Calving is a busy time of the year and juggling kids, relationships, and running a household can be a challenge. We asked the Farming Mums NZ online community what strategies they use to make life during calving run smoothly.
· Get a cleaner for over the crazy period. It doesn’t matter if your house is messy, but it makes you feel a whole lot better coming home to a clean house.
· Do your grocery shopping online. If you can't be bothered going to town you have the option of getting it delivered. If you feel like getting off farm, then your shopping’s already done for you to pick up and you'll have time for a coffee or meal in town.
· Make sure you have a good play list to bop away to while at work.
· Get a weeks’ worth of meat out of the freezer on Monday and use a slow cooker or pressure cooker. Put the dinner on in the morning ready to serve at dinner time.
· Have a backup stash of dinner food. Frozen chips and pizza for great to have on-hand ‘those’ days.
· Do the washing every day so it doesn’t become a job as big as calving.
· Buy a robot vacuum cleaner.
· Clean a room a day if you feel housework is getting on top of you.
· It’s divorce season, so arguments are common when dealing with cows and calves. Don’t take anything personally
· Do a load of washing a day, teach the kids to put their own clothes away. Mount Washmore is a common sight.
· A monthly calendar on the fridge with all the info need on it, kids sport, meal ideas for the week etc.
· Have two crockpots so you can have a lunch meal in one and a dinner in other, or you can use one and get one ready for following day.
· If you have kids on the farm have teat seal boxes with activities and snacks
· Have a microwave, fridge, kettle etc. all at cowshed so if have a busy day you can still have a quick break and a bite to eat.
· One calf at a time & if it's being difficult, try another one and come back to it later.
· Don’t sweat the small stuff. Food, clean clothes and sleep are a priority and get a bit fitter so the first week doesn’t kill you.
· No one died from a messy house.
· Boil eggs when cooking on stove top for a quick lunchbox filler or quick sandwich topper for a fly by feed.
· Invest in RT’s for communication with kids who are old enough to be at home.
· Continual strengthening of core muscles and keep checking that they are engaged when required.
· Have a stash bag with nuts, or bars, and some Up &Go / electrolytes to take with you for when there is no getting home to eat.
· Get a thermo mix so the kids can cook easily, and they can’t burn it. Also if you are late in and know it’s going to take 20 mins to cook something, you can have a shower or do jobs and not have to sit and stir it.
by Claire Inkson