I always, always knew I’d grow up to be a Farm Mom. I wanted that magical life for my kids. It’s beautiful and it’s ugly and it’s every emotion you can think of. But it has taught me and my kids wonderful, useful things about life.
1. Hard work can be fulfilling and a joy. Cleaning out a barn is no picnic, but it makes us stronger and gives those we love a better life. You don’t necessarily enjoy it while you’re doing it, but the satisfaction of a job well-done is a huge reward!
2. Sometimes you have to take your boots off and play barefoot in the mud. There is something so cathartic about giving in and doing what no one expects of you. The wonderful feelings just stick with you, while the mud washes right off….Which brings me to my next point.
3. If you’re going to sling mud, you’d better have room to run, because it’s coming right back at you. Just think before you act, because if you want to stay clean, that’s the only option.
4. Rain makes corn. (Also one of my favorite songs). Remember that you can’t have sunny days everyday. You need the rainy ones too. They all have their purpose and make us healthier in the end. Enjoy your days- rain or shine.
5. Babies and kids are the perfect reminder that life goes on and should be cherished. It seems like most animals just know this and will watch the babies frolicking around. They also tend to be less cranky around them, enjoying their antics. We all should remember to embrace the little ones’ unique qualities, even when we are frustrated.
6. Every mom deserves help. Herd animals will often share baby care duties. They will keep watch for danger and even nurse each other’s babies if needed. A strong, rested, happy mom is a benefit to everyone.
7. The barn won’t stand the test of time without a coat of paint now and then. You can’t just use and use and never give anything in return. You have to work for and maintain the important structures in your life. This includes yourself. YOU are worth the effort.
8. Act as if you are always being watched. If you think sneaking out over a low spot in the fence won’t be noticed and copied, think again. Do everything as if the right way now will cause you less trouble later.
9. Sometimes you just need to keep shoveling manure to get to your solid foundation. Don’t let the messy things in life hold you back. Keep searching, keep working and moving on and you WILL find the stability that you are looking for.
10. Death is a part of life. This one is hard. It’s hard to lose your animals- whether to sale, sickness, age or even the butcher. But through our experience with animals, my kids have been so much better able to understand the hardest parts of life. They are at peace with death, even if they don’t like it.
Being a Farm Mom sometimes means all-nighters watching over a birthing. It may mean skipping out on the Michael Kors purse for a truckload of hay instead. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other lifestyle. I love teaching my kids all about animals and how to work for a certain outcome. I love watching their eyes light up when their garden sprouts or their smiles when they get goat kisses. (Which are the best!)
It’s the hardest, dirtiest, most rewarding thing I get to share with them. I’m hoping the lessons they are learning will carry on through many generations, lasting long after I’m gone. That will be my legacy.
I hope that wherever you live, whatever you share with your kids, you remember that what you are learning together will remain with them forever.