Single Moms homesteading

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Conni, May 26, 2005.

  1. Conni

    Conni Well-Known Member

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    It seems there are alot of single Mom's homesteading. I am curious (and this may be too personal ) how you do it???

    I never thought about it until I was ticked off at dh last night. lol

    So tell me how you make a living, build a home/or keep a home up, keep the animals taken care of and the kids of course cared for...

    My hat is off to anyone doing this.
     
  2. sullen

    sullen Question Answerer

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    You sound like me, envisioning life without all the aggravation. Being a child of a single mom, anything done alone is twice as hard.
    My Mom learned how to groom animals, did this from her home, boarded animals, too for money. We had chickens, a few horses here and there and a few goats to keep the horses from running away. We weren't off the grid or anything, but we ate mostly from the garden because we had no money for store food, and even then my Mom had to borrow a lot of money from her Mom. She could have done the finances better if she had focused only on living off the land, but she had (and still has) a need to go out and buy unneeded "stuff". And this is with no child support.
    She is actually giving up her house and coming to live with us because she is broke.
     

  3. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    I'm only dabbling in it so far. I have a big garden, fruit trees, and chickens. Two kids at home, work full time an hour away.

    How do I do what I do? I never sleep and I don't clean my house very often, lol. Ok, that's an exaggeration about the sleep thing.

    What works for me, is to simplify systems as much as possible, add on new things slowly, and maintain a schedule. I feed chickens in the morning before work, spot water plants that need it, do a few things in the house. My kids get on their bus at 7am, and I leave for work at 8, so that hour is chore hour. After work I check on chickens to make sure no one tipped water over or whatever chickens do, they are pretty creative sometimes. I water garden, pick, etc. and thank god for daylight saving's time! One child loves to hang out and help me and follow me around. My teenie, would rather not go outside ever, so she will do stuff inside. Then we all eat dinner together.

    Weekends are when I get most things done, and I have halogen worklights for when I really need to do something and run out of daylight. I have a house, so only have to build animal housing, that is ongoing. I started out putting everyone into tractors, and am working toward having several henhouses, so far I have finished one, and almost finished another one.

    My next homesteading goal is to get some rabbits and worms. I'm getting closer to that one, but finishing the project is probably at least two weekends away. I'm also expanding my garden space with lasagna beds, letting them 'cook' this summer.

    Oh, I also have no social life, but that is largely by choice, lol.

    hollym
     
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You teach the kids how to help! I was a single mom for 17 years. Most of that time I struggled to get by on part-time jobs that allowed me to be home as much as possible. My best solution was the two years I had home daycare. That way I was home all the time. I've had as many as four part-time jobs at once! As the kids got older (in their teens) I had a full-time job and my own bookstore.

    Like hollym, I rarely slept eight hours a night and I let housework slide. The kids helped quite a bit, especially when I had the home daycare. They learned to garden, take care of animals, cook and clean. At times there wasn't enough money for heating fuel, etc. and we just did without...making it an "adventure" made doing without fun instead of a trial. In fact, now that the kids are grown they don't remember us being poor and struggling. They remember camping in the house and doing other things that their friends never got to do.

    A routine is necessary. It makes things run so much better for everyone if you stick to a daily routine. Frugality is necessary and it can be a fun hobby to see how frugal one can be. Both my kids learned a lot growing up the way they did and neither feels they missed out on anything. It was hard and sometimes when I think back on it I wonder how on earth I did it all. I even put myself through college while raising two babies alone. I did it all because it had to be done and it was up to me to get it done. That's how single moms get by.
     
  5. hollym

    hollym Well-Known Member

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    Ravenlost that is one of the most amusing questions I get asked, how do you DO it all, lolol. My reply is that their question implies that it is a matter of choice! And it's really not, you are right about that.

    My second answer is 'I don't know, I just do!'.

    hollym
     
  6. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    A lot of the time it just doesn't ALL get done. I have to chose which job will get done and what has to slide because I only have one pair of hands.
     
  7. Thumper/inOkla.

    Thumper/inOkla. Well-Known Member

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    I feel like I am single alot of the time, but I don't have children living here right now. [We don't have enough elect to run video games all day and night like my sons father does]

    I have thought many times about having someone live here to help me out in exchange for a place to learn homesteading skills and save up money they will need to get their own place. A single mom would fit right in, as my hubby is gone most of the time. But I think it is such a hard way of life, especially as hard core as we are. I wouldn't expect anyone to stay very long.
     
  8. manygoatsnmore

    manygoatsnmore Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How do I do it all? Who said I did! :D

    I work 24 hrs a week, night shift, so I can be home with my dd13 all week. She's the last of my 4 left at home. We homeschool, so it's important to me not to work too many hours away from home. We are frugal, which cuts down on how many hours a week I need to work off farm. Careful shopping, garage saling, thrift stores, not buying if we don't really need something.

