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  #1  
Old 09/05/07, 08:15 AM
 
Join Date: May 2006
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homesteading with small children

Hey, everyone

I'm interested in hearing about how you all do homesteading things while raising young children. I posted on the classroom board about homesteading while homeschooling, but I realized this is a more general issue for us, too.

How do you all manage your schedules with animals, baking, gardening, etc. with small children? We have 5 children--11 and 8 year old boys, 5 year old daughter, 3 year old boy and just turned 1 year old daughter.

I thought I had the morning figured out.....I used to take everybody to the barn for milking but it took forever (hubby leaves for work at 4 a.m.) So I changed the plan for myself the the oldest to go. Leave 8 year old in charge of the baby monitor. We would leave really early so everyone would still be sleeping--except the 8 year old. If baby wakes he would call me to run up and get her. If 5 and 3 year old wake, he would turn on PBS for them.....well, it didn't work out that way. I woke up and three year old had crawled into bed with me (again) so he woke, too. I cannot sneak out of bed as he has some sort of freakish mommy radar. So he's up. I get him all set up with breakfast and PBS and leave. Ten minutes into milking the baby wakes crying so I have to go back up to the house to get her.......we ended up getting it all done--just not as timely as planned.

Now the baby and 3 year old are cranky b/c they woke too early.....and breakfast is not cleaned up yet.....and school's supposed to start in 5 minutes. Sigh.....

We'll relax and get through the day, of course, but I'm curious how everyone else manages animals and small kids. Makes me scare of having another baby. What on earth would I do with an infant if we are milking? We just started milking this spring so baby was already 10 months old.

Is anyone else doing this with little kids or am I just crazy? Luckily, the boys have taking over most of the chicken work, but it's the milking that's the issue right now.

Dee

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Old 09/05/07, 08:32 AM
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I've done it for years. When my oldest were little they went in the playpen while I milked in the morning. Doesn't hurt them to cry for awhile. As long as they were changed & fed, I left them cry. They soon learned to entertain themselves when I was busy. As they got a little older they went out with me. They normally played in the sand while I worked. The same goes for now. The kids come outside with me & play while I do the chores.I must say I have been blessed with good babies. My first were twins & they played together while I did things. The rest have been good too & now I have older ones to help with the younger ones. The older ones each have their chores too. It'll get better!

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Old 09/05/07, 08:50 AM
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when I had the dairy farm back in the mid 90s, We had one child who was 3, my wife worked outside the home, and I farmed full time, and babysat.

I kept Jamie, our 3 year old, with me everywhere. When I was on the tractors he was in my lap. It made the jobs take longer, but I didnt want him in daycare.
If I was in the barn, he was running around playing with the cats, helping me, and exploring.

I sure miss it.





And now he is almost all grown up. Here he is tapping trees.

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Old 09/05/07, 11:57 AM
 
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Good to hear! Seven kids! That's awesome. And you milked with newborns? Good for you! Did you have a playpen set up in the barn? Or leave them at the house and use a baby monitor?

Also, I loved the pics of the toddler milking. My three year old is still trying to get anything to come out of the teat, but it's not for lack of trying!

I actually like it better when all the kids can come down to the barn with me. They do at night if hubby has to work. The kids used to push her around in the stroller but now she's walking--so she toddles all over the place exploring while an older child watches her. As long as they keep her from eating goat or cat poop, I don't mind how filthy she gets! :baby04: That's what we did until we started back to homeschooling this week. We have to start school at a reasonable time or we go so late....We were getting to the barn by 7:30-7:45 all summer and that's just not early enough for the school year. So I was hoping to let the little ones sleep to get it done sooner. Might have to re-think the schedule if it doesn't work out.

I have of friends who homeschool and milk goats, but none have kids as young as mine.

So I love to hear from others who do this. Anyone else?

Dee

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Old 09/05/07, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Good to hear! Seven kids! That's awesome. And you milked with newborns? Good for you! Did you have a playpen set up in the barn? Or leave them at the house and use a baby monitor?
If it was nice enough I put them in a stroller in the barn. If too cold or nasty they stayed in the house in the playpen or crib. I was normally back out in milking the day after I came home. I don't trust my son to milk as clean as me & I hated for it to go to waste.
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Old 09/05/07, 09:46 PM
 
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I was normally back out in milking the day after I came home.>>>

Now THAT is a homesteading woman!!!

And I thought I was all tough making dinner with a newborn in the sling.

It's actually pretty cool that our kids get to experience all this. I think Olivia's first official sound was that of a goat. "What's a goat say, Livie?" "Maaaaaaaaaaa!!!"

Maybe if I could arrange the morning a little different. Maybe do breakfast and one subject early and then milk--instead of trying to get the milking and chores done before school starts? I don't know.

Anyone else milk with little ones? How do you schedule it?

Dee

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Old 09/06/07, 08:04 AM
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Have you thought about maybe milking and having your breakfast and starting your schooling a little later in the day? I have all older children-11, 13 and 17 and we live in town, so I don't know anything about milking. But I do know that with homeschooling you can arrange your hours to suit you. You can school in the evening if you need to. It might interfere though, I don't know. Just an idea.

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