The long and short of it is…. I don’t. Not even close.
I just wandered back inside after a good long cry in front of my medicinal herb garden. I surveyed the damage the rabbits have done and it’s harsh. Some plants are beyond recovery like my Marshmallow and Mugwort. Others might survive… if I’m lucky. Guess the cotton balled destroyers of life like more than just carrots (jerks). I’m overrun with weeds (so many bloody weeds), the soil is parched and dry and as I wept my son was whining about how I don’t love him enough to play with him. The more work I have to do in the garden the more I fear he will hate me.
I don’t do it all. Not even close.
I knew that trying to be a stay at home mom, a wife, a blogger, a herbalist and a homesteader all rolled into one wasn’t going to be easy. Switching between those roles on a moment to moment basis is hard. Homesteading itself is hard. When seeds won’t sprout or rabbits kill all your plants or rain won’t fall, it can sometimes be enough to make you want to throw in the towel. Then pile on dirty dishes, laundry, blogs, herbal orders, hungry chickens, play time with the kiddo, food prep/cooking and the mired of appointments, phone calls and emails I have to complete being an advocate for my son – well most days I feel battle weary.
Definitely don’t do it all. Not even close.
Don’t let the interwebs fool you into believing that us bloggers have our shit together. We certainly don’t, even if we say we do! I get lovely emails from folks saying they are inspired by what I do. I am deeply touched by the kind words but please know that behind a blog post about harvesting spruce tips are unmade beds, five unanswered emails, crumbs on the floor and a crying kid who is begging me to stop doing whatever it is I’m doing.
I find a lot of people who are attracted to the self sufficient lifestyle are hard working go-getters. We want it all and we want it now! We’re perfectionists and we’re really really good at beating ourselves up when things don’t work or if we eat bread from the store instead of baking it ourselves. We chronically bite off WAY more than we can chew and even among all this we are constantly dreaming of more things to be busy with.
It’s no wonder we can’t do it all. Not even close.
Personally, my challenge of late is the one where I need to choose between my homestead/herbal clinic and keeping my kid happy. He’s not like other kids and that presents me with certain challenges. He needs helps with things that most children his age can do independently (like dressing and undressing, buttons or toys with smaller pieces, finding things he’s lost etc.) Not that I want to, but I can’t plug him into a screen to quickly get things done either. He’s not interested in most television shows (too much going on) and in addition his eyes start to bother him after about 15-20 minutes. I usually have just enough time to finally figure out what I want to do before he self regulates his screen time and proclaims he’s “all done now”. He’s also not really into the garden. Not that I blame him. Right now most things in there are so small he can’t see them and are therefore uninteresting. So having him tag along while I weed is also not really working out. I predict this will change as things start to grow.
Please, please, please change as things grow 😉
So basically my day goes something like this… when I’m in the garden or responding to emails or cooking, I feel guilty I’m not playing with monkey man. And when I’m playing with him I can’t help but think about the to-do lists that seem to breed like rabbits (and my weeds). Did I mention I have a lot of weeds?
I don’t do it all. Not even close…. and I’m okay with that. I’m doing the best that I can and that best is getting a little better everyday. The journey is the reward and often the most difficult trials are the ones that teach me the most. They make me a better herbalist, a better mom and a better homesteader. So wherever you are on your journey, know that you don’t need to do it all. Besides, if you did, what would you do tomorrow?
In love and peace,