I think when you are starting to homestead or starting towards the idea of wanting to homestead we probably all have an expectation of how we want things to work ideally. I read these beautiful blogs and look at these pictures and in a way really yearn for other people's homesteads. But it's not realistic. It's not what works for my family and it's not going to help me feel good about my own situations. It's important to figure out which "elements" of homesteading work well for your family, for your situation and embrace that. Some examples:
Working:I was a SAHM for about 6 years. I loved it. I really did. But there came a point financially, personally, and an opportunity presented itself that I went back to work full time. Sometimes I do wish that I was still at home and all the kids were running around under my apron strings all day and there were no schedules to tend to. But, REALISTICALLY: I have a job I love ( I do for real, it's great) I get to work in a very professional environment with other like minded people to promote school gardens, farmer's markets, research food deserts, etc. etc. etc. etc. It's AMAZING). Our oldest goes to a fantastic small rural public school with a great teacher and she blossoms in it. Our younger two go to a babysitter 2 days a week that has a huge farm, and she only watches after my kids and she treats them like her own. She gives the real food! and they play outside most of the day exploring forts and tree houses, streams and playing with the animals. The other days they stay with my Mother in law. My husband and I both have flexibility within our jobs and we can attend school functions, doctor appointments etc.
Land:Many homesteaders have a huge, sprawling bounty of land that I could easily be jealous of. But I have to say that our 5 acres is pretty fantastic. 3 ponds, a stream, a well ( that you can actually draw water from with a steel bucket!) trees, open spaces. It's quite stellar. You have to be happy with you have people, and make it work. We know we are very blessed to live here.
School:I read homeschoolng blogs... it's kind of my secret fantasy.. I would like to homeschool, and may in the future. But as mentioned earlier my oldest goes to a great school. My younger 2 will follow when they are old enough. There may be a point in public education that I no longer feel that this is best for them, but for now it works. My husband and I are involved in the school, I read to the kids constantly, we do fun educational activities all the time, I have homeschool materials that I use with them even though they aren't technically "homeschooled". I gave up my guilt of not homeschooling a long time ago, and it makes me a better parent knowing that it's okay!
This post is becoming increasing longer so there will be a part 2 coming soon that examines: gardening, food, animals, and frugality.
What are some other things that you really want to do as a "homesteader" but just aren't quite there yet? Are you content being where you are right now?