What if We Stop?

A cow on our farm had twins today, and it’s rare for a cow to birth healthy twins. This wasn’t any cow, really, but a cow that for years has graced this place with show ribbons, trophies, countless calves, and a soft spot in my farmer- husband’s heart. Her name is Diamond, and she has been the most constant and faithful piece of this farm for the last 15 years. 

She had twins today, and she did really well. Like a veteran champion mama, she did everything she was supposed to, and she owned that moment. 

The reality is that once in a while, a cow will give birth to a calf and then the farmer will have to intervene to help the calf suck, stand up on its own, and then sometimes against all interventions, that calf won’t make it because the mom, from my viewpoint, panics. She disowns the calf, and won’t allow it to suck or to find the nourishment that it needs. 

However, Diamond, did fantastic. She gave birth, she got up, she did her thing, they nursed and she continued on. I get emotional every time I see this aspect of nature run it’s course. So many times on the farm, we see various mama animals give birth and do what nature has called them to do. They do so without pause or thought. They walk into motherhood with a can do mentality and an independent thought process. In fact, a farmer will often times do everything they can to avoid interaction with a new animal so that the proper bonding between mother and babe can take place. 

They walk away, they give her space, they let her make the decisions she needs to make, and they allow her the independence of knowing how to mother. 

And I guess my point is, as I watched Diamond do her thing, I thought, “she doesn’t care.” She doesn’t care what the mother before her, beside her or after her does. She does what she has been called to do and she does it so well. She doesn’t take pause to account for all the ways she isn’t doing it right, all the things she could be doing or all the things she should care about that take root in the form of comparison. 

She just did it. And I thought, what if we stopped?

What if we stopped comparing?

What if we stopped striving?

What if we stopped competing?

What if we stopped overthinking?

What if we stopped trying to out-do and out-be? 

What if we stopped? 

What if we did whatever we are called to do because we felt called to do it and not because we felt like we were supposed to because we are watching the mom next to us do it? 

When we stop comparing ourselves to the mom next to us, we allow and open the opportunity for true friendships to form. 

I know, sitting there and reading this, you can think of the friend, sister, or colleague that you have missed out on a friendship with because the competition is just too intense. 

You lost out on the joy of their companionship and encouragement because they do things differently than you. You lost out on the constant that us moms can be for each other because she feeds her kids something different than you feed yours. She has a different routine. She allows screen time. She spends money. She doesn’t spend money. She works outside the home. She works inside the home. 

You see how tiring all this sounds? There is no end. One comparison just leads to another, and the reality is…

The only one you are comparing yourself to, is the mom you worry that you aren’t. 

It’s all so much, and I just wonder what would happen if we just didn’t do it anymore. We didn’t compare anymore, and we didn’t worry anymore about the runner next to us in the race that raising children can be. We bend over, untie the shoe laces, walk away from the race track, sit down on the bench, and welcome the woman next to you to sit down as well. We look at her and say, “It’s really not that big of a deal. I am going to cheer you on.”

 It doesn’t matter if the woman next to you feeds their kids kale, and you feed yours French fries. It doesn’t matter if the woman next to you has cut out all dyes, and you let yours pop skittles after lunch. Your kids may eat in the car, and the woman beside you doesn’t even allow water in the minivan. 

The topics separating friendships, community groups, and churches are really, genuinely, small trivial, not eternity affecting issues. The devil is in the details, and those details are keeping mothers as enemies, not allies. 

Let the mom next to you do whatever she needs to do, and stop. Stop caring. Do what you feel called to do, and mother how you feel called to mother. 

You. Are. Good. Enough. 

We can stop it. We can walk away from that track and cheer on the mom running her own race. We send the text saying “You are doing a good job and I am here for you” when the kids are struggling with something that yours don’t and the mom is walking a road you may never step foot on. 

Own your own journey, and believe that if we really stop, then the friendships around us know no limits. 

Your biggest supporter, friend, encourager and sister is the friend running right next to you. She is the one who will encourage you when the two year old is screaming over everything and nothing. She is the one who will support you when the load is too heavy to carry on your own. She is the one who will meet you at your end and help make up some of the difference. She is the one who will love your kids so well they will start calling her aunt. 

We can learn from each other, we can glean from the mama next to us, and we, together, can help raise this next generation. 

This article was written by Neely Richer. Follow her on Instagram @richer_farmwife.

1 comment

So well said!!! Thank you for sharing :)

Juliana Gaines August 28, 2023

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