Living in the round. What does it bring to your mind? For me, it brings images of living in our future yurt (the yurt whose delivery date has been put off time and time again–but it will get here sometime!). It can bring to mind images of embracing the cycles of life–whether they are long or short. Living in the round can remind us of gathering with friends and family and how circles are often formed when groups of people who love each other get together. It can also conjure up images of all of the roundness around us: the world as a whole, the sun, the moon, delicious fruits and vegetables, eyes in disbelief, Ferris wheels and donuts. A brief Google search reveals, though, that most people refer to this phrase when talking about living in yurts (my original thought)
One of my favorite vegetables in the round, growing in the roundish hoophouse.
But I have a much different reason to refer to Living in the Round: it has to do with the roundness of our physical bodies. So much of our bodies is round: our heads, our eyes, And some of the best parts of our anatomies….
I was hoping to be more round come the posting of this post, but I am getting more and more round every day because, if you haven’t guessed it yet, Evan and I are expecting our first child this coming January. I am pregnant and so excited!
I am now a pregnant Rural Farmgirl, and I couldn’t be happier. I’ve wanted to be a mother since I hit puberty and started baby-sitting. A lot of women feel this, we are biologically and evolutionarily programmed to have the yearning to become parents. However, I have very few friends who have had this feeling for so long. In fact, only one of my good friends is a mom, and we are all in or getting very close to our thirties. I’ve always reveled in the presence of very independent and successful women, and its not that this is impossible to be independent and successful with children (in fact, its far from it), but it seems to often put having children off until a bit later in life than the historic norms.
Amanda and I on a nice hike. The only part of me that seems to be noticably rounder so far is my face! At least I can notice a little bump coming along, but others are oblivoius.
When I was in Minnesota, I spent a bit of time wandering around downtown Minneapolis during the lunch hour. Maybe it was because I am expecting, but I kept noticing pregnant women everywhere: pregnant women in heels and power suits; pregnant women walking briskly with important looking brief cases. I was the pregnant woman in dirty Chacos and old jeans, walking carefree with a jar of salsa from the farmers market that I didn’t have a bag for because I hate using plastic bags but didn’t have a reusable bag with me.
Cities can do that to any Farmgirl. I work with two amazing, strong, very independent farming women who both recently brought up moments when they feel like dirty outcasts amongst the general public–they both cited times at salons, getting their nails done for a friend or sister’s wedding. That can be an embarrassing moment as a farmer–especially if a pedicure is involved. This is how I feel in cities sometimes, usually even when I dress up. I questioned my own success–but then went on to revisit what success really means to me.
One of my strong, female, hard working, independent, successful co-workers, living in the round of turnips!
I recently found a great blog called Farming Pregnant (http://pregnantfarmer.blogspot.com/). A female farmer who was pregnant and dismayed by the lack of information for pregnant women in physically demanding careers wrote it. There is a ton of information for women who have desk jobs, weekly meetings, federally mandated maternity leave and nightly work out schedules. But what about us farmers and mountain climbers and outdoor explorers?
Perhaps there isn’t that much information because we listen to our bodies and live healthy lifestyles already. Perhaps it’s because we don’t necessarily need specified advice for how to make pregnancy more comfortable for us or to make it fit into our busy schedules. We are concentrating on the whole process of becoming mothers and that seems to meld with our different, yet still busy lifestyles.
Or maybe it’s because farmers and other career women like farmers don’t have any time to make websites and write up advice columns in their spare time at the computer.
Either way, I am loving becoming a pseudo expert on childbirth and pregnancy by searching out and appreciating as much information as possible. From famous books to poorly written replies on online forums, I’m obsessed with this information. I really love the Pregnant Farmer because it is great to see how another farmer dealt with pregnancy and working in the fields under the hot sun. It’s both inspiring and comforting. It has reminded me that I can be successful at the careers I’ve chosen, have a healthy pregnancy and become a wonderful mother at the same time.
My lucky baby gets to take a walk in the clouds in utero after a day of being nourished by farm fresh goodies.
Farming and teaching seem like good compliments to motherhood, and teaching and farming happen to be what I love the most and seem to be the best at out of the career choices I’ve explored over the years.
To be fair, the only thing I can focus on lately is having a baby and the process of pregnancy. Everything else is taking second place to this awesome experience (at least for the time being). And for now, at least I have one delivery date that can only shift a few weeks in either direction
Until next time (when I’ll be a little rounder, and hopefully much closer to living in a yurt!),
Sending you Peace and Love,
Alex, the Rural Farmgirl