How do you do it?

I hear myself ask the question of many women in agriculture, “How do you do it?”  We are all so busy, at times overwhelmed, running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but meanwhile still getting things done and succeeding.  So how, truly how do you do it?

As a new mom, a farmer, and generally someone who always volunteers for everything, I am always a bit surprised when someone asks me this question.  Because inside most of the time I feel like I am constantly screwing up.  Let me set the scene,  it’s 6 am on Monday, the house is…well we are all tired.  It seems like the last 10 months of life have flown by in some respects and have crawled in others.  The nights are still quite restless with our little man.  I remember the night at four months old that he slept for 8 hours, my husband and I high fived, we thought we had won the battle.  Turns out it was just that, a battle and the war with sleeping through the night has continued.  Every night in a way feels like a failure, that might be too strong of word, but it doesn’t feel like success.

All of this meanwhile we are running a farm.  I’m the manager, making all decisions from day to day and year to year.  Where there are mistakes to be made every single day.  There are so many situations that you can’t control, the rain and wind to just name my usual arch enemies.  Continuing to blog three times a week (which doesn’t always happen), keep up with friends (who I miss and don’t call enough), hit a meeting or two each week, let’s just say that just writing this all down makes me feel very overwhelmed.

So here is what I have learned and here is what I feel when I get asked, “How do you do it?”  You just do, everyday you wake up and realize that today you don’t get a day off.  That no matter what you have to get things done, take lots of deep breaths, and then find joy in what you are up to that day.  I have found that just smiling at my son when I get home from a long day, makes a lot of things better.  I have also realized that if I just take 15 minutes to finish the dishes, it makes a world of difference in my life the next day.  Try as hard as I can to not feel guilty for making decisions to do something.  Because a decision to do something inevitably is a decision to not do something else, and that isn’t easy.  And at the end of the day, no matter how long or tiresome or successful you tell yourself that tomorrow is a new chance to work at it all again.

Living the life that farmers do, where our jobs are also our way of life, is a tough position.  So you prioritize, you again take a deep breath and you move forward.  My answer then, the short of the answer anyway, is just give yourself a break, work hard and remind yourself that you’re working hard for a good reason.  Life is meant to be enjoyed and if you can find that joy in the small everydays of life, you have it figured out.  Good luck out there, it isn’t easy, but once you resign to that, it becomes easier. (if that makes any sense at all!)  In the end everyone has their battles to be fought everyday, those who are successful though don’t give up, they learn from themselves and from others.  They just keep chugging along.


Author: Nuttygrass

I'm a nut and grass farmer, EMT, Firefighter, and world traveler. I love a good laugh and a great adventure!

5 thoughts on “How do you do it?”

  1. Hang in there Brenda!!!!  They say a parent that does 50% right is perfect.   Blessings! Vickie Martin From: nuttygrass To: Sent: Monday, April 6, 2015 9:30 AM Subject: [New post] How do you do it? #yiv7985642776 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv7985642776 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv7985642776 a.yiv7985642776primaryactionlink:link, #yiv7985642776 a.yiv7985642776primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv7985642776 a.yiv7985642776primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv7985642776 a.yiv7985642776primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv7985642776 | Nuttygrass posted: “I hear myself ask the question of many women in agriculture, “How do you do it?”  We are all so busy, at times overwhelmed, running around like chickens with our heads cut off, but meanwhile still getting things done and succeeding.  So how, truly how do ” | |


  2. My husband is a dairy farmer. We haven’t paid ourselves anything from the farm in a year and a half. I have three part-time jobs so that I can stay home and do what needs to be done at home, including feeding animals and making sure the kids get on the bus. I do the books for the farm and also for another hauling business we are trying to get off the ground. What always gets me the most and that I know other people who don’t have dairy farmer husbands don’t realize is that my husband gets up early in the morning, goes to the barn all day and doesn’t get home until late. That leaves me to do EVERYTHING that has to do with the house (laundry, cooking, etc.). My kids are a little older, but I’ve always had to do everything for them as well, including taking them to daycare, getting what they need for school and even figuring out what to get them for birthdays and Christmas. I don’t want to say my husband does nothing and his plate is certainly full enough, he’s no slacker, but it’s a lot for one person to handle. Sometimes I think I have it harder than the single moms out there because not only do I take care of the kids and the house, I also have to do everything my husband needs me to do for him (getting parts, looking things up on the internet, paying bills, etc.) I’m not saying single moms don’t have enough of their own issues, but it’s the extra work you have to do in the absence of the other person.


  3. Oh Brenda! Needed to hear this today, we are just about to head into busy season, we have had a few months of what should be called, “down time” however I’m not feeling very rested! But you are so right on all accounts, you just do it! We make do, one reason is we feel like with all of the challenges in farming you have to stay one step ahead of the curve. Except we don’t know where that curve is going to come from so we load our plates from all angles hoping that something pays off. I read the other day sometimes you win, sometimes you learn. And if you look at that in a positive light, both options are pretty well worth it 🙂


  4. Keep it up Brenda! I have found that at the end of the day, it is enough. You are enough, I am enough. And I can sleep easy knowing that. I’m proud to call you my friend.


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