Most of my blog’s have explained how Farming is a tough way to make a living. You might wonder why, with all the other options Rachel & I have, we choose to stubbornly hang on to a lifestyle and business that requires working 16 hour days, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for a return that is often less than minimum wage!!
One big reason is that I have Tinky & H Boss and I can’t imagine cheating them out of the experience of growing up on a farm!
This week Harvey was sent home from school as he had been sick, luckily for us it was a false alarm, luckily for H he had to be out of school for 48 hours!!! H is autistic, one of his favourite things is sitting on a tractor, and so for 24 of the 48 hours that is what he has done!! His sister was dragged to school kicking and screaming she said “it was not fair that H got to farm while she had to go to school” (I remember feeling like that every day).
This got me thinking of how lucky the kids are to grow up on a farm.
For me it was my freedom and being able to do ‘boy’ things at a young age…..drive (7 years)……shoot guns (8 years)…..There were things that I disliked …
- Getting up early
- Working for pocket money.
I asked Tinky what she thought about being a farm kid, what was cool and what was unfair
+ Riding my quad, pony, bike, scooter, flicker and baby animals!
– Getting up early, jobs even if tired cold wet, dad always working
For H his actions speak louder than words, he never has a melt down on a tractor!
One thing that we have discovered on our more recent journey of selling our produce to the public, by inviting people to the farm to see our home, they always comment on how lucky Tinky & H Boss are to live on a farm.
Here are ‘Google’s’ 7 reasons why growing up on farm is the best way to grow up, I have then applied it to my kids…
- Farm kids are connected to nature
Very true both my kids understand that meat, veg and milk don’t come from Tesco’s!
- Farm kids learn responsibility and a strong work ethic
Tinky understands that feeding her animals is a must not an option before play time. Whether blowing a hoolie, lashing with rain or snow, the sheep must be brought in and fed at lambing time. Sick is not an option, usually A&E for me to take it seriously, unless for school!
- Farm kids have a grasp of “the birds and the bees” before the awkward conversation
So many funny stories, Tinky would probably educate the average adult about reproduction, but my favourite memory is she when she was 3 she was sat on Grumpo’s knee, Aunty Marlon was pregnant, she whispered to her Granddad ‘Do you think Aunty Marlon knows that the baby will come out of her fufu!!’ she was generally concerned that this may come a shock!!
I don’t think I need to explain some of the risks of sex to TInky!!
- Farm kids know how to improvise
H Boss’s turn now! He had lost the tow pin for his tractor so he went into the kitchen came back with a wooden spoon, this slotted perfectly to attach his trailer!!
I also bust them sharing driving the gator, one was steering and the other on the pedals!!
Then there is the tractor, it wont start if you are not above a certain weight, H plus Ace the dog is perfect!!!
- Farm kids learn to be entrepreneurs
We told Tinky last Christmas if she didn’t behave she would be getting a bag of coal, she shrugged her shoulders ‘dad says coal costs lots of pennies so I will sell it to him them by myself a treat’ it took all my power not to high 5 her and explain that was not what mummy meant by threatening coal!
- Farm kids understand life and death
This is something that you can’t shelter your kids from on a farm. Both my 2 help make sausages and understand where their food comes from.
Harvey brought me a dead chick a few days ago ‘Oh de da da hen gone!!’ this was a big sentence from the chubby man.
Tinky came across a dead lamb at about 2 1/2 and nudged it with her foot, ‘bu****ed’, which was a word often used by Granddad Billy!!!
They see both ends of life growing up on a farm which has helped them cope with losing family this last 18 months.
- Farm kids understand that mammals nurse their young
At Ballakelly we understand that ‘boobie juice’ is best, if daddy has to get the bottle this is not a good sign, although Tinky does like feeding her babies!
H Boss does not really do animals but he did do boobie juice and still loves boobs!
I could go on for ages why it is great to grow up on a farm, please can share your memories of being a farm kid in the comments!
In a world where children are pushed to go from one event to the next and must keep up with responsibilities that would make an adultexhausted, maybe it is time that we took a step back and considered the benefits of raising children slowly and in a manner that used to be more common. That is, raising them on the farm as farm kids.