As proud as I am of my professional bio, what's not on it is the many daily tasks that go unnoticed. The Uber driver, the chef, the maid, the plumber, the bookkeeper, the gate keeper, and really, the list goes on.Somehow, us moms fuel up, both on gasoline and caffeine, just to get our kids off to ball practice, 4-H meetings, and friends' houses. Then there are the meals! Tell me that I am not the only one struggling with the tedious yet challenging task of transforming groceries into a crowd-favorite meal? And last week, I just finalized year-end taxes and trying to balance the checkbook, with rising commodity prices and a lackluster milk check.Exhausted, I look up for a moment and see that my youngest son has not gone outside to do his evening chores yet. When questioning why, I discover that it simply is because he cannot find a pair of work boots that fit. In fact, all of his clothes seem to have shrunk overnight.
Days like this have me reaching to call in sick, but wait – moms don't get a sick day, do they?Oh friends, I know, we are in a chapter of sacrifice, where everyone else’s needs come ahead of ours. I have told myself this is where I'm needed right now, and while it does seem thankless at times, I have reminded myself of a simple fact: This is the chapter our kids will remember about us the most!So, I have tried hard to make the moments count. I'm baking the cookies, attempting yet another dinner recipe, and waiting in the pick-up line for my daughter to finish high school basketball practice. She chirps away on our drive home about practice. Suddenly, my day seems better. I find joy in that fact that my fourteen-year-old daughter talks to me. When I help my ten-year-old clean his room and he turns up the radio and sings along, I sing, too!And once in a while I help my oldest feed the heifers out back so it goes quicker, so he can head out to hang with his friends earlier. He drives the gator and talks my ear off. This happens rarely, but choring with a buddy is better than choring alone. Lately, I have been in a season where I'm more like a buddy than a mom. I don't blink, and I am bottling every second in.Days like these are what motherhood is all about. My reminder to all you farm moms is to stuff those small, glittering moments deep in your heart, because you'll rely on them to get you through the days the sun doesn't shine as bright.
Karen Bohnert is a second-generation dairy farmer, born and raised on her family dairy in Oregon and moved east after graduating from Oregon State University. Karen and her husband work in partnership with family, and they along with their three children live and work on the family's 500 Jersey cow dairy in East Moline, Ill. Karen's pride and love for dairy could fill a barn, and she actively promotes dairy anyway she can.