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The Cowboy Hat

Day 9: The Cowboy Hat – 6 ways to keep a watchful eye on your herd

untitled (180)Mamas tend to feel a lot like cattle herders sometimes.  When one has a passel o’ kids, you start realizing that they have a tendency to attract extra calves children.

Talk about a giant round-up.

I remember many a church visit just like that – trying to wrangle my herd to the car after services.

 

You’ve heard the old country song, “Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys.”

Guess what – your mama did.

A cowboy oversees his herd.  He keeps them together, because they belong together.

Have you ever thought to teach your herd the priority of family?

Better pull up a chair and have a sit down, partner.

We’ve got a lot to chaw on today.


 

1. Maintain care of fences

Kids need boundaries, and part of mama’s job is to make sure to set those limits.

We already touched on rules back on Day 4: The Referee Cap, so I’ll not get into that.

But I’m speaking of a different perspective.

Sometimes we need people to stay out.

 

Teach your young whippersnappers loyalty

If you are that mom we discussed at the beginning of the post who always has a bunch of extra kids hanging around all the time, I feel ya.  And it’s good to be hospitable.

But there are times when you need to remove your livestock from the rodeo.

Family time is important.

 

No other family should take priority over yours and your child needs to know that. Click To Tweet

 

My husband and I worked like a couple of cowhands on this fence.

Invariably the socialites of our herd would come home asking to spend the night at so-and-so’s sleepover or go to a birthday party, etc., etc., etc.  (When you have four kids, the invites are abundant among the lot of them.)

We said yes a lot.  But we said no a lot too.

Why?  So we could all be home together on the same night once a week.

My husband traveled constantly and we had to fight for family time.

We weren’t very popular when we said no.

But it instilled a sense of family pride and priority.

 

Our grown kids now cherish their times together (which are becoming fewer and farther between).

In 2 weeks, my posse will return to the hacienda for a nice long, weekend.

Folks, we gone’ have a hoedown – they’re excited to all be together.

YEEHAW!

That’s a sense of family.  Because that’s what we taught them.

 

2. Maintain herd health

Another reason to keep your calves close is to give them a solid foundation.

 

You only get one shot at growing your herd. Click To Tweet

 

Spiritual growth and character are important, and often times you need to pull them in for those lessons.

Make sure you’re spending quality time with your children, not mending other people’s fences.

There’s a time and a place for that, but pulling in with the family is necessary.

 

If you give your pack  lots of room to roam, just make sure others want them grazing their pastures.

Not everyone wants to watch out for your kids in addition to their own.

This isn’t the Wild West.

Be sensitive that they aren’t becoming a lot of work or a nuisance to other moms.

Keep an eye out for your calves and lasso ’em in if necessary.

Those kiddos are your responsibility.

Nobody likes herding cats.

 

3. Provide plenty of pasture

untitled (178)As children age, you give them more pasture for roaming.  It’s right healthy for ’em.

They take on more responsibility, such as chores around the house, employment outside the home, and opportunities to travel.

You begin to let them make grown up decisions (even if you don’t always agree with them).

Sometimes it’s good to let them fall off their horse a time or two – they tend to learn their lessons better that way.

 

My herd has a lot of freedom now.

The oldest is married with a husband, a youngin’, and a bun in the oven.

My two middles attend college in two different states.

Our youngest lives at home and commutes to college.

But all of them still come to me for advice.

They’ve learned that this ole cowgirl has been to the rodeo a time or two.

 

It's hard on a mama, sending them out to pasture. Best do it as they grow, a little at a time. Click To Tweet

 

Let the rope out easy.

Remember, the fastest way to move cattle is slowly.

 

4. Brand your cows

In the days of the wild west, cattle were plentiful and free, so the cowboys went out and rounded up a bunch.

Once they had them back at the OK Corral, they branded them.

Luckily, our kids come with our mark on them already.

Characteristics such as:

looks

personality

gait

mannerisms

and of course, that pesky sin nature.

Our kids pick up on our habits, as well.

Eek!

Better reign those in too.

