3 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Homesteader
When I first left my “normal” day job to pursue the simple life, I had to think about all the major reasons why it was a good choice for me and my family.
I knew I preferred to be home with my kids. Check!I also knew I wanted to raise them to understand what a self-sustaining lifestyle is like. Check!In addition, I wanted to challenge my husband and I to learn and do all the great things we had been learning about when it came to using the land to live. Check!
The simple life was most definitely the route we wanted to go. However, wanting a new lifestyle and actually going for it requires some real consideration. We needed to ask ourselves some tough questions. Three questions in particular stood out for me.
These three major questions should be asked before becoming a homesteader.
1) Do you enjoy gardening? Have you ever gardened before?
2) Are you able to give up first world materials such as cable tv and time spent on your phone in order to have more time for homesteading chores?
3) Are you okay with animals, bugs and dirt taking over your home, your clothes, and what feels like your life?
If you were honest with yourself and answered no to any of these questions, you need to seriously consider homesteading becoming your new lifestyle. Oddly enough though, I answered no to all three!
When I was a kid, my parents had a garden. I helped out planting and harvesting, but I had no idea what it entailed to actually be successful, feeding every member of our family. After thinking long and hard about what I experienced as a child, I decided that I wanted that for my own kids. I wanted them to have those same types of learning, growing experiences. The big step I needed to take was learning how to garden correctly so that I could be the one to teach them. I took a chance, following my gut feelings about it. I would BECOME a gardener in order to give homesteading a try.
Gardening was one thing, but reducing my time spent on any one of my mobile devices seemed like a stretch. My husband told me over and over again that once we became homesteaders, our spare time we need to be spent doing productive chores, not socializing on the internet. Since my job, at the time, was freelance marketing, I explained to him that I would NEED to spend my time on social networks.
Boy was I wrong! Well, I did spend time on social networks when we first moved to our homestead. I was pregnant and still working. There was not much I could do on the homestead. Once I decided to dedicate all of my time to our homestead lifestyle and this personal blog/website, the amount of time I spent online slimmed down quite a bit. Thank goodness too. The time I do spend online is extremely productive, fun, engaging and relaxing for me. It’s my outlet if only for a few minutes a day.
I will admit that my most frustrating challenge to overcome when becoming a homesteader was dealing with bugs and dirt. When we discussed starting our homestead, having animals was a necessity. We knew we wanted to raise chickens and ducks and other fowl. We would eventually try raising rabbits and possibly a goat or two. Cats, dogs, fish and other small indoor animals would fill our new home with love as well. What we left out of that equation was how much we would be dealing with bugs and dirt. Two things I hate the most!
I am so so so glad we moved into a log cabin. The cleaning is extremely easy. Hard wood floors can get beat up pretty easily, but they are also easy to restore. It’s inevitable that I will have to sweep or vacuum at least once a day, but I am starting to not mind at all. If that is what it takes to keep my pets, then so be it.
Once again, if you answered no to those three important questions I listed, just be honest with yourself if you think you will grow to deal with the changes, or if you seriously need to reconsider your thoughts about becoming a homesteader. I am sincerely glad I took the leap of faith that my heart told me to take. I have faced many challenges, but the amount of life experiences I have learned from and my family has learned from is absolutely priceless.