When styling my moniker for my website and social media accounts, I’ve always stated that I was the farmer’s daughter. In reality, it should be written as the farmers’ daughter. Both of my parents work on our family farm and both are farmers. Though I’m sure for most people, when they first read my name they assume it refers to my dad. In a traditional sense, it probably does. But truth be told, mom also plays a big role on the farm and it would be remiss not to acknowledge her contribution.
So, I’ve reached a conclusion. It’s one of those things that should feel natural. Something we can just assume is true. We don’t need any scientific studies to prove it. We definitely don’t need charts or diagrams to demonstrate it. We don’t need any activists to convince others. We certainly don’t need any email marketing campaigns. It is something we know inherently.
All moms are awesome. Farm Moms are even more awesome.
Now, before you think I’m just saying that to win brownie points on Mother’s Day (and besides, why would that be a bad thing?), I want to assure you that I really mean it.
Farm Moms do all the wonderful, difficult, and sweet things that regular moms do on a daily basis. They are selfless creatures that put their own needs and wants on hold in order to tend to the needs and (mostly) wants of their children. She changed your diapers, got you ready for the first day of school, gave you space during your teenage years, and sent you away to college with tears in her eyes. Through sleepless nights, early mornings, and all the times in between, Farm Moms offer the comfort, care, and protection that only a mom can give.
But Farm Moms also put up with and do a lot of other things that earn them the special designation of “farm” mom. Come on, she actually allowed you to paint your bedroom “John Deere green.” Every Christmas and birthday, she went out of her way to hunt down and buy you whatever piece of toy farm equipment you requested. She even let you “plow” the field that just happened to be located in the living room on her new carpet. No doubt she cringed when it happened, but she let you discover and play in the mud puddles around the farm, even when you had nice clothes on.
She remembers exactly how proud she was when you showed your first animal at the fair, and was still proud even when you didn’t place. She’s watched you learn responsibility and dedication when she woke you up early – even on spring break – to milk cows. She’s helped you nurse the occasional sick baby animal born on the farm, only to have her heart broken because not all sick animals get better.
She’s probably felt bad that you had to get up extra early on summer break, while all your friends were sleeping in, just because she needed your help doing farm chores. She really felt bad when you had to pick cantaloupe at 6 am in the record heat and humidity, just because it was more bearable than doing it later in the day. But she’s also watched her kids grow into hard working and productive adults, recognizing that maybe all that farm work wasn’t so bad for them after all. She’s thankful that her occupation allows her to spend so much time with her kids, and grateful that her family is so close as a result.
She’s had to run to some obscure tractor supply store 40 minutes away because you broke down and needed a part that was so conveniently only in stocked at that store, only to get home and have it be wrong. She even put up with your ranting and raving when you found out it wasn’t the right part.
She sat back and worried when you first learned to drive the tractor, and she secretly still asks God to protect her family every time they go out to work. She’s had to be a nurse and EMT when you come in from the field with whatever inevitable farm injury you sustained and asked her to rush you to the ER. She’s pulled out slivers, removed stitches, and even changed bandages from those farm injuries, thankful that she didn’t pass out. And, yes, praising God that something worse didn’t happen.
Every spring she feels the pressure to get all those acres seeded, but enjoys the promise for a better future the season brings. She’s endured droughts that roll corn, storms that lay down hay, and late freezes that kill fruit trees. Alongside her husband, she’s watched crops wither and die, decimating the hopes she had for a bountiful harvest and wondered how she could shield her family from the financial pinch. She has proudly watched her children learn about the family business, only to worry about whether it can provide a full and secure livelihood.
“Farm” doesn’t just tell you her occupation, it tells you what’s inside.
Thankfully, God chose to bless me with one of these amazing Farm Moms. For 26 years, she ran our family’s roadside stand. She’s served on our county Farm Bureau board. She’s made those absurd trips to get random parts (and usually finds the right one!). She’s tended to countless injuries. She’s worried about our family finances. She’s dealt with the consequences of storms and droughts. And she worries and prays for us each day when we go to work (to our farm jobs or otherwise). She’s definitely earned her “farm” mom designation.
But mostly, I’m just thankful that she’s my mom. The “farm” part is just icing on the cake.
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, but especially farm moms and – most definitely – my mom!