Spring is a busy time and sometimes I wonder if it’s not too much. For our family spring means:
Mom full time Job; Dad full time Job; Son plays Baseball – games twice a week; Mom Coaches Track – Has full day meets most Saturdays; Garden planting; New farm additions; Weed maintenance; Dog sheds (yes, I added that – it’s a full-time job cleaning up his hair); Laundry doubles; Dad works extra hours training new hires and has low staffing; Goats need Sheared; Lambing season; Farm maintenance goes into full swing – fence repair, barn clean-out etc.
As a mom of a toddler I have the added challenges of accidental delayed bed times and refusal to nap. He can be so sweet and cute one minute and an angry Godzilla the next.
What brother, you and your friend don’t want to play soldiers with me? Let me destroy your bases and throw tiny toy soldiers to the four corners of the basement. That will show you!
I must admit, winter and spring tend to be the months I appreciate my husband the most. I am a feminist to a point, I love representing woman in the corporate Ag world, but how I love to get to be wife at home. I take care of kids and the house and Hubby takes care of the yuk jobs I don’t like to deal with. Winter its tending animals in sub-freezing temperatures, and this time of year its changing hand lines at dawn, and cleaning the barn.
I get asked sometimes if it’s worth it. The day and mood I’m in will get you different answers. Though spring is one of our busiest seasons it’s also my season of hope. I look forward to warmer weather, blooming flowers, growing fruit & veggies, and laughing children. Today it’s all worth it.
Over time I’ve learned tricks to help on time management: Farm or no farm – Comment and let me know what your go to trick is to manage or save time.
- Flex your work schedule: When possible, flex your work hours to give you a few extra minutes home kid free to get some of the tasks done that tend to be slow going with littles around. I swing home for lunch and throw a load of laundry in or do a quick cleanup of what was left from getting ready that morning. I used to go in 30min early each day and have 2 hours off early once a week, this was my main cleaning time.
- Meal plan: This is a weak point for me, but I see the benefit every time I do it. This time of year, I rely on crock pot meals, BBQ, and roaster pans. Our toddler hates being stuck in the house, and I don’t blame him, but we get cougars time to time and the road is not far away, plus he’s a boy toddler. I can’t take my eyes off him for more than a second. Anything that I can prep the night before or on my lunch break is a win, I can get home, and have it going without needing to be in the house more than a minute or two. That’s where the BBQ comes in too, I can grill and watch him.
- Tag team: I couldn’t live this life without my husband. We often tag in or out to get jobs done. One is on parent duty the other on farm duty. Dad moves a couple loads of dirt with the tractor, Mom makes sure he doesn’t back over toddler. Trade! Mom fills planter pots, Dad makes sure toddler isn’t eaten by a cougar or climb to the top of the hay stack.
- Prioritize: Have a list of tasks, but make sure to prioritize them. Mental list or paper, know what must be done today vs what can hold if it has too. If the fence needs repaired and animals are getting out, that’s probably a must. Picnic table needs painted – can probably hold a day or two.
- Let it go: This is my favorite. Accept that whether it is seasons of year or seasons of life, not all seasons can be perfect. If you wanted to get all the laundry done and now it’s a giant pile on the couch at 10pm, let it go, it will be there tomorrow and it never killed anyone to have to dig their pants out of the clean clothes pile. Didn’t get to all the chores outside? They will be there tomorrow and one day will generally not make a huge difference.
What does an average spring day look like for me?
5:30am – Get going for the day: Get ready for work, 10 minutes of toddler cuddle time, make school lunch, make family basic breakfast (sometimes pancakes, sometimes eggs & muffins, sometimes cereal or oatmeal), help get toddler ready.
6:45am – rush to work – work day starts at 7am
Noon – 12:30 – Lunch at home, toss in a load of laundry or meal prep
3:30pm – Coach HS Track & Field
5:15pm – pick up toddler from daycare
5:30pm – take son to baseball game – Husband usually finishes up with a bit of time to catch part of the game
7:30pm – get home from game – eat whatever was in the roaster or crock pot
8:00pm – kids down to bed
8:30pm – clean up inside of house, or if toddler actually falls asleep, sneak outside for a few chores
As a kid, my Grandpa made a rule. I wasn’t allowed to date farmers or cowboys, that wasn’t a life he wanted to start me on as a kid. Oddly enough my sister didn’t have that rule, he said “I don’t have to worry about her, she’s going to marry a banker and move to the city”. I laugh now, she moved to the city, and though I didn’t marry a farmer, you just can’t get too far from your roots. We both have the crazy hours you would expect for farmers. She does more kid sports, so she has the travel hours expected for rodeo. Who knew.