There’s never been a doubt in my mind that my kids would grow up like I did: with a lot of animals. I don’t think my husband had quite the same vision in life because he’s more about corn, beans, and tractors, but he knew what he was getting into when he married me. So here we are, living on a farm full of animals and also running a grain farm. And now we’ve got two kids along for the ride, allowing us to see our lifestyle in a whole new way.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to raise kids on a farm, let me give you a little preview.
In case social media has tried to convince you otherwise, farm life is not glamorous. Glorious, sure. But glamorous? Nope. Unless I’m doing it wrong. The chances of finding me and my kids in matching overalls and shiny rubber boots are slim to none. Our mudroom is just that – a mudroom. We drag in bits of hay, straw, dirt, and who knows what else. Well, I know what else, but I’ll leave that to your imagination. We have barn boots that are kept completely separate from our other boots. Even for the kids– thank goodness for garage sales! This system keeps me sane and our house and vehicles somewhat clean.
We play a daily game of watch out for the poo. It’s not really my favorite game, but it’s a regular part of our life whether I like it or not. And now you also know why I’m so crazy about having separate boots.
It’s A Lot of Work
Our days pretty much both start and end with taking care of animals. Feed, water, collect eggs, clean stalls. On repeat. Then there’s watering the garden and collecting veggies. Mix in an injured or sick animal, and the work doubles.
Some of our evenings and a lot of our weekends consist of visiting Daddy in the field or in the shop. There are times throughout the year that this is the only way we get to spend time as a family. No sick or injured animals here, but broken equipment and the busy seasons of planting, baling, and harvest can sure tack on some extra hours.
It Teaches Lessons
We as parents have certainly learned some lessons with raising kids on the farm. I’m sure they are the same lessons our parents learned years ago! First, flexibility is key with having two kids. I had a routine down before kids, but now it changes constantly. We’ve also learned how much our patience can actually be tested. Because it takes approximately ten times longer to do things.
As for our kids, they get to learn the value of hard work and responsibility. These are things that can be taught in many different environments, but for us, it happens on the farm. The other thing they get to learn is compassion for other living creatures. My love of animals was developed early in life, and their well being has a huge spot in my heart. I have no doubt my kids are learning this by watching me interact with them every day.
I’ve also learned that as much as I love a good family meal at our kitchen table, we can also enjoy a meal in the tractor, in a field, or in the shop. Most importantly, and I still have to constantly remind myself of this, it teaches us that memories can be made wherever, as long as we are together.
It’s a Heck of a Lot of Fun
There’s nothing better than watching my daughter roam free across our property or a big open field. Her smile and laugh while the chickens crowd around to see what kind of treats she has, how excited she gets when picking tomatoes or herding the goat back into his pen, or how eager she is to help clean stalls or ride in the tractor – these are the times that make it all worth it. I don’t mean to leave my son out, but right now he spends most of his time strapped my chest in the baby carrier. Oh, the life of a baby!
Raising kids on the farm can be messy and extremely exhausting, but the smiles on their faces and the sense of pride they develop in learning new things make it all worth it.