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This is the reason that we homestead:
Meet Jack. This sweet, bubbly, happy, FULL of energy little boy is my one and only. When my husband and I first got married, we decided we didn’t want kids. We loved our laid-back lifestyle. We loved sleeping in on the weekends and having the freedom to do whatever we wanted. However, about a year into marriage, I changed my mind.
We weren’t lazy people by nature. We both thrive on projects, accomplishments, and challenges. So this lifestyle we enjoyed so much, was actually very counter to our own natures. It was too easy. And the urge to have a baby came back in full force. I struggled with the idea, alone, for nearly six months before bringing it up to Ryan. He sat quietly for a moment and deliberated. He then gave me three conditions.
- I would finish my masters
- I would put our relationship first
- I would put my happiness first
You see, he already had a baby and had lived through the struggles, fights, and stress that kids inevitably bring to a marriage and didn’t want a repeat of his first marriage. I couldn’t have agreed more.
He also understood that as the mother, I would carry him for 9 months inside of me, and as a military spouse, be responsible for 90% of the raising of the child once he was born. So he left the decision up to me. He loved his daughter, and would love and be happy with another baby – but he could also be just as content without.
I agreed, and after a few months of trying, we got pregnant. A blessedly easy pregnancy, delivery, and infancy followed quickly after. And here we are. We’ve just bought 18 acres and have started really living our homesteading dream.
We have an orchard, a vegetable garden, and are prepping to get chickens this weekend.
Over Labor Day, I took a minute to slow down and do a mini-photo shoot with the little one. I want to start doing these more regularly to force myself to take a moment and appreciate these simple moments with Jack. The way he plays in puddles, or picks up stickers with his stubby, awkward fingers. And looking back on the photos, I was struck by a realization.
This is EXACTLY why we want to homestead. We want our kids’ (step-babies included) childhoods to be full of simple moments like this = playing peek-a-boo around the laundry hanging on the line. The simple moments that don’t include a television, or internet, or the newest toy.
I want to record a childhood unplugged – full of fun, and exploration, and experimentation of the world around us. A life full of simple pleasures.
This summer, my step-daughter got to help us build a new vegetable garden from scratch. She got stung by a bee for the first time. She tested her own work ethic and found her voice. She learned that friends and family are worth more than toys, and that sometimes the best day is one spent at home. She learned how to use a chainsaw, and trust her father (and herself) in the process. She’ll go back to Japan with a suitcase full of memories and experiences that will stun her friends.
And that’s why we homestead. We homestead to live a life well spent.
Why do you homestead?