Please excuse the length of this post. But please read the whole thing, if you want to know more. I know its a double negative, but for those who will take the time to read it, I appreciate your time. 🙂
There once was a time in my life that I thought the most important thing I could do, was to keep my kids and husband happy. It didn’t matter what struggles or adversities I went through, it would be worth everything to make sure my kids were content and not wanting for anything. To have my husband know that everything on my end was taken care of and he would never wonder what I was doing or where I may have gone that day. He would always be taken care of.
Now don’t get me wrong, there is something to be said for the sacrifices Mothers and Fathers make for their children on a daily basis. It’s part of being a parent. Same thing goes for being a spouse. Each of you has to give 100% to the marriage/relationship, or else it won’t work. It’s not 50/50. It is 100/100. Trust me on that one. But there is also someone else that needs taken care of and pampered too. Someone that Mothers, Fathers, husbands, and wives often forget in trying to keep the rest of the family happy:
I know how easy it is to put everyone else first. To get lose yourself in the everyday tasks of housework, laundry, cooking, babysitting, errands, phone calls, play dates, outside chores, appointments….well you get the idea. And I am not saying that my life is harder than the next persons. I don’t think there is should be competitions on who went through the worst divorce, or who’s life is tougher than who’s. Everyone handles things differently and that is fine.
As a farmer’s wife, and a special needs Mom, I found myself lost. I went back to school to get my associates degree last year (virtually), which is going well, but I was not organizing my time correctly or as well as I could have been. I was still putting everyone else’s needs and wants first, and not including what I needed or wanted. Some of you who have read my past posts, my know that in December of 2015, my middle son went to a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) due to his ASD and behavioral issues. Since Cam has been away, we have been able to do little things that we weren’t able to do before, but we have also spent a lot of time where Cam is, and even taken Cam on a day pass to a battlefield in the area and toured it. Together. For the first time ever.We didn’t have to leave early, we didn’t have any arguments or screaming fits. And I actually witnessed my son using his coping skills on his own, for the first time ever. It was amazing!! I was relaxed on a family outing. And that’s when it hit me:
When am I going to focus on something I want to do, for me? I made the decision to go back to school, but that was also for our families livelihood. My major is in Agribusiness Marketing & Management. I love Agriculture. Its what keeps the world feed and healthy, and puts money in our pockets. I have a passion for what we do. I also am a co-leader for one of our county 4-H Dairy clubs. Both of the boys are avid 4-H members and love to show their dairy heifers. Even though Cam is not able to be an active member right now, he is still helping me (over the phone) with the care of his heifer, and now that she is bred, he will be getting her calf to show next year! He is very excited.
So I started thinking, I am passionate about agriculture, kids, and 4-H. What could I do with that?! While it might be easy for some people to come up with a ton of different ideas that work, I have problems with brainstorming workable solutions. My brain works so fast sometimes that thoughts get jumbled and ideas get twisted and they end up being ridiculously undo-able for a starter project. Then a changing moment happened. A very good friend of mine got into a debate with me over the dairy industry on my Facebook page. I was shocked at the information she had researched and found on the treatment of animals and how we produce milk. And no matter what facts I was able to give to her, she would not believe me. That hurt, to know that people I care for were reading information that was not only fabricated, but grossly inaccurate about the dairy industry as a whole, strictly for an organizations movement of anti-whatever. I understand that people will only believe what they want to believe, and that is their right. But there is a difference between fact and opinion. I was so upset at this situation, that I literally could not sleep. And not at my friend, but at the resources she was looking at. The people that put these resources online or in a book and decided that it would be a good idea to invoke peoples emotions for the betterment of their own cause. Factually, the information she had was not true at all, or grossly exaggerated to serve their own purpose. And I realized there are probably tons of information of that nature, for every commodity we produce, in order to gain an emotional response to anti-whatever movement against agriculture in one way or another. They sure gained an emotional response from me, but I’m not sure they will like the end result.
And that’s when I knew what my passion is. I attended the PA Farm Bureau’s Young Farmer’s and Ranchers Conference soon after all of this happened and realized that I wanted to be more involved in some way, to help the Ag community spread truth and facts. To help the non-Ag community understand what we do and why we do it. And while I am actually almost too old to be involved in the YF&R committee (only a year left until I age out, but Paul is younger than me, so he is my ticket in 🙂 ), I found out about the PA Farm Bureau Ag Promotion Committee. Well that sounds exactly like what I was looking for, uh? So I am now our county Ag Promotion Committee Chair and possibly the district rep for the state committee (cause I have nothing else to do, right?). But if this is what it takes to help our communities understand the difference between what we do, and what you are being told, from the experts who actually do it, then I will spread myself as thin as possible in order to help educate and dispel the myths that have been out there for far to long.
And I can still volunteer my time with 4-H and be a leader and help the kids in the county get more educated about their own industry and the other Ag commodities that everyone enjoys everyday. Plus, I could also work with special needs kids and show them different careers they could handle in the Ag community. With my degree, I could even make a job out of this, while still helping at home. Its a win-win for me and hopefully, everyone else!!!
Don’t worry, I am not turning my blog into nothing but Ag Promotion information to cram down anyone’s throats (of course, there is always an unsubscribe button if you get the need to whine or complain about anything that is written. I am always up for questions and comments or differences of opinions, but trolling or bashing of any kind will be blocked). There will still be family drama, issues with life in general, a few DIY posts, and maybe even a funny story or two. 🙂
Changes and improvements are exactly what we all need sometimes. To ourselves, we need to put our passions into the mix of what our families need. Because if we don’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of anyone else?