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  • Writer's pictureDarci

This is not what I signed up for...

Updated: Dec 9, 2020

I cannot count how many times I have said the words, "this is not what I signed up for..." over the last 15 years of marriage, farming and ranching. Sometimes they were said silently in my head with tears running down my face, sometimes very heatedly towards my husband, and sometimes venting to a fellow farming and ranching girlfriend.  

Some of the most defining moments in my life have possessed these words. There was the first house we moved into when we got married, the house we "paid our dues in" according to his dad, the house that we needed to nail the windows shut and sweep rodents and bugs out of before we could even begin to make it our home. Then there was the times I sat crying alone suffering from postpartum depression after the birth of our first child. As a new mother and few friends, having a husband who was a workhorse trying to prove his place back in the family operation was difficult. Then came the time the doctor told us there was not one baby, but three... The difficult pregnancy and NICU life with triplets almost broke my spirit. The hardest though, was after losing his uncles in a freak accident in the milk barn, my husband, the strongest man I have ever met, fell apart. Giving him space to grieve and come back to the sunlight was trying for our family and our faith.

It gets better, even though I think these words at least once during calving and harvest every year. You get into a groove, you learn things about how to make not only your family run smoothly but the operation also. I thrive on schedule, in our house everything has a place and a time. I realize this is the opposite of what we do outside with farming and cattle. It reminds me of my husband and I, one of us is the organized one and the other is more of a go with the flow type. With eight kids, some take after dad and some after mom, but the one thing my kids have always thrived on is consistency.  

Recently our perfectly consistent life came unraveled with this COVID crisis. I love having my kids home everyday, I love that they get to experience the full effect of calving season with their dad, but if I am being honest I hate the fact that they are getting their education at home. Homeschooling 7 kids ages 6-13 was NOT WHAT I SIGNED UP FOR... My scheduled days have become thrown out of whack, now on top of all the normal daily chores around the house and ranch, I am trying to make sure my kids will be ready for the next grade come next fall. I don't know about the rest of you but this is scary and overwhelming and just plan hard most days. Trying to keep them inside to finish assignments when bottle calves need to get fed, and calves need to be tagged and pairs need to be moved is serious torture for all of us. I have to remind myself several times to a day to give grace and compassion to all of them {and myself.} I know one day this will just be another trying time in our lives we look back on, and in my husbands famous words, "it is what it is" there is no reason to get upset about things out of our control. So I will pray for all the homeschooling moms and dads out there, the ones who are essential workers, the ones who farm and ranch, the teachers remotely teaching and for everyone in this great nation we are blessed to call home. So just remember "it is what it is..."


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