“Oh my goodness! Three little kids and you have your own business?! How do you do it?”
It’s incredibly hard.
My timing was clearly a little off when I decided to follow this dream, but the timing was handed to us, so we are just going to roll with it. Jed’s father and stepmother purchased the farm that we live on two years ago, when our twins were one year old. It was the fruition of a lot of dreams and a lot of hard work and just the beginning of so much more. I actually convinced Jed that this career path was right for me by explaining how I would be able to toil in the fields all day with our children by my side, soaking up sunshine and breathing fresh air and building tree forts. We wouldn’t need child care and I could mother and bring in an income. I could also single-handedly bring good food to all the families we serve and fight the good fight against homogenization of our food crops.
I might be a little idealistic. And I might romanticize things too much when planning my dreams. It serves our relationship well though, since Jed is a glass half empty kind of guy (although he prefers to be called a realist).
So the idealist planted some seeds while the neighbor watched her babies. Her brother moved in to help. And the realist knew that his work load had just tripled. In addition to his full time job and parenting the tiny people in his life, he became tractor-driver, fence builder, wood cutter, watermelon hauler and so much more.
Ideally, it would be tree forts and sunshine. Realistically, it’s rattlesnakes and weeds that get too tall. Finding the balance between parenting and building a business is incredibly difficult. We are looking into child care options for the upcoming season, but who knows what will pan out and be affordable (and safe). Last year we made it with the help of two incredible neighbors that were consistent, magical, and so much fun. This year I know I need to able to put more hours in the fields and I also know that I can’t do that consistently with three littles in tow. They still need too much attention to set them completely free in a weedy, snaky garden patch.
So this year we are trying to find some child care that we can trust and that we can afford. I am trying to be gentle on myself in my search for help.
And, as always, I am looking forward to a perfectly idealized new year in anticipation of all the wonderful things we will grow and do.