Babies are blessings. Along with those blessings come work, sleepless nights, endless effort, and majority of our attention during the days we get to spend with them. Notice, I did say get...because at the end of the day, I feel every bit of that is worth the opportunity to raise my baby in my home at my farm.
However, I have learned how important self care is through this journey of working on the farm, starting up businesses, and being a momma. Burn out is a very real thing that I feel in discrete ways. It is not always so obvious that it's happening, but often times in subtle ways like a sharp tongue or less grace for a situation. It can look like raising my voice at my sweet toddler or my supportive husband, or in lack of energy for just about anything.
The pinnacle of burn out for me, hit at about my son's six month mark. My husband and I noticed the same conversation kept occurring which centred around "burning the candle at both ends". We would examine the current life situation and try to find solutions, only to end up at a very similar place a few weeks later. Tired of spinning out, we found a system that propelled us forward.
Mom Night on Wednesdays, Dad Night on Thursdays. The concept is simple- on our respective evenings, we support one another in spending time with our son while the other goes and does something that allows them to "unplug". Sometimes Mom Night is a drink with a friend, live music somewhere, or a massage. But often times it is as simple as:
The gym (with my favourite beat in my ears)
An epsom salt bath
A glass of my favourite red
And an organic TV dinner-as a special treat :)
My point here is that it doesn't have to be extravagant or cost much money. It doesn't have to be an "instagram-able" moment by any means. It's just about getting into the practice of setting time aside to love yourself and to recharge. I am able to be a better partner, mother, and businesswoman when I make space for myself. My husband has reflected the same.
Unfortunately, the farming community as a whole has been plagued by depression, various health problems, and suicide. Mental health isn't something that is widely discussed within this community especially. I recently attended a virtual seminar that spoke to the importance of bringing these things to light. Mental health hits close to home for me, and I hope to add to the positive dialogue for ways to encourage my community to find their safe spaces of healing and recharge; to understand the signs of burn out and mental fatigue. I know it may look different for many, but I believe in this platform for better mental health and this farming lifestyle as a whole. I sincerely hope to see the trends change...to see happy farmers that recognise the unhealthy patterns within themselves just as much as they take notice of the weed problem in the wheat field.