Feeling inadequate is a natural part of homesteading.
We don’t think it matters if you are in your first year or your fiftieth it’s easy to feel inadequate when homesteading. It is hard work! There are so many elements about running a farm that are out of our control.
Our first year raising chickens was awful to say the least. If you haven’t read those posts check them out here. The war against raccoons and possum about did us in! Predators are something you must protect against. There’s no tellin’ when they’ll show up!
Our second year we learned the hard way when upgrading our front porch. We thought pine (cedar is deadly to chickens) wrapped beams and round scalloped posts along with changing the position of the opening was no big deal. Yeah right? Did I mention we did this ourselves and had never tried anything of this scale before?
And this year with the all flooding in Arkansas our garden washed away. Corn, green beans, okra, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, onion, garlic, squash, zucchini, carrots and herbs. All gone. Did I mention we grew these plants from seed for the first time – ever?!?
All of these set backs made us want to give up!
So what’s a girl (or guy) to do when you feel inadequate?
Here are 5 ways to stay positive when you feel inadequate.
- Remember Rome wasn’t build in a day. As much as we want to rush out and create this picture perfect romanticized image of what we think homesteading is, we must remember the reality is different. Some people work faster than others, some have more machinery than others, some have more money to invest than others, but overall, it simply takes time. Don’t rush your creation.
- Take time to process the losses. After losing three flocks of chickens to predators before we finally cinched up the coop. We wanted to give up. We felt we weren’t good enough. How could it be this hard to keep chickens? Are we crazy for working our fingers to the bone trying to keep these raccoons out? We put down the chicken wire and went inside for a bit. Determined not to give up we needed time to breath and heal. So we did. We grieved the frustration and the losses. Then after a couple of weeks, as the saying goes, we pulled ourselves back up by our bootstraps and tried again.
- Don’t compare yourself to other homesteaders. It’s an easy trap to fall into. We read so many blogs, see so many pictures and immediately wonder why our tomato plants are only 3ft tall when someone else’s are 8ft! Another family is canning food for winter and selling at the farmer’s market. Don’t compare a 3 acre homestead to a 60 acre homestead. Someone who has been working on their place for 40 years will have more accomplished than the person who just bought property. Whatever season of homesteading you are in, you are exactly where you are supposed to be for the time and energy you’ve invested.
- Be more stubborn than the goat. Sometimes homesteading is like working with a goat. It wants its way most of the time. Doesn’t make it easy on us and often times costs more than we planned! Make a mental decision to finish the job. No matter what project you are facing be more stubborn than the task at hand. By the end you’ll be glad you did!
- Take stock. Look how far you’ve come! Somewhere in the middle of life you decided to take on this crazy idea of homesteading. Where did you come from? The city? Born and raised on a farm? Either way, you probably have more today than you did yesterday. And you will you have more tomorrow than you did today. Show yourself some grace and mercy and be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Feeling inadequate is a natural part of homesteading. But on those days when your farm gets the best of you, remember these 5 thoughts and you’ll be feeling better in no time!
How do you keep from feeling inadequate on your homestead?
*This post is part of the Cape Coop Homestead Blog Hop!