Do you ever dream of leaving the hustle and bustle of city life behind, selling off everything except your most essential possessions, and starting fresh with a family homestead? Many people aspire to provide their children with a different type of childhood experience than what they had – one that involves living outdoors, having independence to explore nature at its best, enjoying farm-fresh meals every day and learning how to care for animals. But is such an ambitious lifestyle actually doable while raising kids? The answer is yes! With the right preparations and attitude toward homesteading with kids in tow, it can be achieved. Read on for our tips on how to successfully homestead with your family.
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So how do you actually run a successful house and homestead while simultaneously raising and caring for tiny humans and (hopefully) maintain some level of sanity at the same time?
While older children can help out with the daily to-do list and seasonal chores, little ones demand constant attention. Some days you’re lucky to get a shower in or the laundry done, let alone preserve a run of green beans or even cook a homemade meal.
So how does a momma raise her babes, run a household, grow a garden, raise livestock, cook from scratch, preserve food and work a job at the same time? Honestly, I’m still trying to figure that out.
Learn to Prioritize
Once you can master prioritizing you will be surprised how much you can get accomplished. With kids running around it is very important to prioritize so that things that need to get done are accomplished.
Here are some tips to help you prioritize your to do list. It’s important to prioritize and plan out a strategy for getting everything done. Give each task on your list the time and attention it requires, by checking off items one at a time and maintaining focus.
That way, you don’t feel overwhelmed and can enjoy crossing off items on your list when they’re finished. If you need help prioritizing, break down your task list into short-term goals, like completing smaller tasks within a certain period of time, or longer-term goals, such as completing large projects in stages over a period of days or weeks.
Taking it step by step can ensure that you stay on track and maximize your productivity.
Manage Your time Wisely
I love time blocking my day so that I can see how much time I have in a day to accomplish my to do list.
Time blocking is the practice of allocating a specific amount of time to a particular scheduled task. It can help you plan your day and stay focused, by breaking down your work into smaller chunks.
By structuring each task with a specified window of time, you’re able to more accurately track progress and make sure you aren’t missing any goals or deadlines.
This strategy not only keeps you accountable but also helps alleviate stress by giving yourself realistic expectations. It can save time by organizing tasks in advance, so when it comes down to executing something you already have an idea of what needs to be done and how long it will take.
I could NOT mom and homestead with out my Mom Life Planner. Jamie jokes that if I don’t write it down it doesn’t get done and that is so true. I write everything in my planner and enjoy checking things off when they are done. You can check out my mom life planner HERE.
Create a Schedule and Stick to it
Working a homestead can be a challenge when your kids have plenty of energy and ideas, but, with just a little bit of help, you can all find balance. By planning out your day together and creating a schedule you can stick to, both productivity and sanity can be maintained.
Not only will it give kids structure, it also allows them chunks of time to explore their own projects or creative pursuits while giving parents the room they need to focus on their tasks as well. Setting up a shared daily calendar of family stories and games lets everyone know what’s going on, while still allowing for some freedom to change when flexibly needed.
If everybody chips in – parents, children and other family members – even the most frazzled days will feel more manageable.
Wake Up Early
Rising before your kiddos can be a juggle, but it’s totally worth it for the awesome productivity boost! Taking that time for yourself in the morning isn’t about selfishness or indulgence – it’s about self-care and achieving equilibrium in your life.
Notice how great you feel when you’ve already got your shower, breakfast and possibly even a workout out of the way by the time Junior and Missy are ready. Not only have you taken care of yourself, but starting earlier lets you prioritize and attend to tasks with more concentration and setup your day with intention.
Consider taking five extra minutes to jot down what your top three tasks are and you’ll be ready to show up as an energetic mom, who is ahead of schedule with a brighter outlook on the day.
