Fauna,  Flora,  Hard Lessons,  Hearth

Running the Homestead While Unwell

Running a homestead can be difficult work at the best of times, but what happens when you fall ill, or something happens where you can’t look after things as you thought you’d be able to? These past few weeks have been a bit quieter on the blog front, because exactly that has happened.

Unfortunately, I find myself catching most things that go around. These changing of the seasons have been no different, and have left me somewhat couch-bound — not fun, and not a whole lot happening out on the homestead! That being said, I’ve had a lot of time to sit and think, haha, so here are some of my tips for coping when you’re not 100%.

Borage has been growing nice, all ready for the bees come Spring!

1. Plan Ahead

As much as we can wish it otherwise, things do come up where you won’t be 100%! It’s important to look at your setup and consider how you would do things if you weren’t well, or something big came up.

I love finding “life hacks” in my life to make things easier. It’s taken a while to get our homestead up and running (and it’s still in that process), but I’m starting to get to the point where I want to stand back and see what things could be done to improve efficiency. There were some mornings where Mr BirdCat had to leave early for work, so I needed to be the one to go out and wake up the farm. I was definitely grateful that our animals all know the routine, and that I could simply let them out of their pens, make sure they had food and water, and they were good to go. Once we start milking our sheep, we’ll be sure to get them in a routine for that as well so they know what to expect and don’t require any extra wrangling, etc.

We’ve been loving this heirloom lettuce

2. Have a Partner

This doesn’t just have to be a spouse! Another family member, friend, neighbour, or your local homesteading community can all help when you’re down for the count. The main thing is to not be afraid to ask (the worse they can say is no, and then you’re not in any worse-off position anyway!) and not be hard on yourself when you are getting that help.

I’m lucky to have Mr BirdCat along in this journey with me, and we usually split up the duties quite evenly. When I’m unwell, he steps in and makes sure everything keeps running along, picking up whatever I’m not able to carry. I think this is another point where it’s so important that a couple be on the same page when going into something as big of a lifestyle change as a homestead. If you’re both invested in the lifestyle, then moving forward with it while one of you is unwell isn’t as big a problem than if you didn’t want anything to do with it.

Purple sprouting broccoli

3. Don’t Overdo It

If your body is recovering, the last thing you want to do is push yourself too hard and stress yourself out further. Just do what you can. Normally brush your cow down every day, for example? Not brushing it for the day won’t make a big difference in the grand scheme of things. That may seem super little, but if you’re unwell, those little things can add up! As long as everyone on your homestead has food, water, and shelter, those extras are not necessarily needed. Can’t get out to weed that day? A couple extra weeds aren’t going to ruin your whole garden.

Be kind to yourself <3

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