I love gardening. I love my chickens and the warm egg in my pocket on a crisp fall day. I love picking tomatoes off of a dew dripping vine. I love the process of adding new and exciting animals to our homestead, hopefully soon to include a dairy cow. All in good time. We’ll see.
My brain goes 100 mph each and every day.
I love this life. But you know what I love more?
I am absolutely in love with my family.
I am absolutely nothing without them. I couldn’t do this without them and their support. I would literally have no real reason to want to be here without them. Homestead in one hand, family in the other….I’d choose family every single time.
I love the little boy giggles in the morning, when he crawls into my bed with just his cute little boy underwear on because, well, I just can’t keep clothes on him most days. That white skin, though. It sure is bright first thing in the morning.
I love the touch of my husband, when he wraps his arms around me and kisses my shoulder while I’m washing dishes. I love how boyishly playful he can still be when he expresses his love to this woman that he married over a decade ago. I love how hard working he is, how dedicated he is, how strong he is.
But there are days when I become distracted. This or that needs to be done, or my life revolves around a farm animal or project, writing a book, researching until my heart is content. And, my family goes to the wayside.
And it’s then that I remind myself of these words…don’t leave your family behind for homesteading.
You have 18 summers with your children. Only 18 summers. In my case, I only have 10 more left. Just 10 more summers left. My heart aches.
There’s no telling how long your spouse will be around. You may only have 3 more years, or maybe it’s 30. But who can tell? Though, I pray mine lives for at least 60 more years.
Take the vacation…
Take a weekend and camp at the river…
Take a day trip and enjoy quality time with your family…
There will always be animals to feed, milk, and care for. There will always be a garden that needs weeding and vegetables that need canning, bread that needs baking and a house that needs cleaning. But there will not always be a family that needs tending to.
In the homesteading world, you make connections with people locally, even family, that can tend to your farm while you’re away. People who would gladly barter for the milk they milk, the eggs they collect, and the vegetables they pick while you’re way. The farm will be fine, if you can let go of the reins a bit. It will all be ok.
And if you can’t financially make it happen, then the amount of quality time you spend with your family is equally as important, even if it’s right in your own home. Play the game. Tell the jokes. Roast the marshmallows.
As homesteaders, we believe in a better quality of life. We believe in living a natural lifestyle. That doesn’t mean we believe in leaving our family behind while we go and live it.
Love your babies. Love your husband. Make them feel special. Because you have a limited amount of time with your family. Make the pancakes your kids want in the morning. Stretch your time a bit and play that card game they’ve been begging you to play. Instead of rushing out to do chores, sit a little longer with your husband who’s just come in from a long day of work. And when he says, “let’s get away”, smile and say, without hesitation “ok”.
And we did…we went right down to that river right behind our house. And we loved being a family…
Don’t leave your family behind for homesteading. Because your family needs you more than anything else in the world. You, mama. Just you.