On my sixth day postpartum with our third baby, I stood alone sobbing in our mudroom, feeling overwhelmed and questioning everything.
How am I going to complete a task less than a week after having a baby that I can barely do when I am 100%? If I leave the kids with my mom, can I find a way to do this and get home before the baby wakes up and needs me?
I cannot let the cows run out of water, but what if I just physically cannot do it? How is this going to work long-term? I mean my mom is here now, but what happens when she goes home?
How will this work – caring for our cattle and raising three kids?
The questions and the ugly cry were triggered by my husband informing me that I would need to haul a generator out to the cows. Their only source of water was from a tank supplied by a solar water pump. A pump that was not likely to keep up with demand on account of the overcast day that had been forecast and the pump would need to be run by a generator.
He told me all of this as he was headed out the door early that morning to help out at a neighboring ranch. He would be gone the rest the day, so this was on me.
Six days after having given birth to our baby daughter, I was charged with the responsibility of hauling a heavy, awkward piece of equipment and making sure the cows did not run out of water. Although probably not due to a rush of postpartum hormones, I knew that my husband shared some of my concerns and was feeling just as emotionally strained.
He needed me to come through that day.
I had a choice to make. I could let the postpartum hormones get the better of me and wallow indefinitely in my pool of self-doubt, or I could put on my big girl pants and find a way to get it done. In case you were wondering, I chose the latter.
After thinking it through, I devised a plan. I would take off after I fed the baby, leaving her sleeping with my mom and the big kids. Then I would take the lighter more maneuverable generator with the empty fuel tank. I’d fashion a ramp out of fiber-glass electric fence posts, slide the generator up into the back of the side-by-side, load the gas can, and be on my way.
My plan went off without a hitch. I returned home to a baby who was still asleep and two happy big kids who were thoroughly enjoying being spoiled by their grandma.
This was not something I could have done on my own. There was just no way was I going to be able to squelch the fear and doubt I was feeling all by my lonesome. I needed help.
So, I prayed. I prayed that day for guidance and strength. I prayed for my husband and our little family. And this is how I have attacked every day since.
Several hundred days have come and gone since I stood alone sobbing in the mudroom wondering and worrying about how it would all work out. I have prayed each and every one of those days for God to guide my husband and I on our journey, bringing up a family while raising beef.
And, here we are just doing it – getting it done together as a family.