Hannah is my very first virtual interview. Even though I never met her face to face, I can feel her love and tenderness in each response. Thank you, Hannah, for opening up and sharing with us.
These are the questions I asked her.
1. Tell us a little bit about you…
Hannah Crabtree, 32 years old, lives in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky. I am an organic farmer with my husband, Jesse, on our farm, Rough Draft Farmstead, and mother to two: Further, 4 years old, and Ellis, 10 months old. I grew up in Kentucky and could not WAIT to move far, far away. I went to Nashville to study art in college, traveled all over the world, and then ended up finding my way right back where I started when I decided I wanted to be a farmer and beekeeper. I am finding my way through motherhood and marriage and farming, and my life is pretty messy (literally) but very full.
2. What is your favorite time of day with your children? Why?
I actually love when my four-year-old climbs into bed with me in the mornings after Jesse wakes up and I am sandwiched between my two children. After a night of sleep all of the frustrations of the day before are easy to forget and I can just feel the literal weight of everything I love on top of me. I can still remember snuggling in bed with my mom and dad on early mornings, and it just feels so comforting and safe.
If I can get up without waking them they end up rolling into each other and sleeping smushed up together, which is the sweetest. BONUS – if I can get up while they are still sleeping and have a little “me” time before they wake up then our day is so much more likely to be a happy one.
3. What is your favorite thing to do withOUT your children?
Make art. I studied painting in college and if I can get time to do it these days, it feels so so good. Creativity seems to get drained by parenting, so when I am making something – especially because it reminds me of a time before I was a wife or mother – it really “fills my cup” or whatever you want to call it.
4. Do you ever feel lonely? What helps you with loneliness?
This is probably the hardest struggle for me right now. I think the loneliness that seems to be an inherent part of motherhood, plus the social isolation that comes from the work we do (farming: no free weekends because of markets, no late nights, no leaving the farm for more than short periods of time because of animals/plants that need constant attention) has left me feeling quite alone. I don’t have any answers but one thing that helps me is to remind myself that this is a season. Having small children, especially a breastfeeding child that I cannot be away from for more than a couple hours, will not last forever….like that corny sort of phrase that is something like “The days are long but the years are short.” It feels hard and lonely and endless when you are in the middle of it, but this stage will be over before I know it.
5. What is something you fear you’ll be judged for by other Moms?
Cleanliness – of my house and my children! I am 100% ok with my kids playing outside in the dirt all day but then we go out in public and I realize….my kids are really dirty! The dirt is also in every nook and cranny of my house, tracked in by messy children AND farmers, and I truly just think we must be a messier family than what is normal. I can only maintain some sort of steady level of cleanliness and order if I spend every second of my free time cleaning. And I am just not going to do that. But I hate that I still feel like a dirty house reflects on me (the wife).
6. What helps you when you are feeling overwhelmed or frustrated?
Reading books or playing games (like board games or card games). If I am feeling completely spent or like I am about to start yelling, I realize it is often because Further just wants my attention and I am trying to do something else (and sometimes it is just something not important at all, like being on my phone or cleaning the house). If I stop and take a few minutes to read a book or play a game, I immediately feel better and can see how much it means to him. It is amazing how simple it is – all they really want is for us to crawl around on the floor with them or pretend or do a silly voice. But still – sometimes you know that’s all they need and you just absolutely can’t bring yourself to do it! I am also honest about how I am feeling and if mama needs to have a time-out – so that I don’t start yelling or being unkind.
7. What is something you have dealt with as a Mother that is rarely discussed?
Rage. My kids can make me SO ANGRY. Having a small person tell you “NO” or outright ignore or disobey you is completely infuriating. Learning to deal with this is ongoing for me, but I quickly realized that yelling is something I HATE and that will keep me up at night after I do it.
8. When do you feel most feminine like you know that energy you feel, like I am a WOMAN. ?
I actually felt this way when I was pregnant (and I know it is not that way for everyone) but I loved my enormous belly and breasts and all the changes, and I felt really beautiful and strong and feminine! The funny/terrible thing about that is how quickly that seems to shift after the baby is born and you notice every extra pound or sagging skin or stretch mark and it stops seeming beautiful. Like while you are pregnant, you think, “Look how amazing I look! Look at what I am creating! I am a goddess!” and then the baby is born and you think, “Gross why do I look like this? Why can’t I get this weight off? Why am I like this?” Nonsensical, but I am still working on it.
Favorite song? John Prine, In Spite of Ourselves
Favorite sweet? Donuts
Guilty pleasures… ^^^ We deliver produce every week to a local bakery and it is so impossible to resist!
If you could travel anywhere… Honestly, the beach (ANY beach) in the summertime! We can only ever take vacation in the winter because of the farm and the growing seasons, so that is my major travel goal!
What do you drink most during the day? Water (because I am still breastfeeding/working outside a lot) but coffee is often coming in strong at second place.
Favorite time of year? Fall - usually October.
Favorite color? Green
Thanks again, Hannah. That photo of her in the living room with her children…the beautiful mess and the light shining on them. That everyday love we pour into in this job. Even when it’s hard and we think we’re failing, it’s still so beautiful. Thank you all so much for being here and for reading and showing your support. We are truly in this together. Never alone.
You can find Hannah on Instagram @roughdrafthannah