- Written by Maria McDonald
Emma and I were enjoying our winter in the house. I did go for walks with her in the month after she was born because I have one of those handy-dandy-baby-carrying-wrap-things (for those of you who really want to know what it is; it’s called Moby Wrap) and when the baby is little enough you put them in the wrap with their legs tucked in under them. But Emma grew and pretty soon she was uncomfortable sitting on her legs and I had to let them hang out and then I didn’t want to walk with her anymore because I was afraid her feet would get too cold.
But I didn’t mind too much. I still got the chance to get out and get some air sometimes and I was truly enjoying not having anything major to do besides be a mom. I knew that when the weather warms up, things would start to get busy. Working with sheep, shearing and most importantly, the biggest job of the year: lambing; and I didn’t quite know how all that would work with Emma and that’s why I was happy to have the long cold winter ahead of us so I didn’t have to deal with those challenges right away.
Well, now it’s the middle of March. The weather is slowly warming up a bit, and in spite of the fact that I’m nervous about summer, I am finally getting bored of winter. It feels like I have ants in my pants and I want to go out and do stuff.
Which leads me to thinking about how to tackle the challenge of summer, lambing and Baby Emma.
In the start, I was thinking that by the time we have to lamb, Emma will be 6 months old and I’ll just take her with me and do what I did last year, which was work in the barn with the problem ewes all day. All of you mothers will probably be chuckling right now… Oh well, live and learn! One thing that I’ve discovered is that when you are a mom you definitely don’t have the WHOLE day at your disposal
And so I’m still hoping that I can take Emma with me and spend PART of the day in the barn, but I now know that it can’t be ALL day and it probably won’t be very reliable as to what time I get to the barn…because that’s the another thing I discovered: Babies and everything to do with them, evolves! Just because something is a certain way today, doesn’t mean it will be that way tomorrow, let alone next week or next month! That started happening when I was pregnant already (I’d just get used to my belly being a certain size and sleeping and eating a certain way thinking ok, I can do this and then POW it would all change and I’d have to get used to everything all over again) But for some reason I didn’t think that would keep happening after the baby was born (don’t ask me why I thought that!) BUT…IT DOES!
And so the only solution that we could come up with is that maybe the time has come for us to hire farm help during lambing. Yep!
That in itself comes with some challenges, first and foremost: finding someone! Firstly dealing with problem ewes and lambs requires a certain amount of patience, persistence and ‘feel’ that not everybody has. Matter of fact, dealing with any animals requires that and my personal opinion is that some people are born with it and some aren’t. Kind of like some people are good at math and some aren’t. I’m not! That’s not saying that if you don’t have it you can’t work really hard at it and come by it eventually, but that means you have to be a hard worker and a willing learner.
The other thing is that it’s sometimes tricky to find someone that has 6 weeks time to do the job. I mean…what are they doing the rest of the year? Most people have jobs. Everybody needs to support themselves ALL year.
And I guess the last part is that it would be nice to get along with that person. Since if they come from far away (which they likely will unless we are really lucky and fine a local person) they will be living with us in our house aside from working with us all day. And I suppose you can work with someone you don’t get along with but it’s always nicer if you do!
So ya, it will be interesting! I hope we find someone!