…WAIT, WHICH ONE?
I thought I would start off 2017 with a big ‘ol dose of brutal honesty.
There have been days, and not just a couple, where I have desperately wanted to quit homesteading. To pack up the Suburban with all my shoes, my husband, and kids of course, drive to the nearest hotel and make a home.
Many a time I have looked out my windows without feeling an ounce of excitement, but rather, resentment and anger. Seeing this place as something that has robbed me of my time, my money, my sanity, and my husband.
In fact, sometimes I hate it.
Homesteading is a hard life to try and live. The chores always have to be done. The weather is barely ever ideal. The dirtiness, the watery, sludgy mud that gets dragged into my kitchen approximately 6.8 times a day. The money. Ya’ll, it takes tons of money to feed animals, maintain roads, build fences (over and over and over again), fund my iced coffee addiction because sometimes that’s the only thing that keeps me going.
It’s a life that isn’t for the faint of heart.
When we first started homesteading 6 1/2 years ago, I had this romantic notion that our lives would become simpler, calmer, and well, easier. That we would wake every morning to the sounds of cute little birds chirping, while a silent breeze makes its way through my windows. That we would suddenly have copious amounts of time to do some front porch sittin’. And that the dishes would finally wash themselves.
Looking back now, its been anything BUT those. Okay, I know the dishes will never wash themselves.
Many days I’ve dreamt of what our life would be like living in (gasp) town.
There I said it. Yep, there are times that this place has drove me insane enough that I WISH we could just move to town.
Like the time when Harry & Lloyd (the calves) broke through the electric fence again. The temperature was -0°, so I had to get all suited up in my Cahartts, all the while wanting to vomit all over the place because I had the flu. But, I had to chase them back because, well my hard earned dollars were running down the lane.
Or the time when I had to re-plant my cucumbers not once, but twice because of pesky little bugs and my 2 year complained all the time because Mommy didn’t have any pickles.
Sorry honey, Mommy is a big failure and doesn’t have the time to individually pick off the bugs by hand because I don’t want to spray the plants because I don’t want us all to grow a third eye from the chemicals. Okay, I’m sorry! No pickles!
Or when 80 mile an hour winds and a thunderstorm on Christmas (which, like never happens in Nebraska, by the way) tears apart your goat shed that you spent a very stressful and freezing cold evening building with your husband, throws it over a 5′ tall fence and drops it in pieces in the pasture. All of your dripping snot and swear words from your husband suddenly aren’t worth it.
Well, that was a waste.
Okay, I’m leaving this place.
Or when two baby calves are sick, and you’ve tried EVERYTHING, and they have ZERO will to live and you are sitting there just yelling at them like WHY DON’T YOU WAN TO LIVE. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. And then they die. And your heart breaks again, for the 400th time.
Perhaps the hardest time for me was when my second baby was born.
The next 8 months were spent threatening a For Sale sign at the end of our drive. Every. single. day. I had a new baby, a two year old, and my own dog grooming business to tend to daily. My husband worked in town, and there was always a project that needed to be accomplished on the homestead. I would tell him, “Just think! If we lived in town, there would be no chores, no heartache, the easy life! We can have a green lawn, and go golfing on Saturdays. And do what other people do.” Whatever that means.
So what’s made me stay, you ask?
I don’t know. Stubbornness, more than likely.
But, honestly, lots of pride.
Moral of the story? Everything comes in seasons. The baby learned to walk and defend himself against the two year old. I was finally able to make homemade bread in the kitchen again, without worrying about the two year old smothering the baby. Life got easier as the season I was in changed.
It’s true, any homesteading Momma or Papa will tell you there are hard days. Very hard days. But there are good days too, and GREAT things that come from the lifestyle we are living. My children will get to grow up on a farm, with animals and freedom. They will get to learn how to work and love and lose. I’ve become a MUCH stronger person because of everything we’ve endured. I’ve learned how to go without, and how to learn to love things and situations that I never would have given a second glance.
I’ve grown to appreciate where my food really comes from, the sacrifice it takes to raise our animals, the importance of not wasting.
I’ve learned how to love the flaws of a 100 year old farmhouse.
I’ve come to appreciate the work that’s necessary to make a farm function.
I’ve realized how good a day of rest can feel after having to bust your booty for six days straight.
I’ve realized when I need to pick myself up and try again and when to throw myself at the feet of the Most High and Holy God.
Because God gave me this wonderful gift of a Homestead. And he never promised this life would be easy. Even people who live in town, don’t have an easy life.
So, I’m trying to embrace the hardness of life and truly savor the sweetness of it.
And, to lighten up a bit. Now, I just let the calves run around when they get out Which is every. single. day.
Whatever fence, don’t do your job.
Are you struggling? Failing? Wanna quit? What season are you in?
I’m here running a homestead blog and I’ve got a long list of failures behind me and many yet to come. Some of our greatest lessons learned come from our biggest failures, though. So, for that, I’m thankful.
Comment and tell me your struggles. Your lessons learned. What do you want out of 2017?
There you have it folks. My heart, in 1,131 words.
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