One year ago today 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 Tom 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 at another unit. 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 Tom 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.
Three hundred sixty-five 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 Tom and I on our journey, bringing up a family while raising beef. And here we are one year later, just doing it getting it done together – as a family.