A word of warning…DON’T DO IT!! If you are thinking about starting a homestead throw your toddler out…the whole toddler, just throw them out. If you clicked on this because you were hoping for advice on how to make homesteading with a toddler easier, you clicked on the wrong post because I DO NOT have the answers.
Every morning I go out to check on my chickens and collect eggs. I have to take my three year old with me because I don’t want her to burn down our home. That means she needs boots and a coat (because this never ending winter keeps assaulting us). Not just any boots will do so she has to try on a few pair. Just when you are about ready to burn every pair of boots she owns in the fireplace she will pick the first pair she tried on and INSIST on putting them on herself…very very slowly. WRONG FOOT. You think surely this is fine since her shoes are always on the wrong foot…guess again. Now that her shoes are on and three months has passed you can go to the coop and check for eggs.
Your precious angel will insist on carrying the eggs she finds. She’ll happily tuck a green egg in her pocket and ask you to use it to make her scrambled eggs. On the way in she will trip and crush said egg. She will cry because her coat is “ruined”. After you get her cleaned up she will remember that she wanted eggs, but no other eggs will suffice. She only wants the one that was crushed, never mind that you have a dozen green eggs. She NEEDS the one that was crushed in her pocket. You’re now sure your child will starve because she will be on a green egg hunger strike all day.
Luckily there are tasks that I can give her to do all by herself that not only teach her responsibility and make her feel helpful, but that also give me little bursts of time when I can get other chores done.
- Dumping the compost bucket
- Filling water buckets with the hose (and soaking surrounding areas)
- Giving treats to chickens
- Searching for ducks eggs
- Giving the goats fresh veggies through the fence
Other “tricks that I try to make homesteading with a toddler more manageable:
- Waking up and getting things that CANNOT be done with a toddler done (like milking)–*disclaimer* this only works if your child doesn’t have a sixth sense that alerts them as soon as you go from deep sleep breathing to awake breathing. My kids eyes fly open as soon as my feet hit the floor.
- Doing chores during a time when your toddler is distracted-screen time.
- Doing chores during nap time (if such a things exists at your house)
None of those tips will actually work, but those are the little tidbits of advice that I’m supposed to give you. Those tried and true tips that everyone will tell you. You’ll try them for a little while and feel a little smug when they work and then the next week it all goes out of the window because that’s what having a toddler is…CHAOS. No two hours are the same let alone two days or two weeks.
Don’t get me wrong having a tiny helper following you around learning from you and vice versa is wonderful. I wouldn’t want to raise my kids any other way. This post was simply me laughing about how much “extra” toddlers are to have around when you already have so many chores to tend to.