Warning: This post is less about homesteading then it is a vulnerable account of where I’ve been at. Here’s a bit about what’s been going on with me for the last 4 weeks or so.
Mostly – I’ve been writing my curriculum and marketing my business. Though I feel it’s slow going, and yesterday it occurred to me that my having a “block” in other areas might be spilling over into this. I’m down to the wire. The outline is done, just finishing up a few worksheets and handouts and then off to make copies for my first class. The work is totally paying off, by the way, as I already have two places to teach, I’ve gotten quite a few referrals already and my classes are actually looking like they are going to take off!! So HUGE!
In the mean time, the boys have been growing and I’ve been feeling quite overwhelmed with most all of life in general. I think that it’s easy for me to fall into the trap of wanting/trying to be super woman. I’ve been working towards getting things going with Sweet Sprouts, working on managing the house/laundry/dinner/garden/chickens, fighting with health insurance issues, working on managing three blogs, and working on being a parent that does not feel crazy all the time. As you can guess, some of those things I’ve not been very successful with. Thankfully Rick has been so supportive and patient with me.
When it’s written out like that, it doesn’t look like that much to me, it really doesn’t. But I feel like it’s been mountainous. Mostly the “parent that doesn’t feel crazy all the time thing,” I guess. I think I’ve been either stretched too thin or have had some late onset postpartum fill-in-the-blank (anxiety? depression? super crazies?). It’s not really Emmett or Henry, although having an emotional, hormonal three-year-old in the house does seem to drive many (by many, I mean me) to the brink some days. Or a lot of days.
So I’ve been working a on changing a few things, and getting small bits of help in the ways I can. Beginning in June, Henry will be going to preschool one day a week. I started using Bach Flower Remedies to help me get some semblance of sanity. Melissa Evans made me a blend of seven (the Mothering a Toddler blend listed on her site, plus vine and walnut) remedies. She was also so sweet and very intuitive when I cold-called her and asked for help. This week I also worked out, and I plan to continue to do so, since I noticed that the day after my first workout was a lot better than the previous few.
Additionally, part of my small bits of change have been to make peace with the fact that I can’t do it all. I just can’t. Although I’ve not been managing to write my blog here much, I’ve still been reading blogs, and last week, Megan at Sorta Crunchy said during her Make Week wrap up, something that hit home:
Last week forced me to recognize that I have – once again – fallen into the trap of placing a priority on being the best mommy blogger I can be rather than the best mommy I can be. I just can’t keep up. I can’t respond to every comment anymore. I can’t visit and comment on other blogs every day anymore. I feel like I can’t be a contributing member of “the community” the way I once was. I can’t continue to sacrifice these precious hours with my children so that I can find validation and fulfillment in growing this blog.
So there. I’ve said it out loud. And it feels pretty vulnerable.
As it turns out, the biggest benefit of Make Week for me was recognizing that I have got to make peace with subscriber numbers and page views dropping. I’ve got to make peace with not being a Twitter maven. I’ve got to make peace with significantly downsizing time online. An emphasis on making life happen is exactly the reality check I needed.
And then the very next day, Dina at the same blog wrote about “The Death of Suspermama.“ And I felt it. I don’t know these two bloggers – I only just started reading the Sorta Crunchy blog. I don’t even know what “Make Week” is. But I really felt it. It’s really validating to hear about other moms struggling too. I can not tell you how convicting 1 Corinthians 13 has been to me lately. I feel like it’s been a struggle to love my children in this way the last few weeks and I think I’ve just had to let go of other outside things to be able to do it. And pray. Pray a lot.
Not to imply all has been doom and gloom – it has not. I promise to share the good stuff too. In fact I’ll try to get a post up by this weekend on it. With pictures! There’s been a lot of fun and sweet moments. I just felt the need to let my followers here know where I’ve been at.
I’m not giving up on my blog here at all. Just taking it easy for a while, while my boys need me and I need them.
Of course, through all of this the homestead has been a bit neglected as well. Rick’s made dinners more than a few nights over the last few weeks, and I have yet to meal plan at all in the last two months. The garden is a bit behind where I’d like it to be, but there is still time, as Rick keeps reminding me. So here’s what has gone down in the last week or two or three.
Plant something – tomatoes, beets, kohlrabi, eggplant, quinoa, onions, kale, rhubarb, squash, radishes… this is off the top of my head, so I might be forgetting something?
Harvest something – eggs, lettuce, spinach, asparagus
Preserve something – asparagus.
Waste Not – compost and recycling.
Want Not – Realized that I could use my empty canning jars to store some bulk items like rice and granola. This looks so much nicer in my cabinet and it’s much easier to find things then a bunch of bags all jumbled together!
Build Community Food Systems – um – I don’t think there’s much here. We did have the neighbor over for dinner one night? And I did find out that my friend Julie joined the farm and will be working on the same day as me (woohoo!) this summer.
Eat the Food – Jelly, ribs, and corn gone; been munchin’ fresh asparagus, made a big batch of hummus for the first time. Rick’s been diligently using all our frozen tomatoes and every time I think they’re all gone, he magically pulls another bag from somewhere! The peaches are still delicious. The pickled beets are gone now. The boys have been using frozen melon in smoothies.
What about you?