A while back whilst I was perusing the blogs I follow, I came across this headline from The Whole Cook, “37 Things Motherhood Demands We Do One-Handed” and I just knew it was going to be good! As I read through Christina’s list, I found myself smiling and nodding in an it-would-be-funny-if-it-weren’t-so-true kind of way. She really just hits the nail right on its little head with every. single. one.
Moreover, her list inspired me to think about some of things I do when ranch life meets mom life – when there are chores to be done, but I only have the use of one hand because I have once again forgotten my handy woven wrap, and thus, my other hand is otherwise occupied by one of my kids.
Ranch Life Meets Mom Life – 13 Things I Do One-Handed
- Open gates. Not all gates are created equal. They come in different styles and varying degrees of operational difficulty. Some are wooden with handy slide latches. Others are metal with simple chain fasteners. There are single-strand electric gates with easy-to-use gate handles. And then – then there are five strand barbed-wire gates with their “handy” (I use the term loosely, especially if I am one-handed) cheater bar latching system…
- Close gates. As per ranching etiquette, once you’ve opened a gate you must close it before you go on your merry way. Closing a gate is generally more challenging than opening a gate. Then throw in the varying degrees of operational difficulty, and you’ve got yourself a whole other challenge. Again – challenge accepted.
- Load the caker. When you have both a fussy baby and a herd of cake-addicted cattle waiting on their morning fix, there really is no other choice but to single-handedly (I mean, literally with a single hand) open the lid, pull the lever, fill the bin with cake, close it back up, and get going.
- Chicken chores. I usually have two other little helpers that love to help take care of the chickens. But on the days that I don’t, the feeding, watering, and egg gathering – that’s all on me.
- Mix bottles for the bottle calves. Like mixing a baby human’s bottle of formula only on a much, much larger scale.
- Feed bottle calves. So, calves have a tendency to aggressively bump their mother’s udder, or the bottle while they eat. This natural reaction is something they do to stimulate milk let-down, which is cool if you are actually a cow. Not-so-much if you are the human feeding them with one hand, while simultaneously holding another tiny human in the other.
- Clean the bottles after having fed said bottle calves. Like cleaning a baby human’s bottle only on a much, much larger scale.
- Feed and kennel the dogs. “Feed the dog” made Christina’s list, but I felt it noteworthy her, as well. We have a pack of stock dogs – currently eight high-energy stock dogs…
- Halter a horse. Dexterity. It takes a great deal of dexterity to fasten a halter with the use of only a single hand.
- Groom a horse. This is actually not too bad. It is almost as therapeutic as grooming a horse with both hands… almost.
- Fix fence. Although I have done this in a pinch, when it was absolutely imperative that the fence be fixed, this is not something I would say I “do”. Maybe “have done” is the better choice of verb tense here.
- Mix vaccine. Involving two bottles and a transfer needle, this takes a little dexterity and a whole lotta creativity.
- Put on chore gear. Have you ever put on a coat with one hand while holding something or someone in the other? No. Well, if you’d like to provide those around you with a pretty good chuckle, you should so try it.
As proficient as we mothers become at doing all things one-handed (we should add this to our resumes, I mean really), I think we can all agree on our deep appreciation for the use of both of our hands. That is, on the rare occasion we get to use both of them.