Recently I read a fellow bloggers post explaining how to balance working full time and homesteading. This is a question I hear often also. How do you do it with work, school, sports, animals, gardening, property to upkeep, etc.?
Homesteading is a choice in this day and age and the definition has changed over the years. It used to be referred to as Pioneering (finding land, building your home, hunting, gardening, sewing, total self sufficiency). Unless you live in the remotest areas of the world, that is no longer possible. Even the remote areas are starting to lose their ability to stay “remote” and you are not able to hunt the food you need to survive because of laws.
So what does it mean today to be pioneering or homesteading? Basically it’s a lifestyle choice trying to be as self sufficient as is allowed in this world, living simply, passing on the traditions of our ancestors to try and keep the history of our world relevant in today’s world. This is where I created my tag line “Pioneer Living the New World Way”.
Pioneer living the new world way is actually a time balancing act. It also includes sacrifice. Sacrifice in the way of missing out on a friend gathering as the gardens need to be planted, weeded, land worked up, watered, trees moved off trails, fruit plants pruned and so on. When you work full time these chores may take you into the late hours during the week but you do it because it’s the choice you made when you decided to homestead. But the rewards of growing your own vegetables to carry you well into the winter months, canning your goods to provide your family food that is clean and simple with no chemicals, making food from scratch because it’s healthier and fresh, make every sacrifice worth it.
Because it’s no longer a necessity to live this way, you have to include the new world into your life. Our ancestors did not have this fine line to walk to live their life. Every homesteading family does this in their own way. There are no books in history to help you figure out an equation of old world versus new world. So each day you try to factor in what you can accomplish on your own contributing to your self sufficiency while enjoying all the conveniences available today.
Another huge factor in homesteading is if you have a spouse, they have to want to live that life also. When I met the man of the house he was a hard working professional living in the city, driving a state of the art car, traveling, and enjoying the finer things in life. I also was/am a hard working professional living in a 100+ year old farmhouse. Together we made the choice to homestead, keeping my childhood house I was fixing up to sell for my parents, and building barns, gardens, trails, and fruit orchards.
Living the homesteading life in the new world way allows us to enjoy boating, traveling, sporting events, County Fairs, fabulous restaurants and many other luxuries while keeping up with farm work using modern machines (tractors, chain saws).
Today, watching my family work together load wood before a storm hit, I was smiling at them thinking how blessed and thankful I am to be living the life we are living and hoping they will choose this lifestyle when they have families.