I’ve been so blah lately because we basically do the same things everyday.  Eden and I sleep in, we eat breakfast, I wash eggs and laundry, and straighten up the house.  She takes a nap in the afternoon while I read or do housework.  Then we help daddy with evening chicken/turkey chores.  It’s pretty boring and repetitive sometimes.  I think it’s so easy for stay-at-home mamas to get in that rut.  Once my sprained ankle gets healed up and Eden’s hives go away (she had a reaction to a vaccine) we are going to plan 2 out-of-the-ordinary activities per week!  They might be on the farm or they might be in town, but that’s my new goal!  If we don’t keep it fresh I know we will both be miserable and bored.

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Poor Princess had an allergic reaction to her measles vaccine (yes we did decide to vaccinate).  So she’s in disposable diapers and clothes-free right now. 😦 

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Playing dress-up with the flower headband future Aunt Chelsea got her! 🙂

So if you’re reading this and your a mom please be encouraged to know you’re not the only one who is ridiculously hard on themselves and feels “blah” sometimes.  You are awesome and doing a great job!  Sometimes you just gotta give the kid her cracker and movie if that’s what will keep everyone sane and happy.  Don’t beat yourself up about it! (I’m talking to myself here).  And if you’re a stay-at-home mom (or even a working mom) who feels like your life is getting boring or repetitive go and do something spontaneous.  Chad and I are planning a hike for my birthday next month and I can’t wait!  Go on a picnic, put together a puzzle as a family, bake cookies, or go to the zoo!  Sometimes the simplest things make a difference and brighten yours and your whole family’s mood.

I know when I’m feeling “blah” or like I’m not the mom I feel I should be I simply grab my little princess and hug her tight.  She’s my whole world and I know I’m hers.  At the end of the day that’s all that matters.  So go find your little one and remind yourself of that! 🙂

Where Does the Time Go?!

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(Written on Wed. April 6)

Today I am frustrated and overwhelmed. Overwhelmed to the point that it’s 10:30am and other than getting up for 30 minutes to help Chad move chickens I just got out of bed. (It was nice and very much needed to snuggle with Eden all morning!) The dishes are overflowing and the laundry has been in the dryer for 3 days with more falling out of the full  dirty laundry basket. I have 2 egg baskets full of eggs waiting to be washed, packed, and labeled.  Ahhhh!!!

I thought I was finally figuring out how to get everything done with a baby in the house: keeping the house clean, cooking a good healthy dinner every night, washing diapers, making Eden’s baby food, washing eggs daily, plus all the random things that come up, and helping Chad around the farm whenever needed. For a couple months I even felt like super mom.  Eden and I were up and ready by 8 everyday and I felt like energizer bunny getting everything accomplished. Chad was sick from work last Wednesday, so he was able to see everything I do in a day from his spot on the couch. I asked him at the end of the day what things I do that aren’t necessary because often at the end of the day I feel like I need way more time to get things done or like I haven’t accomplished much, and that’s without sitting down other than to feed Eden or myself.  He said he couldn’t think of anything I did that didn’t need done and he knows I do a lot around here. Folks, I didn’t even sweep the floor that day, and I normally sweep the floor a couple times a day! I keep asking myself what am I doing that I can cut out so I have more time for more important things. Or what can I rearrange in my daily routine so I have more time. My in-laws think all I do is clean my house all day. I wish I had the time to clean it like I would like because I can’t tell you the last time it’s been dusted. Yes, I am border-line ocd, but my house is not immaculate. I just like things picked up and because we live on a farm (and have a cat that sheds and gets litter everywhere) and everyone is in and out all the time there is a bit more upkeep. Now I can tell you that yesterday was the first time my floor got swept in 4 days and I should have taken a picture of the nasty pile!

It’s ironic that I feel this way because several times this week there have been articles on my Facebook news-feed about “to-do lists” or “what it really important in life” and that it’s okay to neglect things sometimes and spend time with your children.   I told Chad before Eden was born that I did not want to be that mom that was too busy for her children. If they need me I want to be able to stop what I’m doing and snuggle, read a book, or just listen. They are only little once and the dishes can wait.

I think my exhaustion and overwhelmed feelings are a blessing in disguise because my lack of motivation this week is causing me to spend more time playing and snuggling with Eden. (I’m going to blame getting up at 4:30am on Saturday for our new farmer’s market schedule for my exhaustion too! )

So mom’s out there I’m starting to get you. Moms working outside the home and inside the home are all superwomen, even when we don’t get it done or have it all figured out. It’s okay to feel frustrated and overwhelmed. And it’s definitely okay to neglect your house and laundry to read a book to your child. I don’t know where the time goes nor do I have it all figured out yet. But I know it goes too fast, so I want to make the most of every second.  I wouldn’t trade this life for anything in the world.  Even on the overwhelming and redundant days I would rather wash eggs and diapers a million times if that means I get to do those things with my little Eden girl.

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I’m a Home Economist!

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Last Saturday on our way home from Stillwater Farmer’s Market (where we sell our products), I was telling Chad how much I hate it when people ask me what I do.  I normally go into detail about how I stay at home and take care of our 6 month old and I help around the farm as much as I can.  I just don’t  like saying I am a “stay-at-home mom.”  Unfortunately, it has such a negative connotation these days, which it shouldn’t!  Sadly, some people think stay-at-home moms sit around in their jammies all day watching tv.  Plus, I do a lot of things on top of taking care of Eden! Her pediatrician gave me a huge lecture one time because I said I “just” stay at home and take care of the baby.  She understood there is so much more to it than that!

During mine and Chad’s conversation about this dilemma I’m in, he came up with a new title for me.  He is a pretty brilliant man.  I am now the Ward Family Farm’s Home Economist.  I laughed real hard when he gave me this title.  He was so proud of himself and said he is going to tell people that’s what I do when they ask him.  But the more I got to thinking about it the more it made sense.  Webster says “home economics” is the theory and practice of homemaking.  And according to Webster a “homemaker” is one who manages a household especially as a wife and mother.  I feel like that is the perfect title for me based on these definitions. (I laugh inside though because in my super feminist woman power days I would have been offended if someone called me a homemaker!)

All of this is so silly.  Who cares what my title is and what anyone thinks!  But it matters to me.  I think it’s a pride thing (which I need to work on).  I went to a prestigious college and earned my degree.  And sadly our society judges you based on your career.  Well let me tell you I am very proud of the job that I have as a stay-at-home mom, homemaker, home economist, or whatever you want to call it!  I work extremely hard taking care of our child and our household.  I am going to be talking about some of the things I do here on the blog over the next few months, and I am really excited about it!

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Miss Eden helped me wash eggs today! (Egg washing is one of the many jobs I have.)

Meal planning, household budgeting, cooking, canning, broth making, cloth diapering, baby food making, cleaning and organizing, crafting, and lots more are topics I will be writing about.  I’ve been so blessed with a husband who understands the value of me staying at home to take care of our child and to keep our household nourished and in order.  I do not ever want to make a mother who works outside of the home feel like she has made the wrong decision by doing so because we all have different callings and circumstances.  This is just where I am called to be and what works best for our family right now.  I am excited to really start sharing this journey through motherhood, homemaking, homesteading, and farming with you!

Blessings,

Ward Family Farm’s Home Economist (ha ha!)