This past winter was hard. Not just the normal winter blues but also something I just couldn’t overcome. Not just a dark cloud waiting for the rainbow but a dark shadow engulfing me. I began to notice how short I was getting with my kids. How short I would get with Nate. It wasn’t just here and there or I was just having a bad day but more and more frequent. I began to feel like I didn’t want to be a mom anymore, someone else could do a better job than me. I was losing interest in things that gave me joy and refueled my soul before. Where I would bust my butt to get my chores done so I would be able to get somewhere I began just not going. Where I used to cheerfully say yes, “I can make that work.” I began to say, “I’ll have to see how the week goes.” Saying this I knew it was a no and I was not going to make any effort.
The guilt and the pressures of the low milk prices finally began to take its toll. Feelings of being a complete failure filled more of my days than not. I can handle the stress of the workload but the financial stress was getting to be too much. Fielding phone calls of increasing a payment or getting any kind of payment and hand written notes on my front door threatening to publish my name and blog with open account in local newspaper just added to the feelings of, “I am worthless”, “You are a piece of crap”, “You are a complete failure.” Enjoying my children and then someone telling me in a mean manner, “Well it sure looks like you are having fun.” The comments just got to be too much. Feelings of guilt when I would simply go grocery shopping because spending $100 could go to an open account. I felt guilt to the point of not wanting to wear my wedding ring because of hearing in my head “If she can afford that then…” Guilt, shame, feelings of being a complete failure, worthless, no value as a person you name it I felt it.
February I had my physical exam. I hadn’t gone to the doctor since my 6-week postnatal appointment after having Vivian. It was time to go. I filled out the health questionnaire as I have done so many times before. This time was different though. I knew I needed help. When my doctor came into the room and looked at the sheet she simply said to me, “Well, tell me what’s going on?” I flipped out, “You don’t care. Know one cares. You don’t care that milk is $1.95 for a gallon of milk and families are selling their farms right and left. You don’t care that families are going bankrupt. All you care about is that you got a good deal on a gallon of milk! You do not care!” When I got home and Nate asked how my appointment went, I told him what I said. He responded, “You did not tell her that?” Yes I did. Later in the month when we were having a farm meeting at our kitchen table Nathan and I began arguing and someone there began to say, “You still have each other. I love you both. You still have each other.” I snapped back, “Really? Well xyx company doesn’t care we have each other. They want to get paid!”
In March I began seeing a therapist once a week. Now I see my therapist every two weeks. It helps. We decided to try therapy first to see if that helps and then move to medication if needed. Also, my Vitamin D was very low so I am taking a super dose of Vitamin D. There are times when we try to tell ourselves “I got this.” “It will get better.” “I’m just having a bad day.” “I’m not that bad.” But when someone looks at you and plainly says, “You are depressed.” It made me realize this was something I couldn’t do on my own. I needed help and I still need help.
Right now I am constantly seeing suicide prevention hotlines to call, which is good, but there is a big window that isn’t talked about. The window from when you know “I am not OK” to needing to use the hotline. It is assumed that needing to be in therapy means you are suicidal. I was not and I am not suicidal, I just hated my life.
No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to say, “Hey, I need to talk to someone.” “Yep I’m in therapy.” Why is that? Because if we say that we then put a big neon sticker on our foreheads that is assumed, “You can’t handle life.” We are in constant competition with each other that we are losing the real factor, we are losing the face to face. I ask you to listen and be honest with the ones around you. This spring I was talking to a farmer, we talked about everything. A couple weeks later he came up to me thanked me and said “Brenda after I talked to you, that night was the first night I slept in months.” Maybe that is all you need is someone to just listen. Be that person. Listen. Be honest. We are living in a world of not being able to be honest because we are then judged. We are living in a world where we are so connected but so disconnected.
Here I am. Going through the fire. Knowing I need help to be the best woman, mom and wife I can be. I am in therapy. This is me.
I’m not sure why but I took this the day of my first session. March 2018
1 tablespoon of water or red wine Vinegar (Depending on what you have in the house)
While you are building your sauce make sure you keep an eye on your chicken on the grill and onions/peaches in the cast iron pan, so they don’t burn and smoke your kitchen out. (It’s happened before)
Place 1/2 done chicken on onions and Peaches. Pour BBQ sauce over top, cover with tin foil and place in the oven at 325 degrees for about 30-40 mins or until chicken is at 140 degrees. Look how cozy they are.
Serve with a baked potato topped with sour cream an a fresh salad on the side. Now if that doesn’t scream Summer on a Sunday I don’t know what does!
When Prince William wed Kate I woke up early and watched in the living room by myself. I have always been fascinated with the Royal Family. Even Princess Di had me captivated. Maybe it is because I love hats and Royals get to wear them all the time and don’t stick out like a sore thumb. (It doesn’t stop me from wearing fancy hats.)
Saturday, when Prince Harry wed Meghan I set the DVR the night before, finished milking cows, dug out my own wedding dress, took out the fancy china, and celebrated the wedding of the year with my daughter dressed in her Elsa dress.
On Wednesday, April 18 Everett and I attended Dairy Day at the Capitol in St. Paul, Minn. with Minnesota Milk. This is an opportunity for dairy farmers to meet with legislators, relay their concerns and share their dairy story. This is a time to discuss new policy and current policy and programs that are working well for farms.
Everett and I headed to the state Capital
As a mom this is a great way to teach my children. Showing is teaching and teaching is showing. Someone had asked me if this was a school project for Everett because I took him out of school for the day. The answer was, no this is not a school project. This is a farm project. As a mom and a dairy farmer this is to teach my children, showing up is important. Talking about what you love and how it affects your community and communities around you.
Watching the House of Representatives in session
As we walked through the halls of the state capital, senate and house buildings, we weren’t alone. The halls were full of constituents with their own concerns for their communities. Showing up shows my children if you want your voice to be heard you need to show up. It shows my children no matter how small your voice is, it matters. There is a process. It shows my children building relationships with people is important and makes a difference. It matters what we say and do. It shows my children we can have a different opinion but yet still have conversations to make a difference.
It shows my children our own communities need us. Whether we are giving our time to our churches or holding a public office in our towns and communities. Taking the time to listen to a neighbor. Our communities need us. Each and everyone of us are important to our community because all of us make up our community. Our communities need us to listen. Our communities need us to show up.
The decisions that are made today will impact my children. Even if my children choose not to farm they will know how important it is to use their voice in their local communities and beyond. To use their voice kindly and to listen.
The reason why we show up. When we got home I still needed to go out to the barn.
We have been getting some snow in Central Minnesota. Dusting of snow is normal in the spring time but 10 inches of snow is not normal this time of year. The real news this morning said we average 2 inches of snow in April, we are way past that. Southern Minnesota had school closed or late today.
March came in like a lion and it is leaving like a ….Well you will have to watch to see what Nate said March left us like.
Happy Spring time, or late winter, or third winter or….
Weather Report on Holy Saturday 2018~Raising a Farmer~ - YouTube
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