Small town rural living...as a single mom? Loneliness in homesteading? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 07-20-2010, 07:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok. I am considering an opportunity to move to a rural area, for two acres of land to build on. I am worried most about loneliness, and wondering if any single mothers have homesteaded before? I'm sure in the history of the world it has happened, but I mean to choose it? I have a few friends who would most likely come and stay with me, but no committed partner (and no immediate desire for one.)

Do you feel lonely WITH a partner? Thoughts on loneliness in general would be wonderful, as that's what I struggled with this winter (in the middle of downtown!).

Any input or links would be helpful!
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#2 of 8 Old 07-21-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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There's one single mom mentioned in Radical Homemakers who homesteads and lives in a small off-grid cabin with her son.

The agrarian/agricultural aspect is a solitary day-to-day life. I'm married with 2 kids, and I live close to town. My dh travels extensively (is out of town now) for weeks (longest so far has been a month). So, I do a lot myself and enlist the help of the children with some stuff. It's quiet, meditative work a lot of the time.

But there are other jobs that offer opportunity to work together. Hay is a big one. When the hay is ready, it needs to come off the field. Fast, before the rain comes. Lots of opportunities to help neighbors and connect with people that way. Same with livestock. You forge relationships and borrow back and forth--equipment, sires, whatever. In the house, pickles are a lot more fun to pack with a friend.

And in the country, neighbors may have miles between them, but they are still neighbors. We have two neighbors whose properties are adjacent to ours and we rarely see each other or talk...and other "neighbors" a mile or more away who we see often and help each other out.

I get lonely, but it's in a more general sense, as in feeling misunderstood as a mom who's working a farm, working off-farm, and playing single mom a lot of the time. Fact is, I am independent-minded and this is probably the best possible setup for me.

As far as winter goes, it is a lonely time of year. I've come to enjoy plowing and shoveling snow, and I love being in the barn with my animals as the snow flies or the wind howls. I just love it.
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#3 of 8 Old 07-21-2010, 02:51 AM
 
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I think your personality has a lot to do with how well you will like it. We live in a tiny town and I don't really have any friends here. I am 30 min away from the nearest city. But I am a home body and enjoy being alone. I have my children of course so not really alone but ya know what I mean.

My DH used to do over the road trucking and then millwright work so was gone for longish periods of time and I actually looked forward to him being gone. It was just quieter here and I could sew late into the night, talk on the phone, read uninterupted after kids were in bed. I love being alone though.

Good luck with your decision, I would take it in a heart beat.

~Katie~ married to J, mom to DD- A 13 yrs ,DS- L 7yrs , and my little nursling DD2- R 5yrs.

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#4 of 8 Old 07-21-2010, 03:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for your input, that is very helpful. There are neighbors within sight, and reportedly they are nice enough. Maybe not for socializing, but definitely if you need a hand out of the mud or whatever.

I'm considering that my problem this winter wasn't just loneliness, it was depression + angst + NOTHING to do! I was stuck in my apartment, unable to get a job, low on cash, and dealing with stbx drama. Not paying rent = much less stress!
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#5 of 8 Old 07-21-2010, 01:29 PM
 
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I've done both.. lived very rurally without, and now in a different place with a wonderful partner.
you can do it, it's great to be self-sufficient, but think about your skills/personality/resources..
are you the kind of person who can fix stuff or can use a manual to fix leaking pipes, repair stuff, etc.? or do you have hopefully income to spend for these needs when they arise? or skills to barter with neighbors who have those inclinations?
that was the major nightmare for me living singly (and i know there are couples in which both partners aren't handy in that way, too, and certainly not to imply that one's partner has to be the handy one, that's just how it worked out for me personally)..
i had two big dogs to protect the property and me and i also had a gun.. that, i think is another necessary thing to think about- whether you feel safe or feel that you are willing to protect yourself or how you will do this..
Health-wise, you will want to be comfortable knowing you'll be far (i assume) from medical help, so either be willing to learn or know what to do in emergency health situations. That is pretty important, too, and not necessarily a single-parent situation, it's just a rural living situation to think about. If your kids are older, they can be responsible for taking steps in an emergency, too.
I will also say that if you're seeking, it is VERY difficult to meet someone.. unless you live near a town where you can cavort freely. i didn't meet my dh till i moved to a town, but hooked up and moved back to the country..
It's great to raise your family rurally, all other things aside.

for me, boredom = loneliness. you will probably not be bored. there are always things that need doing, especially in the winter. then it's more of a repair things, mend and make things mode.. catching up on reading and quality family time. living rurally makes you learn and practice all kinds of hobbies..

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#6 of 8 Old 07-22-2010, 06:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Hildare, that was a PERFECT example/story!

I am handy in just about all ways, and improving my car maintenance skills. I know first aid, CPR, and emergency first response, plus how to shoot and even how to hunt if it came to that. I know basic building and construction, and I'm researching more of the technical stuff that I always looked to others to know. I'm definitely confident that I could do the physical stuff. 'Town' is an outpost sort of thing 3 miles away, I have an online business that I would be running for spending cash and building/improvement money, plus supplementing our food and such. I definitely have the skills to make this work. I've also been recruiting friends to come stay and 'party off-grid' with me. That has unearthed a wealth of applicants; I'm a young mom and my friends are graduating college and having a hard time finding jobs. That list has made me start to REALLY consider this as doable, extra hands especially the first summer of building would be an amazing improvement, and amazing memories.

I'm just trying to make sure I'm not risking too much. Is there anything I'm not considering? It just seems like such a radical choice that it couldn't possibly work. But, at the same time, it seems like an easy and natural choice, and sort of like the only 'right' choice for me...
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#7 of 8 Old 07-23-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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I'd say go for it! If you have a network of friends like you're talking about and you'll have help doing what you need, it sounds like you're very carefully planning things out. Good luck, let us know what you decide and tell us how it's working..

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#8 of 8 Old 07-23-2010, 12:05 PM
 
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I agree. I'd rather try and see whether it's for me than not try and always wonder, you know? Good luck!
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