A Time for Rest!
One of the funniest things I've ever heard about farming was...."I always wanted to be a farmer. I wouldn't have livestock, so I could sleep/rest all winter." When I heard that I thought, "Wow! Pretty sure we must have missed the memo on that one!" LOL. Using the subjects of "rest" and "farming" in the same sentence feels like an oxymoron.
I wish getting more rest was as simple as it being winter and not having animals, but as you know, it is not.
Between feeding animals, fixing equipment, taxes, renewing leases, attending trainings and conferences, hauling crops to the elevator, working on the projects that were put off during the busiest season, etc, etc, things don't slow down too much.
But, the subject of resting during the "slower season", is an important one and should be considered a priority!
If your farmer is like mine, "slowing down" isn't exactly a natural thing. He has had to learn, with my encouragement, to slow down a little bit. My argument for taking some time to slow down is simply, If not now, when? Time flies and before you know it, its go, go, go time, less sleep, long hours seeding, and a lot less time to relax at home as a family.
Taking time to slow down and rest is going to look vastly different for each farm family just like there are multiple differences between each operation. I want to encourage you to take some time for rest!
Consider this. Rest doesn't always include sleep! To me, "rest" simply means engaging in and taking time for activities that help renew you!
It has been found that adequate rest actually increases productivity! Surprise! Surprise! Right?! It's something we "know". It makes sense. But we rarely follow it.
Here is what "rest" looks like for us:
Take advantage of a more flexible schedule!
Daddy O's schedule becomes more flexible in the winter! He is able to move his to-do list around a bit. If something comes up or a family adventure presents itself, we take the opportunity! During the busiest season, we'd have to leave that opportunity behind. So, if we don't take the opportunity now, we miss out on a lot of fun family time.
Are you able to move your schedule around occasionally and take an adventure when the opportunity presents itself?
Leave for overnight!
This isn't always possible, but even a short get away for shopping in the big city is a nice change and gets your mind off of the details of the farm for a bit.
Do you have the ability to leave for overnight? Can you get away even for the day?
Go to the movies!
We LOVE going to the movies! This is something that is just about impossible to do during the busiest season. Sometimes we go as a couple and sometimes we take the girls with us! This is a big treat for us. It doesn't take much planning. Just load up and go!
What is the thing that is easy for you to do, that feels like a "treat"?
Make bed times and bedtime routines consistent!
This seems like a "no-brainer", but when farming is in full swing, Daddy O is rarely here at bedtime with the girls. This means that during the winter months he is able to help with bedtime, but also read to the girls, hug and kiss them goodnight, enjoy bath time with them, etc. Not only does this take some stress off momma, it also helps to build those daddy and daughter relationships that are so important.
Even if you don't have kiddos, making those bed times and bed time routines consistent can be so beneficial for you and your marriage! Can you improve in this area?
Connect with friends!
During the winter months is our chance to re-connect with friends. This year we've gone sledding with friends in the fields at the farm and had a pizza night. Everyone's schedules are so different that sometimes this is hard, but it is so worth the effort!
How can you get together with friends and renew those relationships?
Pursue "Girl time" and "Guy Time"!
Daddy O and I have an understanding that whenever possible we make an effort to get together individually with friends. For me, this usually looks like the occasional women's home business party and/or lunch with a girl friend. For Daddy O, he tries to connect with his friends over lunch during his trips to town.
How do invest in time with friends individually?
Make date nights a priority!
It is very hard to have date nights when you have little kids. Ours are just now getting to the age where leaving them is a bit easier, but you still have to find childcare! We have wonderful friends who babysit for us, but I'm always worried about asking them to babysit too much. After all, they have kids too! One way we've gotten around this, is to trade off date nights! We'll pick a weekend that works for both families and one night we have a date night and they care for our girls and then the next night they have their date night and we take care of their kiddos. It's a ton of fun and spreads out the childcare "love"! :o)
When is the last time you had a "date night"?
I'd love to hear how you make rest a priority in your operation! Feel free to comment below!
Love to you and yours,