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Thursday, May 19, 2016

Why do we do it? Guest Post

Mom's, your kids may not show cattle or any animals, but I'm betting you have had a similar discussion with your family.

In the world of 4-H and livestock showing, some families become more like family than friends.   Meet Lisa of Dream on Cattle, Company.  I was a second mom to her middle  daughter for the first part of Maine Anjou Junior Nationals last year and she was a second mom to my boys when she arrived and I had to go home to wheat harvest.  Her husband took my boys and heifer and treated them like one of the family.  We didn't know each other all that well last summer, but this summer I am glad to call them part of our show family.  She and I have come to support each other more than beside the show ring and here is her first attempt at blogging, if you like it leave a comment and share it to let her know.  -A Kansas Farm Mom

May 15, 2016
It had been a rough morning in the barns, if you have kids who show livestock then you understand what I’m talking about.  When you roll outside at 5:30 am to get chores done and animals taken care of, you can’t expect everything to go as planned or everyone to be chipper while doing it.
But on this morning, one of the girls was giving it her all to show us that she didn’t want to be there.  And Daddy took this attitude to task.  Which resulted in this rather loud declaration “I hate showing cattle and I never wanted to do it, why do you make me!”

Ah bless us all, here we go.  You’ve been there or you are raising angels and I’m jealous.  She doesn’t hate it but she doesn’t always love the work involved leading up to “show day.”  She’s a typical child in that she would prefer to do things the easy way and still get the glory somehow in the end.
So lucky for us, this was not a day when they had to be at school.  And lucky for her, about 2 hours later we had a “sit down.”  And during this meeting, which I had all the children attend, we discussed why our children will not be allowed to opt out of showing livestock.

It is what we do together.  Sure we love to watch them play sports or listen to them play piano/trumpet/clarinet but those activities are very kid-centered.  Not family-centered.  We all have a role when we show and we do what is necessary to help each other.  And we are TOGETHER which in this day, is a rare and special treat for us!
Showing livestock is how we have decided to teach our children about work ethic.  Off the farm and apart from being seriously hungry, I’m not sure how you teach today’s kids to work hard.  So on the farm, we get the luxury of being hard workers.  There is always something to do and never enough time/able bodies to do it.

Something else depends on you and your ability to finish the job.  It really isn’t an option to not feed or water.  And I am that mom that says, they eat/drink before you do.  Learn to put something in front of yourself.  Some might call it harsh, I call it leadership training 101.

The bottom line would it be easier on me to let her quit?  Yes perhaps in the short run, no one wants to deal with the whining, sighing and eye rolling (my personal fave).  But in the long run, she knows we are not giving in that easy.  Because I want her to feel success as an adult, I want her to set her sights on an impossible goal and get there, letting her quit is not an option!
I’m pretty clear with my kids that a purple ribbon or a grand champion would be an awesome reward but it doesn’t happen every day.  And furthermore it is one person’s opinion at one moment in time.  It won’t always go our way, actually rarely.

 My reward and theirs will be the lessons learned and the memories of all we did together.

One more show mom that I totally look up to sums up our weekends pretty well below.  Melissa Falkenstien of Falkenstien Family Show Goats is a show mom that I really admire and am proud to call her a friend/family.-KFM

If you liked this post you might like my Tribute to Livestock Show Moms, too.

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