When it comes to being a rodeo queen mom no one has done more or worked more years than Barb Carr, the current Miss Rodeo Oregon Pageant Inc. president and mother of 2011 Miss Rodeo Oregon and 2012 Miss Rodeo America Mackenzie Carr Ivie. Check out her thoughts about what it’s like to be the “Ultimate Rodeo Queen Mom!”
In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m proud to be able to share my thoughts on being a Mom of a rodeo representative. Over the years I’ve gained a great deal of perspective on the ins and outs of rodeo representation from many different angles; from being a title holder, a pageant judge, a clinician, a pageant contestant chaperone, and of course a Mom of a rodeo representative. By far, being a Mom has brought me the greatest moments and rewards.
As a Mom it is our responsibility to help guide our daughters along the path while at the same time letting them experience their independence. This at times can be challenging for us and a difficult balance to maintain. For me personally, there are a few areas that I feel very strongly about and so I chose to include those in my article.
Let Them Make Mistakes. Moms are great for helping with pageant preparation but you can’t do it for them. Encouraging your daughter to be responsible for her own preparation will increase her ability to stand on her own two feet and be able to think, adjust, and react to issues and questions that come before her. She will make mistakes but that’s how we all learn. You have to allow her to make mistakes and when she does be supportive and encouraging. My daughter Mackenzie Carr Ivie and I had a saying that we used often while she was competing. “Flush It!” This comment was used when something didn’t go well during her pageants. The bobble or mistake is flushed; it’s gone and over with and it’s time to focus on the next aspect of pageant. Our daughters should never be discouraged for trying and not being successful. Disappointed yes, but never discouraged. Every time they try something and aren’t successful, knowledge and experience have been gained and will go a long way in helping to be better prepared the next time.
Always Accept Defeat with Class and Grace. I’ve sadly seen in all levels of pageants, a contestant (and Moms too) that doesn’t win bashing the organization she just tried to represent. Character is shown when a contestant is respectful of an organization and the judges’ opinions, even if they may not agree. Never should there be finger pointing and faulting others. As a judge, I’ve had great on-on-one conversations with young ladies following a pageant. When an unsuccessful contestant contacts the pageant director to ask to talk with judges about ways she can improve and seek some advice, she is showing maturity, character, and the qualities of someone with class. Taking this road instead of taking the “sour grapes” approach is by far the better choice. Encourage your daughter to do this and to be open to constructive criticism. Be sure to give it at least a week or so following the pageant to allow emotions to relax; it will make for a better conversation!
Be Gracious ALWAYS! Every single time someone does something for your daughter, whether it’s a donation of money, an auction item, or simply a donation of someone’s time in their support, a thank you note needs to be sent. And I don’t mean a casual thank you in person, or a text message. In this case the old fashioned way is best. Encourage your daughter to take the time to sit down and write a quick note of thanks and appreciation. It’s important, it’s kind, and it will go a long way when asking for future sponsorships from the same person.
Investment. Yes, it will cost you money. Yes, putting together a pageant wardrobe and traveling from rodeo to rodeo can get expensive. When I hear these comments this is always my response. I choose to look at it as an investment in my daughter’s future. The skills learned from the experience of competing in rodeo pageants or holding a title will follow her all of her life. She will be better prepared for job interviews; she will be able to place something on her resume that will set her apart from every other applicant; she will learn how to talk to people; she will learn the importance of holding herself high with
confidence, class, and grace; and she will know the importance of working hard. She WILL become a better individual. These values are priceless and I’m proud to have given my daughter the ability to gain them. Is it worth every tank of diesel and rhinestone I ever purchased – ABSOLUTELY!