Farming mothers work hard — even on Mother’s Day

From flowers, and breakfast in bed, to family dinners and jewelry, people everywhere across America celebrated Mother’s Day this past weekend. Now that I am a mother and all the things I never understood suddenly are very clear, I’m convinced Mother’s Day should be much more than one day.

Mother’s Day isn’t all celebrations for everyone, though. For some, it’s a day of mourning. Mourning the mother you never really had, mourning the mother gone too soon, mourning the loss of a child, and for some, fearing that you may never get to be a mother. I’m so thankful for my mom, my mother-in-law and all the strong women who have shaped me into the mom that I am today.

Mother’s Day isn’t all about rest and relaxation for all moms, either. I’ve been blessed with the best mom. In the agriculture world, I know many hard-working moms, but my mom is at the top of the list. Moms in general are multi-tasking queens, but this woman could outwork most men I know. From sun up to after sun down, my mom cares for her family, the farm, my childhood home, my dad (which is a full-time job in itself) and all the little things in between.

My mom is loving, honest, stubborn, tough as nails and literally never stops. (For those of you that know me, you may realize where I get it from.) Dad may not like to admit it, but my mom runs the farm.

My dad has a full-time job off the farm, a job that typically takes him away for 10 days at a time. That leaves my mom doing the chores, wrangling newborn calves, nursing injured cows, feeding hay and unloading feed pretty much on her own. She always does the mowing and weed-eating, cooking, cleaning, makes the appointments and takes care of all those things normal moms take care of.

This weekend we celebrated Mother’s Day by picking up corn, pulling weeds and working at my grandma’s all day getting her yard and flower beds back in tip top shape.

On Sunday, the rain gave us a little more down time than usual, which was spent with family at my grandma’s house for lunch. While everyone made plans to relax or go visit other family members, my family had to leave to get a steer loaded and hauled to the butcher shop.

While in the barn, I noticed a steer with an injury. So at 6 p.m. when my husband and I should have been taking the three-hour trip home so our son could be in bed for school, we found a younger steer that had an infection. So in the rain and all of the mud, my family pulled together and got the calf treated with antibiotics and the wound debrided and cleaned — and the other steer loaded.

My mom and I were exhausted and I jokingly asked her and my dad why we still farm. Dad said, “Sis, I ask myself that over and over.”

At that moment, I laughed. But in my heart I know, it’s just what we do.

So here’s to the moms who are the backbone of the farm and the family. The moms who raise their kids — and cows too. The moms who run their kids to softball games and livestock shows. The moms who clean the house, cook the meals, do the laundry and then head to the barn to get on the tractor to feed the herd. Here’s to the moms who kiss boo-boos and turn around to tend to an injured animal. The moms who keep endless hours and who keep everything from unraveling even when she is hanging on by a thread. I see you — and I appreciate you — and I strive to be half the woman that you are.

Submitted by Mandy Orahood, the organization director for Ohio Farm Bureau Federation serving Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties.  Mandy can be reached by email.

 

OFBF Mission:  Working together for Ohio farmers to advance agriculture and strengthen our communities.