H o m e s t e a d i n g.
This one word encompasses SO many hats it’s unreal. As the woman of the homestead, I can personally tell you that things will never...EVER go as planned! No matter how much careful planning you put into your day or week, no matter how organized you think you are, there will always be some turn of events that will command your attention and throw the schedule off. Don’t get me wrong...without at least a basic form of a schedule and a general knowledge of a goal you are headed towards, everything would be chaotic and fall apart.
ENLIST THE HELP OF YOUR CHILDREN IN EVERYTHING THEY CAN HELP WITH!
Especially as a woman, the work on the farm and the work inside the home would be absolutely overwhelming and brutal without the help of my sweet loving and eager little ones. They too have had to learn to adjust and roll with the punches. Yesterday, we finished the chores, got tomatoes picked and headed inside, to get out of the fast approaching summer heat of midday. As we began the indoor cleaning, our oldest daughter looked out the window to see our sow and her piglets running wild and free throughout our front yard! We had JUST gotten a separate area put together and all the piglets put into this area to ween them...but alas, it obviously didn’t work.
Failure is indeed the great teacher.
I try to teach our children that failure is a good thing. It only becomes a bad thing when you let it stop you from ever trying again or trying something new. Lots of things don’t work out on our homestead. We have to constantly go about things different ways until something works. And when it finally works...when it finally clicks...IT’S BEAUTIFUL and oh so gratifying! It’s an ever evolving process. I changed around the plans that I had for this week three times already so far. Things come up, animals escape, things break, we need more animal feed or groceries, children get sick, house needs cleaning, need to catch up on homeschooling for a day or two….the list goes on and on. And then there’s the people and things and responsibilities outside of the homestead. IT CAN GET CRAZY! But if you love the work and love having an active and productive hand in literally building and growing your food AND your family, then everything is absolutely worth it and very gratifying at the end of each day.
The one thing that doesn’t exist on this homestead is high levels of stress and anger and wishing that I could rush home from work to spend more time at home with my family. As I walk through my garden with my husband, or go brush my cow, or relax in my lawn chair while my children play happily or go hunting eggs in the chicken coop, I feel a deep rooted satisfaction with this kind of self sufficient lifestyle. This life is absolutely achievable for regular people. It’s not some pie in the sky dream. You just get started small and commit to making this life happen for you. YOU WON’T REGRET IT!
It’s dirty, it’s busy, it’s tiring, it’s mentally challenging….and I wouldn’t have it any other way.