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When the Simple Life Doesn’t Feel Very Simple

Can I be honest with you? This past year has been one of the most difficult I can remember. My flesh often found itself grumbling and complaining. "This is the simple life?! It doesn't feel very simple to me at all!"

Can I be honest with you? My “simple life” as a homesteading homemaker mama, this past year has been one of the most difficult I can remember.

No, there haven’t been any deaths, or illness, or injuries, nor financial difficulties or anything like that. We’re warm & (incredibly) well fed. Our large family got a little larger. We had bigger gardens, larger herds, a larger home. We were very blessed indeed.

But it was still a rough year. I just couldn’t get it together and adjust to the changes!

I worked myself to bone-weary day in and day out trying to care for all those facets of the homestead and my flesh often found itself grumbling and complaining. “This is a simple life?! It doesn’t feel very simple to me at all!”

It often felt like my head was going to explode with the details of managing it all. The list of things that needed to be attended would run through my head like a broken record. A pen and paper were my best friends and I wasted far too much time looking for lost notes. No big deal, right?  The problem is once my brain lets that information flow through my hand out into the pen onto the paper, it’s lost.

What frustrated me, even more, was that here I was so disenchanted with the simple life… the very lifestyle I promote and encourage you all to embrace! I felt like an ungrateful hypocrite. And so I was.

It hasn’t always been like this! What set this year apart and made it different? Was it the move? Another new job for my husband? Figuring the in and outs of the new homestead?

Can I be honest with you? This past year has been one of the most difficult I can remember. My flesh often found itself grumbling and complaining. "This is the simple life?! It doesn't feel very simple to me at all!"

Probably it was a bit of all of the above.

But it was definitely a lot of having one foot in two worlds.  Where we farm and have to work a real job to support it. A challenge that many homesteaders have to face.

A challenge that I know so many of you long to have.

But one, we’ll come to learn with time is something we’re just not meant to do. 

I know another thing that contributed to my frustrations with the simple life was I found myself extremely disorganized. I was spinning my wheels trying to get things in order when they were already out of control. You know, time that would better have been spent actually working!


Homestead Management Binder

Though I had a Home Management system in place, over the years, I relied on it less and less and my memory more and more. I ignored my need to have those daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly chores brought to the very forefront of my mind and assumed that I’d remember and could get it done without a plan.

Well as anyone with children or animals knows, they make sticking to a plan tough!

I thought I could keep track of when the coop needed to be cleaned out, the cows needed to be dried up before calving, shouldn’t we be getting more eggs than this… are the hens eating their own eggs again… should we choose a different breed? When should I start these seeds, am I spending too much on chicken feed, when should I prune, did I turn the eggs in the incubator this morning?

There are many reasons to keep homestead records, but without my detailed agenda for the day right there in front of me, getting distracted was all too easy to do. Things were forgotten, neglected, and allowed to get out of control. We’d laugh in frustration time and again this year, shrug our shoulders, and say, “If you give a pig a pancake…”

While I wouldn’t change this beautiful, messy simple life for anything, there’s nothing to say that it has to feel so hopelessly out of control!

I can’t help the fact that we have to work in the real world for now or the cog in the wheel all the kids and critters can throw into a day or any of the other factors that make for a rough day.

 But I do have control over how I manage my homestead and can strive to find simplicity through organization.

This year, I’m recognizing my need for structure, routine, and planning. I’m embracing and utilizing all of the organizational tools that worked so well for me in the past.

I am going to put my Home Management Binder system back to work!

I’ve updated and redesigned all of the templates in the binder, added new features I believe will be helpful, have created some new ones, and even took the time to make a Seed Sowing Timeline Calculator so you can know when to plant your seeds. You put in YOUR frost dates and it will spit out (not literally) a complete schedule for sowing your seeds this year!

  • HOMESTEAD YIELDS
  • VEGETABLE GARDEN YIELDS
  • SEED STARTING CALCULATOR (.xls document)
  • PLANT GROWING SUMMARY
  • SEED INVENTORY
  • VEGETABLE GARDEN PLANNER GRAPH PAPER
  • HOMESTEAD & GARDEN CALENDAR WITH NOTES
  • YEARLY SCHEDULE
  • MONTHLY TO-DO LIST
  • OUTDOOR TO-DO LIST
  • EXPENSE RECORDS
  • INCUBATION CHART
  • MONTHLY EGG TALLY CHARTS with a YEAR END EGG TOTALS CHART
  • YEAR-END COST ANALYSIS
  • FREEZER AND PANTRY INVENTORIES
  • FOOD PRESERVATION WORKSHEET
  • HOMESTEAD AND GARDEN CALENDAR
  • HOME DAIRY CALENDAR
  • YEAR-END DAIRY PRODUCTION RECORDS
  • RABBIT PRODUCTIONS
  • HONEY & BEEKEEPING
  • HOMESTEAD EARNINGS
  • BUTCHERING RECORDS
  • ANIMAL MEDICAL RECORDS
  • WEEKLY PLANNER
  • CUT FLOWER PLANNER
  • INDOOR SEED STARTING RECORDS
  • CURING RECORDS
  • HOMEBREW RECORDS
  • SYRUP PRODUCTION RECORDS
  • HERBAL INVENTORY CHECKLIST

Mine are all printed off, inserted into the binder, and ready to consult morning, night, and points in-between! The only thing that could make these printable better is if they were on an app for my phone! That way they could always be with me and I’d never have to worry about not finding a pen!

