Raising 'Kids' on the Farm

by Cedar & Sage Farm | Feb 25, 2018 | Farm Life

 

New babies being born on the farm is probably my favorite part of living where we do. I anticipate and calculate and eagerly await each new arrival with excitement and a belly full of nerves that everything will go just as it should.

 

We had the unfortunate reminder over the holidays that sometimes despite our best efforts and intentions, nature has a different plan. We experienced our first losses when one of our mama goats gave birth to still born twins. The heartache was crushing and the tidal wave of emotion and questions that followed was exhausting. But, just like every hard experience, there are lessons to be learned and growing to be done.

 

So, after we shed a few tears and we researched all the new things that we didn’t know existed prior to being faced with a new situation such as the one we’d just endured, we brushed ourselves off and made a plan.

 

We weren’t going to give up and just be sad. We knew too well what joy comes from new kids being born and thriving in the barn. So, although we didn’t have our own twins to care for, we knew that there were others out there that we would love to welcome to the farm.

We found a trio of Pygmy babies needing a home and someone to bottle- feed them. It was no mistake that we brought home three. It makes it far harder for the kids to fight over bottle-feeding when they each have their own goat (although in hindsight we maybe should have brought home five as neither Andrew or I are good at being left out or sharing our baby turn).

I love watching the kids bond with their ‘kids’. Getting to know them, choosing names and learning their quirks, likes and dislikes. Watching them raise these little ones warms my heart in a way that I don’t often get to witness without such a great life prop.

The bleating of the kid’s calls to them when they’re hungry, bored or lonely stirs them from their video games and movies. Listening to them converse with each other about things like “what can she possibly want’? “How can she be bored or hungry, she just ate and she has her friends with her”? provides life lessons that I could never do on my own.

 

I love watching their faces as they experience pure joy at the sight of their little one parkouring their way across the living room or yawning in their lap. And let’s be honest, there is nothing greater than watching your 15-year-old pick up his baby goat just before heading out the door to school and watching that sweet goat pee all over his fresh clean shirt.

So, when others ask “did you really need more goats”? The answer is yes! Because they are right, we are incredibly busy with no time to do many things we feel we should be doing…. But, how else would our family slow down and take in the magical moments of love and learning and wonder that a new kid can bring?

Meet Ashleigh

I have somehow been blessed beyond measure; I am married to a wonderful guy who shares in the great joy of raising our three amazing children. We recently picked up and left the city to follow our hearts, with the intention for a more simple and natural lifestyle. Both my husband and I are native Calgarians who have always been awed with the wonder of looking out at the Rocky Mountains. For us, transplanting into the foothills just made sense and we couldn’t wait to get here. It wasn’t until I was removed from the hurry of the city; that I was able to settle into my purpose and accept and celebrate the things that make me happy. Combining my love for bringing life into a neglected space, and filling it with a marriage of old and new, has enabled me to take on the challenge of rebirthing this 1980’s farmhouse. Being able to do this from home, while tackling the daily chores of caring for our farm animals is pure bliss and sits comfortably in my heart. I am chomping at the bit (along with our horses…) to continue to watch the evolution of our space take shape… And I can’t wait to fill this home with love, memories and the smell of Sunday dinners for years to come. I believe that the greatest gift in life is family, and I have been placed amongst a beautiful tribe (my late grandfather’s endearing term for our extended family). I yearn to give my children and their friends a place to melt away from the hustle; in a comfortable and pretty space, which I hope can be a refuge from a complicated and sometimes messy world. Although this move and new direction was not written down in my master plan (and I am a list and plan girl through and through), I am thrilled that the happenings which brought us here have unraveled just the way they did. I have dedicated this year to being grateful for our many gifts while also accepting my limitations with grace and courage. In addition to my home and family, I love camping, iced tea, Volkswagens and a good book… in no particular order. I hope you can find inspiration, relatability or even just a good laugh by following my blog posts as I figure out just what will unfold next.