The following post is written by contributor, Jill from Crooked Lake Farm. Jill shares stories of the real side of farming and life on a farm. To read more, follow her on her blog and engage with her on Twitter.
What is a farm mom? Often she wears many hats. Some farm moms work off the farm, some are very hands on, and others are not so much hands on with the farm work, but provide a support role. Personally, I fall into the very hands on farm mom; many days I don’t know which “hat” I’m wearing and where exactly my role as “Farm Mom” falls!
Here is a glimpse into my Farm Mom life—
My husband is a school bus driver, a recent occupation he’s taken on to help our neighbor (the bus owner) out. Lately, my day has begun early in the morning, getting up and checking cows and their calves while he is getting ready and still in the house with the kids. So far, this calving season hasn’t been too problematic with actual cow-calving issues, and I’m back in the house before he leaves for his bus route.
I get my two kids breakfast—one is school age, before I feed myself. This is usually when my son (the school aged one) goes over his spelling words for the week, so I quiz him, while trying to keep my younger child focused on her breakfast. Lunch for my son gets packed and he gets himself ready for the bus. Once he is out the door, I cook my breakfast and sit down with my coffee and plan my day.
When you have a 3 year old for an assistant there is a lot of challenges involved. Usually our day-to-day tasks are checking cows and calves, tagging & vaccinating the new calves, feeding cows and chickens, and collecting eggs. If a cow and calf need special attention, then my daughter and I run her in. As many challenges are involved with having a 3 year old around, she really can offer a lot of help for her size and age—gate opener and closer and cow spotter—in particular.
If a cow is having issues associated with the birthing process, then another “hat” I wear on the farm is midwife. While it is usally a very tense moment, it brings me so much joy to assist a cow with the birthing process.
I am also the calf neonatal nurse. This spring has brought our area plenty of snow in late April and early May, so calf problems have been plenty. I have had a calf in my bathtub bringing it’s hypothermic little body back to normal temperature and later rejoining it’s mom in the barn. I have had many dehydrated calves I have brought back to normal hydration levels through tube feeding and providing them with pain medications while they have had a case of the scours (calf diarhhea).
On rainy, windy, cold, or I-don’t-want-to-go-outside days, I catch up on paperwork or work on some writing. I do all our farm books, cattle records, direct marketing, as well as blog about our farm life and am a freelance journalist for a provincial farm paper. Usually on indoor paperwork days, my daughter and I enjoy baking or preping supper together.
I have only scratched the surface with the many “hats” I wear on our farm, and if you are a farm mom reading this, I’m sure you could add to this too. We are a very special breed of women dedicated to the farmer men in our lives.
I wish each and every lady out there—Happy Mother’s Day!