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HERd Management: When it comes to dairywomen’s struggles, He knows

Melissa Hart for Progressive Dairyman Published on 18 January 2017

He knows your heart, your mind and your struggle. He knows what you need and when you need it. He has walked this earth and dealt with every emotion known to man and, because of that, He knows.

Have you ever scrolled through social media and read someone’s post – only to discover you felt the same way? Have you ever had a conversation with a group of like-minded women – and realized they knew exactly what you were talking about?

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Have you ever felt like you were the only person alive who struggled with a particular circumstance – and felt relief when you found someone else, who you respect, struggles with the same thing?
Me too.

As a dairy farmer’s wife, the emotional roller coaster seems to dip and dive more than anything I’ve ever experienced. The work. The bills. The milk price. It’s a crazy up-and-down and twist-and-turn kind of life when you live with the unpredictability of living creatures and uncontrolled markets.

It’s like you’re at the mercy of your passion or a victim of your love of the farm.

Milk prices have seen better days, and we know they will bounce back, but until they do, we spend our time trying to cut costs, soothe our worry and turn away angry wrath with a kind word. Few people know the anguish that creeps into your soul as you look at the realities of your struggle. But I do.

I know the feeling of waking up each morning and being reminded of the bills that still need to be paid. I know the smack of a cold wind that hits your face as you trek out to the barn to find another sick calf. I know the emotional toll of watching your husband deliver a dead calf out of his favorite cow. I know.

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Do you ever look at those beautiful homes on Facebook filled with a cooperative family who loves being together – and wonder what it’s like? You would like to have a family gathering that’s uninterrupted by a 4 p.m. milking time.

You would like to be able to leave for a day without a call from home that something is wrong. You would like to spend time getting your nails done, shopping and eating lunch with a girlfriend at a cool little lunch spot, but you have to get it all done within the confines of chore time and children’s needs.

Your hair is thinning, your hands are dry and cracked, and the last time you bought new socks was three years ago. I know.

Your house smells like the barn, your wood floor is tracked up with a combination of salt and sand, and the kitchen table resembles the parts counter at the local tractor dealership. I know.

As good as it feels to have someone empathize with you, it’s even better to have someone on your side who knows every single thing about your circumstance and can relate to who you are and what you’re going through. He knows.

He knows your heart, your mind and your struggle. He knows what you need and when you need it. He has walked this earth and dealt with every emotion known to man and, because of that, He knows.

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He knows the passion that is in your heart for farming – because He put it there. He knows the love you have for your husband and the success you want for him. He knows you need a reassuring, loving touch from your husband’s thick hands. He also knows your husband needs your resounding respect instead of your constant questions.

When you’re in the midst of hard days, cold nights and hopeless thoughts, remember you are not alone. You are a valuable piece of the puzzle, and your hard work is not unnoticed. He notices.

He sees the extra care you give the calves in that endless row of calf hutches. He sees the extra squeeze you gave your daughter as she walked out the door for school, and He loves the grin on your face when you discover your toddler is turning the pages of a book in the middle of a room full of toys.

When you’re drowning in a sea of hopelessness, and your last speck of patience is gone, you’re only a whisper away from the One who created you, from the Rock you can cling to. He is where you will find your hope. He is where you will find your strength. And when you reach out, He will hold you tight with a hug that says, “I know.”   end mark

Melissa Hart
  • Melissa Hart

  • Dairy Producer
  • North Adams, Michigan

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