The Small Things

Sep 30, 2014

Lately, I’ve been focusing on appreciating the small things. Due to having an ever growing belly and the physical limitations that come with creating another human I have been well and truly slooooowed down. 

IMG_0702The Bump in progress – babe is due in late December.

This means no serious fencing, no helping build retaining walls, no digging holes for the hazelnut trees, no this, no that. For me, this is enormously frustrating, challenging and just so mentally hard. But after ending up doubled over in pain after doing some very mild physical work, I’ve learned my lesson – take it easy Hannah. I’m not complaining, just learning, and trying to appreciate the small things that I am able to do.

Like transplanting thyme to create a welcoming, aromatic entrance to our front door.

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Making yoghurt, and lots of it.

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Making home made muesli, lots of that too.

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Tweaking the fence line, as in adding the top high tensile wire to create the ‘flop’ which is one of the few fencing jobs I CAN do.

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Propagating and potting up seedlings for the imminent Spring plantings.

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Organising every single workshop and event we’re doing in 2015 so that in theory, I can ‘take it easy’ next year. Hmmmm we’ll see how that goes.

I’m also still teaching, designing properties, running The Permablitz Project and thinking about all the good things to come. So there’s definitely not much twiddling of thumbs going on. Just a lot more inside time.

It’s lead to some pretty interesting conversations in our house around gender roles and stereotypes in the context of starting a small family. We can see how, through practicalities, women take care of the less physically demanding domestic ‘stuff’, while men do with the heavy lifting etc. For me, it’s been incredibly challenging to slot right into this stereotype and have to watch Anton do all the ‘fun’ stuff.  But as we discussed recently, this is a temporary arrangement for us. Once my body bounces back (fingers crossed) we’ll resume our standard patterns as much as possible which sees both of us digging, building, creating, washing dishes and cooking.

So, while my body is preoccupied, I focus on the small things, as it’s how I can be useful around here at the moment.  The dishes have never been done so regularly, we’re pretty sorted with our propagation and crop planning systems and we’re looking freakishly organised for 2015 work wise.

And I must say. A big ups and nod of the head to all the women and men out there who take on the domestic role in a home in a major way. It’s an often under valued, yet critical role to making the wheels turn, you’re friggin amazing and I don’t know how you do it. Respect!

your thoughts:

5 Comments

  1. lisa

    Congratulations Hannah! Talk about your propagating! 🙂 You are entering the best time of your life. You’ll love it. x Lisa.

    Reply
  2. Victoria Patience

    You’ve touched on a huge and vital issue here, and one that I am only beginning to get my head round now that my children and four and two (and yes, I’m well and truly back out there digging swales and building coops and cargo-biking them around). But that dramatically increased and ongoing contact with indoor domesticity, for want of a better term, has challenged and (I hope) grown my feminism in ways I could never have imagined. It made me realize that in some ways I was just like many men (and women) I criticized for not valuing the unpaid labour of cooking, cleaning, and caring, and that without wanting to I looked down on or undervalued these daily tasks that keep the world spinning (and which most women the world over have to do far more of than I do, with my running water and washing machine and so on). It has been humbling. I’m not saying I’ve entirely found the zen of mopping yet but… I’ve found some interesting things to reflect on domestic values in some of Wendell Berry’s essays, and I’d also recommend Adrienne Rich’s Of Woman Born. And though you’re probably raring to get back out there, cut yourself some slack: not only is raising little humans the most important job of all, it’s a very physically full-on one while you’re breastfeeding and carrying an infant, not to mention a magical one that passes far too quickly. Make sure you stop to enjoy it, anyone with kids will understand you wanting to do so, and you’ll be so glad you did. What a beautiful time you have ahead of you!

    Reply
  3. Hannah Moloney

    So good to hear your thoughts and experiences Victoria, thanks! I’m a big fan of Wendell and have read lots of his essays, but haven’t heard of Adrienne so will follow her up. Shannon Hayes ‘Radical Homemakers’ has been a really interesting read for me too which touches on some of these issues as well.

    And yay for cargo bikes and digging swales :-).

    All the best

    Reply
  4. yani armbruster

    Congratulations to both of you!!!
    Yani

    Reply
  5. Joanne Bellotti

    It was affirming for me to read this. I found it all too easy to feel frustrated, helpless and non-contributing in pregnancy.

    With my two week old baby in sling, and my 2 year old at my side, I am already back in the garden more. What joy. What appreciation for my re-strengthening limbs.

    I look forward to reading some of the resources you and Victoria mentioned. Thank you for expressing this.

    Reply

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