On Mother’s Day we often scroll through social media and see all the perfect photos of moms and their kids. And, while I often share candid farm life pictures on social media that also hang on the walls of my home, I think sometimes pictures can glamorize farm life. Feeding baby calves together, families eating lunches on the tailgate of a pick-up truck, days of 4-H and helping kids with their show calves. But truthfully, the not-taken pictures are what being a farm mom is really all about.
By that I mean feeding baby calves with kids generally means that one child is bellyaching, “I got the calf that doesn’t want to eat.” The picture on Facebook doesn’t really tell the whole story. And, eating tailgate lunch in the middle of a corn field all together happens less, as the kids are now old enough to drive their own tractor in another field.
I get it. Being a farm mom means having a lot of stops and starts to the day. It means knowing how to pivot. It means hurry up and wait. Being a farm mom means being on call all the time. Being a farm mom means chauffeuring food to tractors, farmers or farm kids to a grain bin or to another field where a piece of equipment is parked. Being a farm mom means riding shotgun and being the gate opener. Being a farm mom means always having a first aid kit, food, money and patience packed. Being a farm mom means that the laundry is literally never done.
Truth be told, often Mother’s Day is just another day when living a life as a dairy farm mom. Chores must be done and for many of us, that spills over into crop work. For us personally and on our farm in East Moline, Ill., we just started to chop rye which will become feed for our heifers. This is a time-sensitive job, so the diesel engines continue to rev up, making for a dusty track up and down our gravel lane, as tractors continue rolling along, even on Mother’s Day.
So, it is unlikely that breakfast will be served in bed or Mother’s Day brunch consumed in town. At least not this Mother’s Day. Let me just say, I see all you farm moms out there. I understand all too well that the job is thankless, never-ending, and at times, certainly not Instagram-worthy. You are working in the fields, milking cows, feeding calves, paying the bills and somehow still manage to put supper on the table. In-between all that you do, you are still very involved in your community and show up at your kid’s school events. Heck, most of you are the ones coordinating it all.
We all know that the farm mom is the glue that holds it all together—the farm and the family. Farm moms, do me a favor. Look at yourself in the mirror this Mother’s Day and realize that while your superwomen strength might go unnoticed, it doesn’t go unappreciated. Try to soak in the best title you’ve been given, that of being a mom. I understand that those Kodak pictures on your walls tell a different story of what farm life is really like. Realize those that you do so much for, love you so incredibly much. Even if you’re not being properly celebrated this Mother’s Day like you should. Happy Mother’s Day farm moms!