Keeping Communication our Number 1 Priority

     We've been milking with "Johann LELY" for two months now.  The cows are well-adjusted to the new equipment.  Our family has had some challenges: it turns out we are creatures of habit, too!

     I've been trying to put my finger on just what it is that is making our family different since the robot was installed...  A few days ago we had a meeting with our LELY rep and we've got it at least partly figured out.

     See, milking cows two times a day in the stanchion barn for a total of five hours meant that much time was designated for family conversations, too...  It turns out that at 6a.m. there was lots of daily scheduling being planned, which was solidified at 9 a.m. around the breakfast table.  And, at 5:30p.m. we all got together around the supper table to talk about how the day had progressed, who was going to do chores, and who was left to finish other necessary tasks.  Then, at 8:30p.m. or so, we were all done working.

    With no mandatory milking time in the am or pm, that precious communication time is also gone.  We are a family in flux, trying to figure out how the new freedom is supposed to work! 

    Isn't that weird, to be adrift because we have no cows "to milk"?

    Having figured out what might be challenging our family farm dynamics, we are making real attempts this week to effectively talk to each other about our days over breakfast, which has been moved to 8a.m.  I am still trying to get to bed before 11p.m., but when you don't have to leave the fields at 5p.m. for night chores, its easy to work until dark.

    Are we happy to have Johann here?  You bet!  Will we make positive changes and create new communication habits?  Most certainly!  Soon?  Who knows! 

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