Mother’s Day is this Sunday
By Diego Flammini
With Mother’s Day this Sunday (don’t forget!), Farms.com connected with two moms in the U.S. ag community to discuss the best parts about being a farm mom, misconceptions about motherhood and pieces of advice they would share with first-time moms.
Kendra Lamb (KL) and her husband Matthew raise their two daughters Chloe (11) and Claire (9) on their family’s Oakfield, N.Y. dairy farm.
Melissa Harrop (MH) and her husband Paul have three children, Coleman (19), Cameron (15) and Ellie (8). The family has a diversified operation in Chester County, Penn.
Farms.com: Describe where you were when you found out you were pregnant for the first time. How did it make you feel?
KL: We had been married for about two years and I was at home working for Pfizer with their animal health division. Matthew and I were both just so excited to be starting a family.
MH: I’m pretty sure I was at a doctor’s appointment because I didn’t feel well. When I found out I was joyful, terrified and also hopeful because I knew our child was going to carry on our traditions.
Farms.com: Describe the feeling of holding your newborn for the first time.
KL: It’s amazing at how overwhelmed you are with the love for this littler person. It was also a little bit intimidating. My husband and I both looked at each other like ‘why do people think we’re qualified to take care of this tiny human?’
MH: It’s nothing but amazement and joy.
Farms.com: What’s the best part about being a farm mom?
KL: The experiences we can share together, like exposing our kids to a love of animals and being in nature in a real unique way. Working alongside one another and making it a lifestyle more than just a job so they can be a part of it.
Kendra and Matthew Lamb with their daughters Chloe (in front of Matthew) and Claire.
MH: It’s being able to give the opportunity and experiences not a lot of kids get anymore, like raising animals and instilling work ethic into them. So, when they become adults even if they don’t want to farm, they’ll know what a hard day’s work is and will be thankful for it.
Farms.com: What’s the hardest part about motherhood?
KL: Each stage has its own challenges. So now it might be social issues at school or trying to figure out managing phones and what you expose kids to that way.
MH: In this day and age it’s finding the fine line between technology, the amount of work they do on the farm and letting them be kids.
Farms.com: What’s a misconception people have about motherhood?
KL: That motherhood is too hard, or it might not be worth all the work. Being a mom is 100 percent worth it.
MH: That everything is sunshine and rainbows every day, because it is not. Whether people want to show you or not, or tell you or not, everyone struggles sometimes and that’s okay.
Farms.com: What’s your mom’s name? What are some special memories you have with her?
KL: My mom’s name is Lynette and I grew up on a dairy farm as well. Her and my dad, Randy, did a lot of milking together. One of my favorite memories was sometimes if they liked a song that came on the radio, they slow danced in the middle of the barn floor. We were mortified as teenagers but now we think it’s pretty great.
MH: My mom’s name is Joan. I have a really special bond with my mom because she didn’t have to be my mom. I’m adopted and she chose to be my mom and I think about that with everything we’ve been through.
Farms.com: What’s one lesson you learned from your mom you try to teach your kids?
KL: My mom is really good about giving a lot of grace and giving someone the benefit of the doubt because we might not know what they’re going through. That’s something I try to instill in my kids as well.
MH: My mom was born in the 1940s and she instilled in me that it’s manners above everything. I try to teach my kids that we can be in today’s society and still remember our manners.
Farms.com: How has motherhood changed you?
KL: I’ve become a better version of myself. Motherhood has showed me what it’s like putting someone else’s needs ahead of my own even more than marriage did. I’ve become better at time management and organization. I honestly can’t believe I thought I was busy before kids.
MH: I think about my kids now before I do anything. If we’re going to diversify the farm it’s always ‘how is this going to affect what the kids want to do off the farm?’ If the kids want a new show calf for 4-H it’s not about if we can afford it, it’s about if the kids can handle it.
Melissa, Paul, Cameron and Ellie Harrop.
Melissa and Paul's eldest child, Coleman, is an active Marine currently deployed in Europe.
Farms.com: What’s one thing all moms have in common no matter where they are in the world?
KL: I think it’s just the love you have for your kids and how you’d do anything for them.
MH: The love they have for their families.
Farms.com: What’s one piece of advice you have for new moms?
KL: Let go of a lot of the expectations and comparisons. Don’t go on social media looking at someone else’s highlight reel. Comparisons can take the joy out of motherhood and that’s something I struggled with early on.
MH: Take any advice with a grain of salt. Use it when you need to but do what’s best for you and your family. And be comfortable and confident in your abilities as a mom.