May 11, 2011

In It to Win It

Well, hello new life!
Remember that little (and by little, I mean big) problem I was talking about a few weeks ago? The one about Jacob working full time, me working part time and both of us farming and parenting full time?

And, how maybe, we might not be able to keep up?

And how maybe, just maybe, something might explode?

Well, we fixed it. Lickety split.

Here's how we did it:

a) I started a new off-farm job on Monday (Managing Editor of this very cool site. But, I'll continue to contribute to New West and the Daily Yonder too.)

b) Jacob quit his off-farm job on Tuesday.

And just like that, problem is solved.

Obviously, there is still much to figure out and much (maybe even more) to juggle.

Basically, Jacob just simplified his life and I just complicated mine. But, the thought is that we'll start to spread out our complications evenly between us and that will simplify things for both of us -- him taking Willa part-time, me lightening my farming load, both of us sharing more daily chores, etc.

It's all an effort to focus on the farm, keep all of us closer to home, play a bigger role in our community and spend more time together.

And, while we will certainly miss Breadwinner Jacob (and in particular, his health benefits), we rather prefer Farmer and Daddy Jacob. He's certainly less stressed and definitely happier.

There was much hand-wringing about this decision going on in the background, all of which I'm sure I'll write about later (A preview: you should know by now that health insurance companies suck and for farmers, off-farm jobs -- and whether to take them and how to juggle them and who should work them -- create an inordinate amount of stress and time.) but for now, just to summarize, a few of the emotions rolling around this morning, the first day of the rest of our lives:
  • I feel grateful that I can telecommute to awesome jobs doing things I care about,
  • apprehensive about balancing all these roles (and about becoming the breadwinner again), but
  • so, so, happy to have my parenting and farming partner back at my side, and not commuting and traveling and scrambling, (This morning, he and Willa went for a run and I took a shower. A shower. Like, in the morning, and not with a baby in my arms. I washed my hair and conditioned for the full three minutes before rinsing. A girl could get used to this clean, bouncy hair, let me tell you.)
  • hopeful that this will mean we will have more time: more time for each other, more time for our friends, more time for our families, more time for our community. If I've learned anything about time though, I've learned that is expands and contracts in unexpected ways, so even if I think we might have more time, we might not. But, there's nothing wrong with being hopeful.
  • nervous, but excited to be relying, even just partly, on the farm for our livelihood. We are, as my friend Jennifer says (yes, you Jennifer), we're in it to win it now and that's a great, terrifying thing.

Sometimes though, you just have to hop on and push off, you know?


  1. Congrats! But have you noticed that every "Congrats!" with a major life decision after becoming a parent is really "Congrats?" So glad for your showering and potential togetherness. I bet Lee will have some ideas for you re: your joining the PBSers.

  2. Also, that's a fantastic shirt Willa is wearing. It makes me so happy to see your girl in a shirt I remember my girl wearing when she was slightly more wee.

  3. Jule, yes indeed. I feel like I should get a party every time I remember to change the toilet paper roll, really.

    I would love Lee's input.

    We need to catch up one of these days (and I wish we could have seen you in Missoula, alas, the whirlwind trips...). I need a Banville update.

  4. Not sure what email's best for you these days. Hit me at julebanville [at] hotmail. So sorry to have missed you! The working at home madness foiled my plan...

  5. When your farm and family are inevitably successful, I'd like to take some measure of credit for all that because it was me, after all, who introduced the phrase 'in it to win it' at this pivotal time.

    In other news, we are passing through Conrad on Friday. Will yous guys be around?



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