A Mother First

On any given morning, in Alvaton Ky., you can count on two things: the sun to rise and Emily Rock to be milking her cows with her son close by. Every morning without fail, the Rock family gets up, gets dressed and heads outside to the cow pasture to start their day. With a herd of five jersey cows that each produce about three gallons a day they have to be milked day and night. Along with the cows, the Rock family feeds and tends to chickens, geese, sheep, pigs and bottle calves.

However, what would seem like chores to many is a passion for Emily Rock.

The Rock family walk their cows, Dixie and Dottie, back to their pasture after milking. No matter the weather, these jerseys have to be milked morning and night. “I truly enjoy it, it’s not chore to me it’s a passion,” Emily said.

Although Emily considers her first job to be a mom, there are many other things that have to be done as well. All of the animals on Royalty Rock Farm have to be fed and taken care of, not just the milk cows.

Emily runs Royalty Rock Farm with her husband Kelce and their two sons Ridge and Michael. Although she does not have a traditional job, she considers being a mother her “first job in life.” Ridge (2), her biological son and Michael (8), her step-son, make that possible.

Ridge Rock, 2, is always close to his mother. Whether it’s in the kitchen or on the farm, he never stays to far from her. "Ridge is like our shadow. Wherever we are, he is," Emily said.

"I've never really had to think about my husband supporting me because he's always been there with me throughout. It's not even been a thought that, 'oh man, I wish he was here to help,'" Emily said.
Before Ridge could walk, Emily or Kelce would pull him around the farm in a wagon and now that he can walk he follows their every footstep. Now that the wagon gets less use, other residents of the farm have decided to visit and sometimes leave presents. “The chickens lay all over the yard, so we find the eggs in random places sometimes,” Kelce said.

"I would love to do this for the rest of my life"
-Emily Rock

“Ridge was a miracle baby,” said Emily. After being diagnosed with endometriosis in the fall of 2019 and struggling with fertility issues, Ridge was not even on the radar. Emily had been on a birth control shot for a couple of years to battle the symptoms of endometriosis. She stopped the medication when she married Kelce in 2021, causing all of her symptoms to come back. She scheduled surgery to remove some of the affected tissue, and when she went in to get the procedure done, she found out she was pregnant. Nine months later, Ridge Callahan Rock made his debut as the newest member of the Rock family.

No matter when or where, Ridge comes first. Even if the Rock family is at an expo with their animals, Emily always makes sure he is taken care of. Just because there is not a changing table, doesn’t mean she can’t change her sons diaper even if it is on the ground next to a cow.

Michael helps out with the animals when he can and enjoys being with his family. "Although Michael isn't my biological kid, I still treat him as if he was my own," Emily said.

Ridge is not ashamed to express to people what he likes and doesn’t like. Although he cannot speak, he is very vocal and makes sure his parents know when he is upset.

Emily considers herself a homemaker. One of the struggles for her being home all the time is the limited interactions she has with other adults. This desire for interaction is one of the reasons for her starting the Farm School, using her passion to lead a program to teach kids where their food comes from. It is even more important to her that her kids learn these things too.

“Making sure my children grow up learning where their food comes from and learning hard work is my biggest priority,” Emily said.

Emily holds ‘Farm School’ over the summer months for kids to come and learn about where their food comes from and how to do things on a farm. " Some of these kids may have never seen a cow before so its important they make that connection," Emily said.
“Some groups are more engaged than others, and those groups make it really fun,” Emily said. Emily does her best to corral the kids and gives them instructions with the help of their parents. Since these kids are more engaged, it does make them harder to control when they get excited.

"I want to teach connection and give the opportunity for kids to just roam around. And if they learn something while they're here, that's even better."
-Emily Rock

Emily never thought she would be a homemaker in the traditional sense since she did not think she could have kids for a long time. "Being a homemaker is my title. And I'm happy to say that because in today's world, people are very judgmental. If you say I'm a stay at home mom, they're like, 'when are you going back to work?' I never really had a job to begin with, so there's no going back to work for me," Emily said.

On Labor Day 2023, Emily found out she was pregnant again with the Rock’s second child. Eight weeks later, Emily had her first checkup, where she learned the baby did not have a heartbeat. She tried to give her body time to miscarriage on its own, but ultimately chose to have surgery instead. The surgery went well, and the Rocks went home.

“We had a checkup a week later and my doctor was like, ‘I would wait two or three months and then you can try again if you’re comfortable with it,’” Emily said.

That is exactly what they did. On December 31st Emily found out she was pregnant again. Now, she goes to the doctor every week to get a check-up and make sure nothing is wrong with her or the baby. The new baby is due on Labor Day 2024, the same day she found out she was pregnant with the baby she miscarried.

For only being two years old, Ridge understands a lot of what goes on around the farm. He knows when its time to milk and what to do with the animals. As much as two year old can do that is.

The Rock family is growing. With two sons and another child on the way, Emily Rock will have more than her fair share of kids to keep up with.

“I’m glad this is my job our plan is to have as many kids as we can. So if that’s three, if it’s seven, we’ll see where it goes, and, you know, thinking about the future, once they’re all done with homeschooling, what am I going to do? I think that’s where the door will open,” Emily Rock said.

No matter how hectic her day is, Emily always finds time to spend with Ridge.

"My goal in life is to be successful and be as great a homemaker and mom that I can be."
-Emily Rock

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