My experience homesteading with a baby. Whew, I had to remind myself to breath just writing that. I am so relieved that he is 14 months now. He loves to walk around while I do the feeding rounds, and he’s not nearly as likely to find trouble as he was a few months ago. I am able to focus on a project for a stretch without stopping to take care of a baby’s needs, but I also miss those baby moments as he looks more and more like a toddler everyday. Motherhood is crazy that way. My older 2 children were raised in a typical subdivision, with a safe backyard and a fence. Raising baby Eden on our farm was a whole different ball game!
The Baby Loved My Carrier
He spent so much time in my carrier, I don’t know what I would have done without it! (You can find that carrier here.) Every day while I milked, he was on my back petting the goats. He would lean over as far as he could while I checked on the chicks. He could hear the peeping, and wanted to see what I was doing. Every morning while I went out to feed, he was right there with me. There were a few times when I woke up to open our irrigation ports at 3 am, and he woke up as I was sneaking out of the room. So, I strapped him in my carrier and off we went. My older two were able to crawl around on the grass while I cleaned up the yard or worked in the garden, but crawling is not aloud on the farm.
No Crawling Outside
You can NOT put a crawling baby down outside on a farm. Have I ever told you that farms are not baby proof? The holes, rocks, barrels of water, ladders, tools, old nails and creepy old barns to name a few. The poop. The baby will find poop. The goats, the free range chickens, the dogs, geez there is poop everywhere. I don’t know what makes poop so appealing to babies, but it is too easy to see when you are crawling around. It was hard sometimes not letting him explore on the grass. It was a very big deal when he started walking. He was fascinated just walking around on the rocks.
Homesteading with a Baby
In his short little life, he witnessed 2 livestock births with me, an experience we will tell him about all his life.
I always think of Ma Ingalls (from the Little House series, my 5 year old daughter’s favorite!) when I think of raising kids on a homestead. Especially in Little House on the Prairie when Mary and Laura were in charge of “minding the baby” while Ma did her chores. Raising babies on a farm isn’t anything new. Ma should have had her own papoose though, right? Having a baby on your back while your doing chores, is a constant reminder about why your homesteading. It gives you a great purpose. We recently met an empty nester. She used to have a milk cow, and a flock of chickens. A coyote started picking off her chickens, and while she was upset, she said she wasn’t going to replace them. Her reason was that she didn’t have kids around anymore to be excited about the new life, or to provide food for anymore. Without little ones around, she lost her purpose.
So keep embracing those little ones that give us purpose!