Sometimes, homesteading takes a back seat.
It’s true. There’s a season for everything, and sometimes that season doesn’t allow us to put homesteading at the top of the list. That was us last year.
Now when I say “take a back seat”, I don’t mean starving the animals or neglecting the homestead. It still has a seat, just not up front. And that is okay.
As homesteaders, we can get caught up in everybody’s blogs, facebook posts, etc. and see what everyone else is doing and that can sometimes be depressing. The pressure is real. No one puts that pressure on us, but we do. We are downright hard on ourselves.
We read others’ goals, like all 50 of them, and we’re over here just trying to figure out when to find the time to make dinner.
So what if you didn’t can a single green bean last year because you had other pressing things to tend to. So what if things got so busy because you were dealing with unexpected important issues called life, that you didn’t even plant a garden. Or maybe you just didn’t have time to pay attention to when your goats got bred or you waited far too long to butcher the meat chickens because…you guessed it, you were called upon to do something else.
Important seasons of life come up. And they take precedence over homesteading at the moment. I know, I know, you might need a paper bag to breathe into after reading that. What in the world could be more important than homesteading? How dare I even suggest such a thing!
I’ll give you two things, and they both happened to me last year.
1. A new baby.
2. My parents.
My precious Eliana was born in March. Did I keep trucking on to tackle my homesteading goals? Nope. I wanted to fully enjoy her because I waited far too long to hold a live, warm, healthy baby in my arms. And, daggonit, I wanted to savor that! They don’t stay little chunky babies for long. And then what? Would I be proud to say that I continued on with my new goals, yet was too busy to spend a whole lot of quality time with Eliana? And then, she is no longer a baby. And then I would realize that I missed it. I held two lifeless sons in my arms before, and that changed my perspective immensely!
Not only was I gifted a precious baby, but my parents moved in with us due to my Dad’s early Alzheimers diagnosis. I am humbled that they chose us, overwhelmed at what may come, and blessed to have them be a part of our lives. We had a new room addition added on to our old farm house. Builders were walking in and out of our house(and even my bedroom, eek!), and things were pretty chaotic for a good while. Needless to say, getting in sync with my parents’ needs and just trying to stay sane when my private world was being compromised was enough to say ‘no’ to any new goals this year on the homestead!
There were times that I itched to do more on the farm, but I knew it wouldn’t be wise at the time. Sometimes my entrepreneurial brain would start to hum and whirl with ideas, but no, I had to tell myself, “Not yet, Susie, not yet.”
And sometimes I would get down on myself, thinking I should be doing more. But those were the times I had to check myself, take a look at what I had done and was doing at the moment, and know that I was doing enough. It is enough. It might not be as much as other homesteaders, but to me, it is.
I still canned, I still had a big garden(even though it was more weedy than it had been in a long time), yet I let some things go, like growing something new or having my little CSA, or growing enough to last all year.
We still raised pigs, a feeder calf, chickens and goats. So our freezer is full and we had eggs and milk in the fridge(until the chickens went on strike and our goats dried up). Our homestead still hummed along peacefully and to that I am grateful. But, it just wasn’t our top priority.
I didn’t fail my goals, I just postponed them, for good reason.
It was a season of focusing on other things. You might be there as well. Just know that I hear ya. I know how overwhelming life’s unexpected turns can be. I won’t raise my eyebrows if you tell me you didn’t plant those green beans. I won’t let out a long sigh when you tell me you didn’t pick one apple from your tree.
Because you chose to put your attention on something far more important at the time, I applaud you. You didn’t fail homesteading, you just chose what God put before you at the time. It is a season. And one day, you will be able to dive back in to homesteading with gusto.
And that is where I am now. I’m ready to dive.