Get Your Kids Involved
There are so many reasons to raise your kids on a homestead and get them involved in the daily happening. Here are just a few
- They’ll gain life skills
- Their health will benefit
- Homesteading teaches common sense
- They’ll learn the meaning and rewards of hard work
- They’ll develop creativity
Homesteading with kids isn’t always straightforward. It can be tricky and can take some creativity and effort to figure out how to bring your kids along as you live a lifestyle that’s different from many.
One of the best ways to get your kids excited about homesteading is simply to let them join you in your daily work and show them that you are excited yourself. Let them see the joy and reward of completing your own tasks.
Extra Tip- Things will take longer so be sure to allot for the extra time.
Tips for Letting Kids Join You
Baby wearing can be a great solution to parents who are looking for a hands-free approach to tending to their newborns without having them confined in an infant car seat or frame stroller.
There are several baby wearing options available such as carriers, slings, and wraps—all of which enable parents to keep their children close while attending to other tasks.
In addition to convenience, there are numerous benefits to baby wearing that include better sleep, easier breastfeeding, increased bonding with the parent (or caregiver), supporting healthy spine and hip development, and helping babies adjust to new environments since the parent’s movements offer a natural calming effect due to the comfort of the familiar heartbeat.
From stylish comfort for parent and child alike, to reducing anxiety amongst babies—baby wearing is an excellent way for parents and caregivers alike to feel closer with their children from day one.
Get a Wagon
Baby-wearing is great and all, but it does get hard on you after a while, especially when you’re doing labour-intensive outdoor chores like weeding. This is where a wagon can be very helpful.
Aside from being an easy way to transport your little one(s) without the strain on your back, your kiddos will tend to stay put in the wagon with a few toys instead of getting into mischief.
When you think of prepping, you might think more of prepping for some major disaster or doomsday scenario. But prepping can be done on a much smaller scale that can benefit us in our daily lives as well. Life is always easier when we’re prepared for what comes our way, whether it be the apocalypse or a fussy baby.
Meal prep has been one of the biggest game changers when I have been able to successfully pull it off. I’m learning to cook large enough batches of food that there is enough for dinner, leftovers for lunch the next day and enough leftover to freeze.
Prepping extends beyond the kitchen though. Having things like the diaper bag packed up and ready to go is a real time saver when we’re trying to get out the door. Not to mention, if there is an emergency or a disaster, having the diaper bag packed with everything we need is akin to having a baby bug-out bag ready to go at all times.
Writing things down is also a huge help and can help clear my head when I’m trying to keep track of everything I need to do. Marking all our appointments down on a calendar, as well as important dates for tasks (like when certain seeds need to be sown) helps me make sure I don’t miss anything important.
It's ok to ask for Help
As a homesteader with young kids, it can sometimes be hard to raise your children while also tending to the duties that every successful homestead requires. Everyone needs help at times, and there’s absolutely no shame in asking for it when you need it.
Whether it’s finding someone who can watch your children for an hour so you can work on the garden or looking for advice from more experienced homesteaders, don’t forget that asking for help is ok — not just ok, but necessary — to ensure you’re giving your family everything they need without burning yourself too thin.
Your Mind Set
Having a positive mindset is essential when it comes to taking care of your mental health, being a mother, and achieving homestead-related tasks. It can be hard to stay motivated sometimes and set yourself up for success, but having an optimistic outlook can make all the difference.
An upbeat attitude will give you the courage to continue tackling any hurdles that come your way – whether it’s bickering siblings needing guidance or the goat refusing to stay in her pen today. Having a satisfactory lifestyle on your homestead won’t always happen overnight, but by keeping an open mind and approaching challenges with confidence you can slowly transform your goals into a reality.
Building a community is a great way to keep a positive mindset and keep you focused on building your homestead and raising your kiddos. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are great places to connect with other homesteaders.
Learning how to homestead with kids can be a fun and rewarding experience for the whole family. It is important to start small and gradually add more responsibilities as your children grow older. There are many resources available to help you get started, so don’t be afraid to ask for help from those who have been doing it longer than you have. With a little patience and perseverance, you will soon be on your way to living the homesteading lifestyle with your kids!
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