I am filled with new-year hope that there can be some simple in our simple lives. That I’ll be able to take ahold of those small and precious moments without the distraction of busyness that clouds the vision from ever noticing them. That I’ll be deliberate and fruitful and an example of joy to my children who are ever watching, ever learning.

{Recommended Resources}

Would you like to take your homestead planning to the next level and really get organized this year? You can get ALL of my printables PLUS the Seed Sowing Calculator document for yourself and join me in making next year our most productive ever! Learn more HERE

Last update on 2024-04-13 at 20:38 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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9 Comments

  1. That was my life from January-August. Rough. I finally realized I was just trying to do too much and could NOT juggle one more thing. Trying to help my husband on the farm 4 hours a day, homeschool, keep up with the little ones, do the gardens and canning, keep up the house, take care of my in-laws (we live on the same farm), volunteer, milk, etc… IT WAS TOO MUCH! I realized I had to let some stuff go because the stress was stealing my joy and I just couldn’t do any of it right (or I could do one thing right, but then did everything else wrong). haha. In August, I let some of the gardens go and we decided to put our older 2 kids in a wonderful school my husband went to (I’m able to volunteer there and we just absolutely love it and the rural community feel it has. I was nervous at first and yet at peace with our decision and it’s just been nothing but a blessing). Then I got pregnant with our 5th baby and had to give up milking because it was causing contractions. So I let that go, though I’m still able to be on the tractor and help my husband with other farmchores. My in-laws took a turn for the worse and so caring for them has gotten more involved.
    Life still feels busy, but my brain has been able to absorb more and be less scattered and the stress level of the house has been reduced greatly. I share this because just in case being more organized doesn’t help you feel less rough and scattered, know it’s okay to let some stuff go!!! To everything there is a season and seasons look different for a reason… they are different! There are different expectations and priorities for different seasons. Some things I was sad to let go of for a time, but I know in the future the timing will be better and I can pick back up where I left off.
    Best of luck to you in 2015!

    1. Wise advice 🙂 I’m so glad to hear that your stress levels have improved! I do remember you mentioning that you were going to be (or had just) put the children in school so I’m glad to hear that is going well! 🙂 Sadly for me, it would seem the thing I’ve let go of is cleaning the house :/ I had to delegate so much of it during my last pregnancy because of my SI joint problems that I filled the time with other things and I can’t seem to find the time to work the cleaning back into the schedule. Definitely needs to happen since no one does it to my satisfaction- LOL! 😀

      1. I have some housekeeping issues and the reality is that I have to accept the quality of help available. Although nobody does it my way, nothing would get done around here without my dear husband’s help.

  2. Oh my goodness- this could not be more timely! We’ve been on our homestead for 18 months now and so far we’ve just paddled along with no direction. The more we add and the more that needs done, the more I see I MUST have some organization. I had planned to create a binder so I’m thrilled to see that’s a wheel already done! Thank you! 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Tonia! I hope this ends up being helpful to you and that you find that direction in the coming months!

  3. Quinn, I’m so sorry it’s been a rough year for you. I usually find joy in the fact that a rough patch is the Lords way of conditioning us for greater things. I pray 2015 will bring you much more joy. The so-called simple life will never be ‘romantically simple’, but it’s still a good deal closer to it that, than the alternative. All the best to you and yours.

    1. Wouldn’t that be nice?! At least I’ve learned that I *need* to be more on top of keeping a routine/flow to the day in order to be productive with my time. Thank you for your prayer & wise words! Blessings to you Pia!!

  4. First of all…I”ve been wanting a homestead forever…instead I’m stuck in a cement world where all I can see is my neighbors house and many vehicles. Second of all I would say – you are doing fabulous. Third…life is hard work. No matter where you are, homestead or city, being organized does help a heap. That is also my wish for 2015 – just to be more oraganized with my homeschooling, with my cooking schedule, with my “quiet time” – just to be intentional. Good luck to you and your blog is beautiful!

    1. Why thank you Alyssa 🙂 May your efforts to be more organized in the new year be blessed and may your homestead dream come to fruition!!