Being a ranch mom is a big job that doesn’t come with a playbook or instruction manual, so it’s nice to get tips from other moms who have been there, done that, and lived to laugh about it. Plenty has been written about what moms should do. Here are a few tips about what NOT to do when raising kids in a ranch setting.
Don’t leave your husband unsupervised with the baby snacks.
He will eat the entire bag of berry-flavored yogurt melts in five minutes or less, mostly because they are delicious and require no chewing whatsoever. In his defense, he probably doesn’t even realize he’s eating them. Running completely out of baby snacks wouldn’t be a big deal if you lived around the corner from a grocery store and could buy more in five minutes, but it’s kind of a big deal when town is a two-hour trip one way.
Don’t forget to check his pockets.
I’m constantly neglecting to check my son’s jeans pockets before running them through the wash. As a result, he has the cleanest pocket knife in northern Nevada. Probably southern and central Nevada, too — maybe even into parts of Utah.
Don’t get upset about grass stains.
Green smears on the knees of their brand new jeans is only aggravating if you let it bother you. It means they’re running, jumping, sliding, and playing outside in the fresh air. Besides, your kids will outgrow the jeans in three months anyway.
For the same reasons, don’t get upset about mud stains, either. Blood stains are worth investigating, though, especially if the child wearing the bloodstained clothing does not appear to be bleeding. Might want to locate and examine his or her sibling.
Don’t freak out when your kids ride your favorite horse and do it wrong.
They will pull on the reins at the wrong time, kick at the wrong time, then pull and kick at the same time. Your horse will be confused at first, then adapt and become dull enough to tolerate your precious child as she learns to love horses. Just let ‘em do what they want as long as they’re safe.
Don’t jerk your slack when playing inside foot with a running toddler.
You will feel really bad about yourself as you scrape dirt out of your two-year-old’s nose and check his teeth to see if any were broken in the fall. I’d like to mention that none of his teeth actually were broken, and he can’t even recall the incident four years later. Mommy is no longer allowed to play inside foot, though.
Don’t be fooled when your husband picks you up to do a ranch job that he says will only take a minute.
He’s not lying; in his mind, I’m sure that checking gates/putting out salt/kicking a pair through a gate only takes a few minutes. But in reality, the task will take no less than seven hours and forty-three minutes. So make sure you pack enough diapers, snacks, water bottles, sippy cups, and patience to see you through a lengthy trip around the ranch. Don’t rule out an overnight stay, and you’ll probably be adequately prepared.