Dear Country Moms

Dear Country Mom

Ever forget you have an egg in your pocket?

Have you kept a baby anything warm in your shirt to save it?

Do you know the general composition of muck?

Does cold weather mean taking precautions so that nothing dies?

Do your children’s chores mean actual physical labor?

You are my people.

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Eggs in pockets are occasionally broken there.

I went to Kroger today with hay in my hair and muck on the bottom of my pants. 

I probably wouldn’t have noticed had I not had someone mention it, oh-so-innocently laughing about “my bravery on an obviously tough day.”  Lady, you have no idea.

This is just a day.

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The wind picked up while I was carrying hay.

Country moms, I know you have been there.  This life of kids and all things rural is not for the faint of heart.  It is also not for the picky, the perfectionist or the manicured princess.

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I don’t want to be in the muck in my heels but I was leaving and saw the stock tank was left on so…

I see you doing all the things a mom does and all the things a farmer does (or a gardener or whatever has you away from the pavement and general population.)

People think getting kids ready and out the door is a neat trick?  Country moms do with kids who get much dirtier while also making sure everything on the farm is fed, contained and safe and they have to be back before it all needs to be done again.

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Puck, explaining how he got his hands dirty

What can slow us down?

Fence down, injured horse, missing poultry, mastitis, births, deaths, sick child, dogs running off after deer, tractor blocking the road, pig in the road, someone needing to be pulled out of the mud, irrigation leak, neighbor needing help, unexpected weather, frozen water…you get the idea.  Our plans can change at any moment.  Control freaks need not apply.  I literally can’t be bothered to match my socks.

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Good morning, loose, wounded horse.

For us, life is happening on the farm and everything else is secondary.

Yes, we sometimes make it places clean and on time but it is not to be counted on.

The things that so many people take for granted these days are not even on our radar.  The amount of time and money our townie friends may spend on their own maintenance is spent on animals or gardens or children in our world without a thought otherwise.

Sure, I like to have my hair done but not that much.  That is time I could be doing something that matters around here.

The money I don’t spend in salons is money I’d rather spend on tack or seed.

Animal feed is a on a higher budget line than groceries.

The must-haves of life are just different.  Our kids need boots, our horses need a farrier, our animals need bedding, and there is always a piece of equipment that needs to be replaced, repaired, purchased or maintained.  My hair?  My nails?  What?

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I accidentally bought a pair of leather soled pumps once for a night out with hubby.  I had to wear a different pair out to our truck because the walk out there would have ruined them.  Shoes like that aren’t meant for long walks through gravel and mud.

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Need to hide from the kids, do chores and have a glass of wine?  You’ve got this.

And we don’t just “run down to the” ANYTHING.  Getting to town to do or buy things takes more than a bit of aforethought.  Yes, all moms have this dilemma, but distance makes it more of a schedule killer.  

I remember when my kids were little and we went to church 45 minutes from home.  The idea of doing anything that started at 7pm was laughable.  By the time you get home it is 9 or so, the kids are late to bed, chores are not done (and now have to be done in the dark) and everyone is miserable.  And we are up at 5 am.  Nope, staying home it is.

And we know our lives are hilarious in a funnier-when-it-happens-to-someone-else kind of way.

I have a friend with a chicken she has a hard time keeping out of her truck.  The hen gets in when the kids do.

Another friend I have never seen in anything but muck shoes.  Ever.

We touch things on a regular basis only medical professionals can stomach.

We wear things only we understand.

Our mud rooms have mud.

Our kids pee outside.

Our adults pee outside.  What else are you going to do when you are out for 12 hours making hay?

And we’ve hurt our backs throwing that hay.  We’ve hurt other stuff lifting too many feed bags.

Our alarm systems consist of dogs and a minefield of boots on the floor that require Cirque du Soleil skills to get past. Some of us also have obnoxious guineas in the yard.  If you get past all of that, I hope you step on a Lego.

We’ve had to deal with septics backing up.

Many of us have either very short hair or have never been seen without it tied up.  My mother used to have long hair.  A peacock pooped on it before work one day.  She chopped it off and hasn’t had long hair in 30 years.  No one has time for that.

We pull things out of our washing machines some people wouldn’t even recognize.

Our kids get dirty on a level that might kill more refined people.

Our tools are worn and full sized, not cute and clean.

We are vets and doctors when there is no one else.

We have open doors to everyone who stops by.

We know our way around the hardware store and the tractor supply.

We schedule travel around the happenings of the farm, not the other way around.

Our kids know things.  I have to tell mine never to mention the mechanics of reproduction to their city friends or explain the butchering and processing of meat.

