Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Doing the Best I Can

    I often want to say, "I'm just doing the best I *can*", but usually the words get caught in my throat as a voice inside my head reminds me that, really, I could be doing better. Sometimes, that voice is joined by a chorus of outside speakers, but usually is just in my own fears.

     I breastfeed, but... I babywear, but... I eat some organic, but... I homeschool, but... I raise and grow some of my own food, but... I know. You can relate, can't you? That voice that says, but I could be/should be... If I only... I know this is good, if only I had the time, the money, the whatever... To that voice, I wish, "I'm doing the best I can.", was good enough, but it isn't. That voice is riddled with guilt, shame, and worry.

     The truth is, we could probably raise our animals on organic, grain and gmo free food. Probably even grow our own. All while making sure that anything we don't raise or grow is also organic, grain free and non-gmo. The reason we don't? As important as it is to me to "do my best" to eat well, I don't always care. Honestly. I just don't. I know I should but I don't. How could I not? Well to be honest, there are a few reasons. One would be that the bible does say not to worry about what I eat. (Maybe I'm taking that out of context, but hang with me) Even beyond that, it says not to worry about ANYTHING but to pray about EVERYTHING. I struggle enough with worrying, without adding more to that plate. Secondly, my priorities do not always align with using so much money/time on food. I know... I know... It will cost me more, in the long run, eating "garbage" foods than eating "real" food. The fact is, I'm going to die eventually anyway. Let's be real here. I could die right here, right now, as I type this. We don't know the day nor the way (usually) that we will venture out of this life. If I have to choose between living a completely organic, gmo free life with little to no money/time for other things I enjoy, well... I'm going to choose to split my finances/time differently. Am I bagging on people who do choose to utilize their time and funds this way, NO! Absolutely not. I really don't care what other people eat. It simply means that I won't always choose the best foods.

     And it is true, I do babywear, when it works. But sometimes, it just doesn't. I'm only 5'1. Trying to do dishes, pick things up off the floor, etc... etc.. wasn't comfortable when I was pregnant and it isn't comfortable when I'm front slinging my baby, either. Does he cry when I don't? Yeah, he usually does, if he isn't sleeping and no one else is entertaining him. I know, crying is terrible for brain development, emotional development, etc... But it's ok, because I breastfeed and co-sleep, right? Really, I could be/should be doing better, because I can, but I won't. Sometimes, what is best for me, will not always be what is best for him, and sometimes I have to choose me.

     It is also true that I homeschool and, often, try not to stress by comparing my kids to public school kids, or even other homeschool kids. (Although, I usually fail at not worrying about it, because I tend to worry about everything...Did I mention I'm trying to work on that?) My 5 year old doesn't care about his ABC's. My 8 year old is just now, sort of, kind of, starting to be interested in reading. My almost 3 year old, still doesn't say a whole lot. Thankfully, I have my girls. My girls, who now attend public school, have shown me that in all my "unschooliness" they are actually doing just as well, (in some cases better), in just about everything they are doing academically, as their completely public taught peers. This gives me both hope and understanding, that I may be right in trusting that my kids will learn what they need to to live the lives they feel called to live, even if they don't learn everything someone else thinks they should. Still, much more could be getting done with them.

        The fact is, there is always going to be something more, something else, something better that I could be doing, and yet, I'm not. Not because I literally can't, but because I just don't. I have to come to terms with that and be ok with it, regardless of what I *think* others are thinking of me or how worried I *could* be about all the damage I'm doing with the choices I am making. No, I'm not doing the best I could be, but I'm not doing the worst either.


Friday, March 18, 2016

And So it Begins

The birds tweeting and chirping their beautiful praises, in the morning, as the spring peepers join in chorus. Ah! Spring, how I've missed your promises of life, love, joy, and excitement.

Already I see buds popping up on my trees. Only a couple of months, before I can collect mulberries again and restock our bare jam shelf. I suppose in honor of the impending celebration, of the official return of this glorious season, I should finally get some seeds and start my garden growing, as well.

Eggs are already incubating. Lambs are in their final month of pre-birth growth. The kids and I have finally begun braving the outdoors for more than a few minutes at a time. Whole adventures are being had, once again. What an amazing time of year this is.

Friday, March 11, 2016


This week has been nice and warm, inspiring us to get some major farm chores done. We got the coop and the hen pen in the barn cleaned up. The barn itself got a freshening. Sheep have been rotated, in preparation for next month lambing. And I have finally been able to collect enough eggs to incubate!

The homestead has not been completely neglected in all the sunshiney glory of this week. We've managed to keep it consistently tidier than we have in a long time. I may even be able to start deep cleaning. I already cleaned up the fridge, in the kitchen.

Homeschooling is going pretty well. We decided to give Tme4Learning.com a go. I think it will be a nice addition for our 8 year old, just to be sure. Today was his first day of it so, of course, he acted like it was completely horrible. I still plan to keep with our eclectic/unschooly mode, and just incorporate this.

As for the family, in general, we are busy, as always. This would be a big factor in my sluggish blogging. That and spending too much time on facebook trying to divert my attention away from my ridiculous craving for sugar. Though, I never completely cut it, I am trying to keep it reduced. Although, I did just have a friend tell me about the Whole 30 challenge. Sounds interesting, but I'm not ready for that.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Old Fashioned Mom

What do you do when you are sick and have 3 rowdy boys tearing apart the house? Same as grandma would've. Make them go outside and play.

My house is the "cleanest" it has been in a while. So cleaned up that, maybe, I can actually try to deep clean it, which I never get to do. The thing is, it only takes these lively fellows seconds to dismantle any progress I've made.

Sometimes, as it does for most everyone else, this burns me up. Lately, though, I have been working on being more mindful. Their capabilities do not show me they are monsters, as some might think. What it does show me is that they are full of stifled energy and creativity and the best place to let that bomb go off is outside!

Yes, it will save me time, trouble, and negativity. It will also give them the opportunity to grow, learn, and bond.

Sure, I could try sitting them down and doing crafty stuff with them, but that isn't the activity for them, right now. Neither is letting them veg in front of the tv or video games. They do that plenty enough as it is.

No, they need to move, to run, to be loud. Their bodies are shouting for use. So, I send them outside, into the cool, fresh, air. Into the land of melting snow and muddy puddles. The land of freedom and adventure, where their imaginations can take them to galaxies far... far away.

As I do, I realize how much, when I am not sick, I need to do the same. I need to get out and play and enjoy life. Somewhere along my life's path, my free spirited, playful self has been locked up and forgotten how. Just as Peter Pan in Hook, I need to remember who I am.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Winter isn't Over

I suppose the groundhog was wrong...

Due to the indecisive weather, I haven't been able to collect enough eggs for incubating. It is a bit disappointing. I also haven't gotten my seeds, or really laid out a definite plan of action for our garden.

I have, however, enjoyed watching my kids get all geared up and play outside together. I've relished sitting by the fire doing lessons with my boys and having the girls home, due to snow days.

I'm not winter's biggest fan, but I'm not too proud to appreciate it's gifts and beauty. I know that in time, things will happen. Until then, I will rejoice in each day, as best as I can.