We dragged Stefania, farmer, working mum of two and blogger away from her animals to gather her thoughts on putting your wellies on with your family. Stefania shared with us an insight into her lovely and rather wholesome life on the farm and gave us some top tips for how to spend more time outside as a family over the colder and darker months approaching.
Tell me about yourself (your family, yourself, your interests, how you spend your time etc)
I’m Stef, a working Mummy of two toddlers close in age. We live on my husband’s dairy farm. I’ve always been a horse rider and loved spending time outdoors, but marrying a farmer brought a whole new appreciation of the countryside and what it does for us. When my first son was born, I found escape from the strains of motherhood in the fresh air and spent as much time as possible outside.
What does a normal day look like to you?
We are always up and breakfasted early, and start the day with a dog walk around the farm after feeding our pet chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys. The boys spend a few days at nursery whilst I work and we spend time with my horses in the afternoons before tea time.
What do you do with your family for fun, outside of farming?
These days going for a walk up the Malvern Hills with a pub lunch in the middle is how we relax on my husband’s weekends off the farm. We are very fortunate to have such beautiful scenery around us. We find going for a walk keeps the boys quiet as they have so much to look at and talk about. It’s an easy and stress free way to enjoy time together with two toddlers!
What was your own childhood like in terms of spending time outdoors?
I have ridden horses since I was very little and we would go for family walks with our dog. At 12 my Dad finally caved and bought my sister and I our first horse (“to keep us out of trouble”!)
You’re a family that loves spending time outside, would you say that’s important to you, if so why?
It is so important to us! We love being outside. Farming is our livelihood so with that comes a lot of outdoor time. But we spend a lot of our free time outside too – with the pets and tending to our garden. I have really gotten into my fruit and veg over the last couple of years, and I find it so therapeutic. The fresh air and tranquillity that outside brings is so important. When coping with my two newborn babies and the stresses that motherhood brings, going for a walk and getting outside in the fresh air would always make me feel better.
Why do you think so many children are growing up indoors in todays world?
For a lot of parents, letting the kids sit inside is simply easier. And often us parents, especially those who work, just need to get by and do what is easiest. I’ve certainly done it before – let the kids be entertained by the TV so I can get a couple of jobs done.
What’s your favourite ‘wellies on’ family memory?
Something that sticks in my mind is harvesting our first home-grown potatoes this year. Finley, at just over two years old, was amazed by it! And I was so chuffed to have grown potatoes. We were both so excited each time we kept finding another potato buried in all the mud. I love that Finley is learning about where food comes from already and valuing the process involved.
Your lifestyle involves so much time outside, however what are your top tips to build more outside time into your kids days for families who can’t work it so naturally into their days, particularly as we enter darker days and worse weather?
It’s all about having the right gear: a good set of waterproofs and wellies for the kids, with liners when it is cold enough. And a good pair of thick gloves (ski gloves are actually perfect) for keeping their hands dry when they fall over and touch anything that is wet. As long as they are warm and dry, kids are happiest outside! It is definitely tougher when it is dark, but I think having a set routine really helps. For us, we let the chickens out after our breakfast, so every day we need to get outside early in the day, no matter how dark it is or how terrible the weather.
Thank you so much to Stefania for giving us her time and sharing her wonderful insights. It’s been lovely hearing more about farm life as well as your family life! You can find out more about Stefania, farm life and mum life via her Instagram channel ‘Wife On The Farm’. For more more about our Put Your Wellies On Challenge, and for the chance to win a personalised Family Welly Boot Print click here.