[ podcast: Homesteading with Children part 1 here. ]
We don’t have children yet, by design. Even though we’ve been together since we were 14, we still wanted these first years of marriage to be between just the two of us. Not the two of us and a baby. We knew we couldn’t get this precious time back, so we have relished in it. When it’s time for Baby King #1, that will be a precious time too, just in a different way. We’ve built this life for ourselves where, let’s be honest, a lot of things and animals need our attention on a daily basis. You’re probably already tired of hearing me say it, but we really do love our life. I have no desire to drop everything we’ve worked for when we get pregnant one day. That would be moving backwards in our minds. With this said, the absolute number one question we get when someone hears about a day in our life is, “What are you going to do when you have kids?”
What am I going to do when we have kids? Means… what exactly? Are we still going to feed and spend time with our animals? Are we still going to garden and project? Are we still going to do our jobs? Are we still going to live this lifestyle? That’s what that question means to me. When I’m asked it, it feels like the person on the questioning end doubts our dedication to this life we have built ourselves. I know they ask out of concern for our future selves and children and out of misunderstanding, but they’re still vocalizing a doubt in our ability. Regardless, let me tell you how I see this working out. First of all, we have no intention of selling any of our animals, our 4 acre home that requires weekly projects to upkeep or abandoning our garden we worked so hard to build. We are a minuscule operation compared to real farms, where guess what, they have and raise their children. One of the main reasons we chose this path was so that our children would grow up surrounded by nature and responsibilities. We want them to know what it takes to make sure the animals are fed before yourself, that even when the weather is cold and nasty outside chores must be done and that life doesn’t have to be all that complicated in ways that are social norms. It can be complicated within simplicity. The things in life that really matter are truly simple and good, no matter how hard they are to maintain. God is everywhere on a homestead. I see Him in every living thing, every flower, every life. In our eyes, it is the ideal place to raise a child.
I’m a researcher by heart, so don’t think for a minute that I haven’t googled raising kids on a homestead/farm to death to learn the best day in and day out practices of it. There are few articles on the subject, but the ones I have read confirmed my suspicions. Those moms utilize baby wearing technology to its fullest until the babies can walk on their own. Their children actually play in the dirt. They gather eggs while learning where the eggs came from and how fragile they are. Yes, sometimes they get into chicken poop or areas they shouldn’t, but, they survive. I’d take it one step further and say they candidly get to be a child. No fuss. No fabrication. They witness birth. They witness death. They learn these life lessons and all those in between early on in life.
So, what are we going to do when we have kids? We’re going to have so much fun showing them and teaching them about life. We’ll make it work. Raising kids on our homestead will be an awfully big adventure one day, one that we are honestly looking forward to when the time comes.
P.S. My youngest sibling is 18 years younger than me. Husband and I both know and witnessed that raising babies/children is the hardest job in the world. Something being hard never scared us too much though.
[ I LOVE these articles about kids on homesteads by The Prairie Homestead and Desolate Homestead ]
16 thoughts on “The “What Are You Going To Do When You Have Kids?” Question…”
So, the one thing I will say, is that you never know how hard it is until you do it. I have brothers who are 14 & 16 years younger than me, and having my own is still just….. Different.
What I really want to say is that, from my perspective, you have the right attitude! Of course people have been raising children, animals and growing food for….. Forever!
So good for you!
I’m excited to share this life with my kids! The oldest is six, the middle kid is 3, the youngest is 2, and one more on the way!
Good luck! We don’t do as much as you, and our child situation happened a little differently, but I can say this. You find time for what is important. You figure out how to get it all in, and you look back and say “wow, what did I do with all that free time before?”
I love that! That’s how I imagine it will be!
Very interesting article. I appreciate you stopping by the “rancherwriterpoet” The “Rancherette” and I are excited you did. As you can see, we have an abundance of animals and love everyone of them. The chickens are “show quality” of various breeds and reap awards from various shows. The dogs are mostly retired show poodles of the Standard variety and the geese, well they are pets. Actually all the animals are pets, Check out http://www.fuzzychickens.com for a view of our chicken world. By the way, when that time comes, you will have a remarkable time teaching them of life on a farm.
How wonderful! Thank you for sharing!
Very true, all of it. People frequently think we’re nuts doing what we’re trying. Yet, all the same reasons you mentioned is exactly what we feel too.
Having children is such a personal decision. You should never have to explain yourself! As a mom who struggled with fertility until I was blessed by God at the ripe old age of 35 with my first child, I often would get unsolicited questions about my lack of children. The best response is “why would you ask such a personal question?”
You are absolutely right! Thank you for sharing. 🙂
HUGE heart smiles reading this. You’ll be fine parents. And the future will be in safe hands with children raised by folks like you Xx
That is so sweet! Thank you! We truly hope so.
Our kids love it! Hubby and I work on a farm and when we get there in the morning my 4yr old asks if she can check the goats water, feed the cows, go with dad to fill the wood stove etc! They love poop/mud puddles and when we get busy they go play on the trailers! They learn a lot from it and become responsible and able to be trusted. My daughter seen a calf being born and a few weeks later had a bag on her hand and said she was gonna reach her hand in the cows butt and pull out her baby! 😯 like I said they learn a lot! Lol
🤣 That’s awesome and so inspiring! That’s definitely how I envision it. Thank you so much for sharing!
As a mom of 5 and #6 coming the beginning of October, sure it has challenges. Carrying two 5 gallon buckets of water with a big ol belly can be a bit clumsy. Gardening you may need to take a few more breaks than before, but I can tell you that my girls love our farm. Seeing our 19 month old’s face the first time she saw a chick or a newly born kit is priceless. Also there is so much for them to learn and one of the best things is self reliance and sustainability. In life, we figure out how to work all these things together because this is the life we chose. You wouldn’t get rid of one child because another was being born, why get rid of the animals because a child is being born. Bring the baby along for the tasks. I use my carrier to get farm chores done while still having baby with me. Once you find the routine that works for you, it will be second nature.
That’s exactly how I imagine it. Congratulations on #6! Thank you for sharing your story!