Make sure your habits are worthy of being branded.

Them little eyes is a-watchin’ yer every move, cowboy.

Best ruminate on that a bit.

 

5. Keep your lasso handy

Once in a while, a young calf’ll get to thinkin’ he’s too big for his britches and spot a hole in the fence, or go shootin’ out the gate.

Go after ’em, cowboy.

It’s hard work, and you’ll have to have a fresh horse or two (during a round up, cowboys were known to need 4-6 horses to complete the job).

Sometimes those kids wander way out on ya.

The tween and teen years can be quite a test of your gumption.

You’ll need stamina and endurance, and a strong dose of time on your knees.

Enlist prayer partners and seek wisdom for those wild and wooly years.

And make sure you’re meeting regularly to worship with your fellow cowpokes.

 

6. Maintain a calm demeanor

untitled (179)Cows get skittish if you’re all riled up.  Same with kids – only sometimes they feed off it.

The calmer you are, the calmer they’ll be – that’s just how it goes.

Practice an attitude of quiet confidence.

You’ll earn their trust, and they’ll be more teachable.

I know some days you feel like you’ve been rode hard and put away wet.

But sometimes, being silent may be your best answer.

And never kick a cow patty on a hot day.


 

Keep a watchful eye on your herd.  Give them priority, teach them family loyalty, good habits, give them room to grow but lasso them in when necessary, and keep your cool.

Don’t worry, mama.  You make them your priority, and your herd will come back home on the range.

Sure as shootin’.

 

Click here for Day 10: The Night Cap!

14 Comments

  • Reply
    Anita Ojeda
    October 9, 2015 at 10:12 am

    You’re hilarious! And totally on target–why, you hit the bull’s eye with each piece of advice!

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      October 9, 2015 at 2:26 pm

      Anita, you’re good for my soul! I’m so glad it’s making sense! Thank you for sharing, friend.

  • Reply
    hopeful50
    October 9, 2015 at 10:16 am

    So ironic you post this today. Here in our holler, the locals are moving their cows for winter. Trucks pulling long cattle loaders are going up and down our dirt road. They’re herding them and moving them to keep them safe and fed and together for the coming season. Hmmm. They don’t wait for the snow to fly to do this, they prepare and do it IN PREPARATION for those snowy days. xo Good writin’ cowgirl.

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      October 9, 2015 at 2:27 pm

      ACK! I needed that valuable tidbit of information! (Maybe I’ll stick it in when the book goes live;)
      Thanks, Mimi! YeeHaw!

  • Reply
    Tara
    October 9, 2015 at 1:08 pm

    What a great post! Thank you fir being a great example for other moms.

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      October 9, 2015 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks, Tara – you could have probably offered some valuable insight into this post what with all your farm knowledge! 🙂

  • Reply
    Elizabeth Meyers
    October 9, 2015 at 4:55 pm

    What a fun and memorable analogy! You are sure as shootin’ a talented momma. Yehaw!!

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      October 9, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Well thank ya, partner! 🙂

  • Reply
    Christy
    October 9, 2015 at 5:32 pm

    Wow Ruthie! You’ve got it all great content, wit and click to tweet boxes 🙂 I give a hearty AMEN to everything you said today!

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      October 9, 2015 at 9:47 pm

      Hey I’m all about that clickable tweet box! 😉 Thanks for keeping up with me! I don’t know about you but I’m feeling a bit snowed under right about now!!!

  • Reply
    Ifeoma Samuel
    October 10, 2015 at 6:44 am

    This is so lovely. I enjoyed reading this Ruth. Very helpful tips you shared in a fun way.
    God Bless, friend.

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      October 10, 2015 at 7:20 am

      Thank you, sweet Ifeoma! Always enjoy your kind words. I hope you are doing well and writing strong! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah
    October 12, 2015 at 2:10 am

    Spot on, as usual. I am so enjoying your series!!

    • Reply
      Ruthie
      October 12, 2015 at 7:37 am

      I am so enjoying your enjoyment! 😉

    Now it's your turn!

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