You’ve heard the saying “motherhood isn’t for the faint of heart.” Whomever coined that little nugget was probably thinking of a farm mother. Yes, of course, all mothers are amazing, incredible, life-giving and personality-shaping wonders, but we’re kind of partial to the idea that farm moms have a little something extra going on.
In honor of Mother’s Day, we sat down with one of our very own farm moms to hear first hand just what it takes, and what it means, to be a mom balancing her family, her career and a key role in agriculture.
Megan McKay and her husband Brad operate McKay Seed Sales, a Peterson Farms Seed dealership outside of Page, ND and here’s what she had to say about mom life, farm life and how she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family
A: My husband Brad, son Carter (3), daughter Taylor (1) and our cat Smokey live on a farm in North Eastern Barnes County. I work in Valley City (30 miles) for a private practice as a Physical Therapist Assistant in the nursing home. I truly enjoy this part of my many jobs as I get to talk to many old farmers (that give lots of advice). In the spring and fall I am fortunate enough that my boss sees the importance of a family run farm and allows me to take time off to run the seed business as my husband is putting our crop in; then in the fall I run the combine, grain cart, or trucks as needed in the fall.
Q: What does being a farm mom mean to you?
A: Being a farm mom means long days, long nights and lots and lots of extra snuggles for me! When dad is out in the field working I get to come back and get a few extra snuggles from the kiddos. It means raising strong, confident, smart kids that will someday be in charge of this farm. And, during harvest, it means late nights and long days away from my littles only to come home to clean kids that are ready for bed! (Thanks grandma!)
Q: What has been your favorite part of raising children on a farm?
A: I feel so lucky to raise our children in agriculture because they get to learn a great sense of worth and hard work, even though they’re still really young. It also gives my husband and I a chance to spend many of our days with our kids and enjoy time together when things aren’t so busy.
Q: You are an integral part of your family’s seed business – how do you juggle that work with all that being a mom entails?
A: It’s very hard to give up time with my kids but all of our customers understand that we have a family business so if I am delivering seed to them and one or both of our kids are along for the ride, they stop talking to me and play with my kids!
For us it’s also realizing life is about balance. Sometimes there are dirty clothes and dirty floors but we all understand that jeans don’t have to be put away to be clean! With the Peterson Farms Seed family to help out in more ways than one, I’m able to get some extra time to fulfill my mom duties knowing that they are there to help in any way. That sets my mind at ease.
Q: What would your perfect Mother’s Day look like?
A: My perfect Mother’s Day would be time spent together sitting on the deck with a steak in front of me, husband at my side, my son riding his four-wheeler and my daughter roaming around in the grass or playing in her playset. But let’s be real, we’ll probably spend the day together in the tractor planting with dad or loading out seed.
We’ve always said a seed is just a promise. But it’s a big one! A promise of a future for the next generation. A promise of feeding a hungry and growing world. A promise of teaching our kids what it means to put in a hard days work and going the extra mile. We think Megan is a shining example of that promise alive and well in the work of her family and of her little sprouts, learning valuable lessons from a great role model.
Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there. With an extra special shout-out to the farm moms who we know are probably forgoing the traditional brunch in favor of a bumpy ride through a field of full of promises.