There's been 2 distinct times (now 3) when I've seriously questioned if I had the ability to do what I've set out to do. The first is farmer boy #1 and the second is farmer boy #2. Both pregnancies brought with them a wave of fear- "how am I ever going to manage TWO young children?" I finally rested by the multitudes who had gone before. MANY mothers have children far closer together than 20 months. So when the third child was waiting his debut and I was again having those fears, I again remembered the multitudes through history.
Now I'm stuck. This round of fear (which is completely unrelated to pregnancy despite my ferocious case of baby envy) has none that I can find who has gone before. None. I'd be happy for someone to point one out. Please... just one... anyone?
I'm beginning to doubt my ability to school my children well and maintain the homestead. Farmer girl hasn't yet begun kindergarten and I'm floundering getting through 3 days of preschool lessons a week. And I understand that I'm abnormally busy right now, but it has just started me on the hunt for someone who's doing both. Instead I find:
1) Women who have great homesteads but "unschool" their children. Yes, its a valid movement but not at all an option for this family of proud, unswerving nerds.
2) Women who school their children superbly but manage very little real food production.
3) Women who seemingly do it all beautifully yet their husbands are home all or much of the time to "tend the fields".
We practice what we like to call "old fashioned home economics." My husband has a city job and I do what I can to produce as much food whilst caring for the young'uns. But we have a solid stance toward homeschooling. And homeschooling WELL. The multitudes who have gone before had far fewer skills to teach. Then it was arithmetic... I'll be teaching calculus. Then they taught English... I'll be teaching Chinese. I'm determined that our children will have a better education with us being their teachers than they would have in any school system. So, if something has to give to do that, what gives? The garden takes the most time, but also produces the most nutrition. If I can get everything on maintenance mode where I don't need to do all day weeding sessions once a month (which keeps the garden barely recognizable as a garden), and I can convince the bugs to not eat anything but those weeds, and I can always depend on adequate rainfall, oh and I'd also need automatic planting and transplanting... I could probably do it.
Maybe I'm just fretting over nothing. Maybe I'll learn to get up and get the chores done in the pre-dawn hours as they did way back when. Maybe I'll learn to function on 6 hours of sleep. Maybe the kids will learn to stay in bed beyond when they hear my bedroom door open. Maybe the kids will be able to really help in the garden in the near future. Maybe the farmer girl really will be able to milk when she's 5 as I've told her that's when she can help milk (so now she asks everyday when she's going to turn 5). Maybe I'll find ways of streamlining housework. Maybe I will find someone who's doing it all and be able to glean some wonderful tips.
Maybe I should call these "weeds of doubt" instead and just yank them from the root.