Tuesday, 28 February 2017

How do we do it?

The topic of this post came to me after I was on the phone with a fellow hockey Mom today. We were talking about what we were keeping busy with that morning and of course calving came up. We are in the thick of calving right now. Between 6 and 10 am this morning we had six calves!

I mentioned that in addition to chores lately I've had a couple of calves to help everyday. There is always the odd one that doesn't get sucking right away and it is crucial that they get colostrum within the first four hours of life. She asked me how I manage that with the kids? I didn't really know how to answer the question right away! I just do.

Another reason I thought to write this post was because of a conversation we had with some friends a couple weekends ago. They made the comment that they could not do all that we do with our kids. Meaning chores on a daily basis, taking them along to whatever it is we are currently doing on the farm that day, checking pastures, fieldwork, tagging calves, processing cows/calves and the list goes on and on.

So these comments and questions made me think...

How do we do it?

We really have no choice. Here on our particular farm, it takes ALL of us to make our world go around. All hands on deck. That's just the way we roll. Our kids have been coming to the barn quite literally since they were born. Our youngest is two. I remember when she was just days old (born on January 9), bundling her up in a carrier and blanket, putting one of my husband's coats on over top of her to trudge out to the barn.

This time of year when we are calving, the barn is not particularly a safe place for kids... that being said, there are dangers year round on the farm. I have been known to use many different methods of containment to keep our kids out of the road.

Strollers (the bigger the wheels, the better), old high chairs, mangers...

Our kids grow up knowing what they can and can't do in the barn. I'm not saying that they don't ever do things they shouldn't, because they do. But they are learning common sense on the fly. This Momma also has eyes in the back of her head.

Either the kids follow us around and do what we are doing (forking hay, filling pails with grain, gathering eggs, filling water pails, etc.) OR they play. They is lots of space in our barn for the kids to run and play out harms way. This time of year the cold weather can also be a bit of an issue. Our barn is quite warm all winter. We have to keep it warm with all the cows, horses, pigs and chickens so that the water doesn't freeze. So quite often our kids have no toques or mitts on inside the barn. Or else they are riding in the tractor feeding cows and it's warm in there too!

If we did not tag along with my farmer and help with what's going on, we would not see him very much. Plus the things our kids are learning along the way are so valuable. It is very important to me that our kids know where their food comes from and that they do not become removed from the farm. Whether or not they choose a farming career or a career in Ag, they will take with them all the lessons that are only learnt on the farm.

I believe we can do anything we put our minds to.


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