Homesteading wont always be sunshine and rainbows. In fact most of it is hard work some of it pretty unpleasant. Personally flooded, poop soupy stalls come to mind, or culling a beloved sick goat.
I ran across this quote while browsing Pinterest today. You really can’t tell someone what the toughest part of homesteading will be, because it will be different for everyone. Some might have no trouble at all when it comes time to send those escape artist pigs to the butcher, even if you gave them daily belly rubs, while others really struggle with that aspect.
What you might think is the toughest aspect of this lifestyle in the moment might change as life goes on too.
Lately though for me the toughest part is feeling the need to be in 10000 places at once doing 10000x at once while feeling the need to be and focus on just one thing.
For me that one thing this past weekend was the need to be with family 4hours away, without feeling the pull of 10000x responsibilities unfinished projects back home on the farm and other family obligations 4hrs in the opposite direction. I guess the same could be said for any demanding job.
I come from an area in Ontario which has the highest cancer rates. Too often that earth shaking diagnosis hits close to home and you have to watch neighbours and family friends fight the toughest battles. Where I come from its not unheard of that this disease touches the same family way more times than it should. This year two members of my extended family were diagnosed, one being my Papa.
It’s hard when you cant just make that 4 hour trip to family on a whim. Usually homesteading means driving there and back for a short visit in one day.
It’s even tougher when it’s time to leave after such a short time. Your brain is telling your feet to hop in the truck but your heart is pulling you from your core back towards your grandparents house. Now having been through it, I can only grasp the edge of how my husband must have felt leaving his parents home every weekend when his dad was diagnosed.
It can be extremely tough when you just cant find that break to do what your core self is screaming at you that you need to do. While somehow not feeling guilty that the farm or other people also needed you. Or even time to process any of the emotions that come with any of the above.
More often than not most wont understand that as a homesteader getting away is tough. Yes we are super awesome at multi tasking and DYI but our superpowers end there, we have yet to find a way to be in two places at once. Animals need to be fed, and put away safe from predators at night and in the winter if you are like us someone needs to be there to keep the house heated. Some don’t understand that you need to take those opportunities as they fall to leave the farm and do what you core is telling you, you need to do. After-all those opportunities they are very rare and not everyone has all the time in the world. Sometimes people will surprise you because even those who have been through it and you expect to understand it somehow just don’t.
What makes it easier is having someone who can stay back at the farm so you don’t have to worry while you are away, you don’t have to rush to make sure chores are done before dark, and who make sure you have a warm hug waiting for you when you walk through the door after a long emotionally heavy day.
These are the people we as homesteaders need in our lives. The strong, dependable, sensitive and understanding, so find another homesteader at heart because usually they posses these qualities. Homesteading and life in general is not always sunshine and rainbows and sometimes you just need to have been through it to understand it and we all need someone who understands.