When I was a kid we had a friend over to the farm and my parents had a mare coming for the stallion to cover.  They told us to keep our friend in the house until they came to get us.  We didn’t.  My mother is still red from having to explain to the girl’s mother what her daughter witnessed.

And our kids can forage.  They literally wouldn’t starve in our woods.

Hunting aside, guns are just a fact out here.  They are to defend against predators and to be humane when something is suffering and can’t be helped.

It is just a different life.

I sometimes wish I could explain it to my city mom friends but it just shocks them and I have become the token eccentric in some circles.  And that is okay.  I can own that.

So, here’s to you, moms on the farm.  Here’s to the way of life you haven’t let die, the dirt under your nails and your grit.  I love my tribe.  You are awesome.  Don’t go trying to fit into someone else’s box.

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Love from the farm, Katy

P.S.  I’d love to hear your stories of being a mom on the farm

9 thoughts on “Dear Country Moms

  1. While I’m not a “mom on a farm” I did learn a few things when I was young that most 10yr olds never do.
    I learned how to start a fire, catch something cute for dinner, wrap it in clay and bake it. I also learned how to carve and dress a chicken. And thanks to my Gran I knew how to cook, garden and not fear being mucky.

    My parents worked long, hard hours and I learned that if you stay up late you still have to be up and moving at 6am. Whining will end with you being mocked and STILL made to do your chores.

    Oh… And chores. From all my friends I was the only one that had them. >.>

    In the end though I regret nothing… Other than learning that you should take care of your knees when you are younger. I regret not doing that…
    Oh… And I don’t need to do anything with my hair as nature decided to take that option away from me. B-(

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love this. Good reading on this day I am actually sitting still. Because it takes a virus to finally stop us. Although I have no idea – yet – how much animals add to this crazy life (other than a cat and dog), I do understand a little of what it is like to take care of your own things…
    …tilling, planting, weeding, weeding, weeding, and harvesting of a garden…
    …drying, freezing, canning the harvest…
    …painting of all things – is there ever a time when nothing else needs painting?
    …drawing your own house, laying, staining, and sealing wood floors, building a bench, a fire pit, a porch railing, a wall, a brick patio, …heck, a house! All while working a day job…
    …lifting rocks and furniture and beams and metal and all things heavy because you do things yourselves and it’s just you and the mister…
    …changing clothes five times in one day because you have holes in all your work clothes in all the wrong places, but you still have to run kids here, there, and everywhere between all the dirty jobs you have to get done…
    …washing clothes twice because, yes, they are that dirty, or just spraying off with the water hose (with clothes on) before you come in…
    I feel ya sister. I have no idea how much more the animals add, but I can imagine. And still I want it because I know that there is nothing better than to enjoy the work of your hands. Nothing more fulfilling than eating what you have planted, raised, and cared for. Nothing more rewarding than sitting in a house in which you have invested a year + of sweat equity. Nothing better than doing life in community, and no better way to do that than helping each other with the basics of life. The simple life. It’s the only way. And, yes, our kids know things that make them different but, as the song says and my sister sweetly reminds me, it’s hip to be square. We are raising square pegs in a world of round holes and I couldn’t be more proud of their unique beauty. Wife, mom, and farm on! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh the laundry! The never ending laundry! Sometimes I just refuse to change clothes because I am just done. My husband says the smell of sweat and dirt reminds him of me all summer. Nice try on the compliment there, hubby! Thank you for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When you were two, Katy, you were in the hay field with us and wanted to help so badly that your father would short cycle the baler to make a tiny hay bale that you could carry. You were proud to work like the adults. You and your brother, Adam, mowed the lawn
    together, because you were too little to keep the seat, with its kill switch, down on the lawn tractor alone. I can still hear the two of you laugh as you drove. You both helped with feeding and watering. Then the neighbors started hiring you to take care of their lawns and animals, because they told us “our kids knew how to work.” As the years passed you both were an integral part of farm life. You. Katy, helped roof two barns. Your brother, with your help, rebuilt all the stalls in the barn, including planning the materials needed. You and Adam changed the engine on your pick up truck. Adam, who worked summers for a roofer during High School, hired a crew of his own and roofed our house. You both helped us train, groom and show horses, mow pastures, drag the arena, haul hay and fix fence. The country life molded you into capable, confident and responsible individuals that people could trust with the most difficult tasks. Not that you two didn’t scare me at times by pushing your boundaries beyond what I felt was reasonable! Sometimes you just had to prove things for yourself, but you never had to learn the same lesson twice.

    Liked by 1 person

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