    That leaves us with the money to buy the feed for the goats (and the goats, on occasion) as well as the chickens, rabbits, cats, dogs, and the miniature donkey (and a horse or two, soon). We are both involved with 4-H, I as the goat leader for our club, and dd as a member for 8 years now. That is one of dd's main interests, and she expands on her projects each year. This year, she's added a utility goat project and has trained one of our milk goats to pull a cart. Her plan for the wether kids this year is to train them as pack and driving goats before selling them in a year or two.

    Since dd is interested in the animals, she does a lot of the animal related chores. We have worked together to build a chicken house and rabbit shed, and to fence in the chicken yard. She also helps with the garden, weeding and picking with me. She's not always cheerful about it, but she does know that her work is essential to having the lifestyle that she wants.

    So, we have a garden, not as big as I'd like. I'm tilling up more ground as time and weather permits. We have strawberries, raspberries, currants and blueberries, and I planted lots of fruit trees this year. I'm trying to reclaim my flowerbeds from a year of neglect and an invasion of oxalis (obviously I don't get to everything in a timely fashion)!

    We have a flock of laying hens plus pullets coming along, and I take eggs to work to sell. It doesn't pay for the feed yet, but it helps. I eat a lot of eggs, and dd eats eggs as an ingredient (as in, french toast is good, scrambled eggs are yucky :rolleyes: ) We have meat rabbits, which sometimes provide us with fryers and sometimes don't. Who ever said "reproduces like rabbits" didn't have rabbits. :bash: We have milk goats that provide milk pretty much year 'round if we get them bred at staggered times, and produce extra milk for the hens and dogs/cats. This year we're looking at buying a calf or a pair of pigs to use the extra milk. DD wants a calf, I want pigs...

    Our home isn't the House Beautiful spread I'd like it to be, but it's better now than it has been at times. At least we don't have goats in the bathtub or chicks in a cardboard brooder at the moment. :haha: It's stocked well with food, clothing and books! What more do you need? Okay, we have the computers, too, and sattelite TV...those are our big splurges, and dd does use them for school. Lots of good stuff on History Channel, Discovery, Discovery Health, TLC, PBS. Right now I'm trying to reorganize the den to fit in more bookcases. We're both big readers, both fiction and how-to/homesteading books.

    The biggest help we've had this spring is having my ds23 out to help on the place. He's faced down the mean neighbor, fenced down the property line shared with said neighbor, fenced in the woods so the goats can eat down the underbrush, and built me a 4 stall barn. He and his cousin have also bulldozed the logging clearcut and piled stumps so we can seed a good pasture, and brought me out a little Dingo dozer I used to smooth my lawn area and orchard. I actually hired him, as he was job hunting, but he's done more than any hired hand would have done. It's been great for improving our mother/son relationship, having him out so often. He did find a job, really quickly, and is working at a heavy equipment rental outfit. One of the job perks is getting to use the unrented equipment on the weekends! We've had a lot of talks about what we should do next on my place, and he's helping me to find a good used Ford p/u and a small to midsized tractor I can use around here.

    So, you can see, I don't do it all by myself. My kids all learned to work pretty early, and most of them are pretty handy with a hammer. The boys are very capable, having worked with their dad on visits and when they lived with him as teens. My older dtr is my only "townie". She doesn't like country living or farm animals. :no: I guess 3 out of 4 ain't bad! :haha:

    I love to hear other people's stories. I find it inspiring to read about Dorothy Ainsworth (sp) building her own log house(s), and that's my favorite part of reading Countryside...I like to see how others are homesteading.

    We're more country than some, less than others, but just right for us. :)
     
  9. Kazahleenah

    Kazahleenah Disgruntled citizen

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    I raised my two beautiful children alone, while comming very close to homesteading. Granted, I had a job, that I worked night shift so I could be there when my kids were awake. I had no family close by (3200 miles away in WA). We farmed as a family... grew our own food, except the "staples" (sugar, flour, etc... oh! and kool-aid ;) ) We had 77 milk goats that were milked by hand for the first 3 years. (that averages to 150 or so kids born each year that were bottle fed by hand also) We sold produce, and milk... I trained dogs for people and of course I had my night job. This way of life brought my children and I much closer than I see many familys are today. They also tell me they are gratefull for the way they were raised and that some of their friends even go as far as to say they envy the kids and I for what we have between us. My kids learned to hunt, cook, garden, can and freeze food.... they learned to survive. We had our times when I just wanted to break down and cry.... but it wouldn't be long and something on the farm would birth and I was all :D again. It's well worth it.

    Kaza