There has been, it seems to me, an explosion of renewed interest in melding together work and home. Just look at all the “homemaker”/ “homestead” blogs out there that are aimed at documenting their experiences as they try to make the home the central and unifying aspect in their family/community lives. As you brows the thousands upon thousands of posts about “making a home” and “doing it at home” there is something that seems to be missing isn’t there?
It is the same thing that is missing in elementary schools… a male presence.
Now, that’s not the reason I am posting. To be honest, the only reason I post on this “homestead” site is because my wife asks me to and I know it makes her happy when I do things she asks me to do.
Note: I (Shaye) attached this picture. No, Stuart is not narcissistic.
So what is the males place on a homestead? Well, it goes a little bit like this:
Wife: “I think that there is a different way for us to live that would bring things like work, food, entertainment and fun back to the home. I don’t want to spend the majority of our time working away from each other and our family. I think one way to bring work back to the home where we can have quality time together is to have our own garden. Would you build me six raised beds?”
Husband: “Uh, ok.”
Wife: “When you’re done, would you fill them with dirt and make sure they are all ready to plant. And could you build me a big compost bin and fill it with compost then move it around a few times making sure to shovel it all out then move the bin then shovel it all back in again?”
Husband: “I suppose so.”
Wife: “Awesome. Hey I was looking at that plot there and I was thinking it needs to be tilled up so we can plant in it next year. I’ll call my Uncle to see if you can borrow his tiller, then you can just go ahead and get that knocked out.”
Husband: “Oh man. I’m sure enjoying this quality time.”
Wife: “Honey, thanks for doing all that. Why don’t you come on inside. While you were busy I cleaned the house 17 times, brewed Kombucha, baked some fresh bread and marinated the steaks that I’m cooking for dinner! We have salad that I pulled from the garden and cobbler that I made from scratch! Here, enjoy a homebrew.”
Husband: “Life is good.”
Should the guys start to speak up about what “homesteading life” is all about?
I think so. They are, as the dialogue above has shown, an integral part of the homestead. I mean, who else is going to till the ground, shovel the compost, vacuum the spiders out of the cellar, brew (and drink) the beer, be a guinea pig for lacto fermented foods and so on.
To be sure, this homesteading man isn’t around just to satisfy a need for manual labor, however important that is to his philosophy of living. He too shares the desire to make the home more than a place to lay the head at night. He too is not satisfied with leaving his family, the people that matter most in his life, for the majority of everyday with the hopes of spending that quality week with them some time in the future.
In short, he too wants a home, a place to live. He doesn’t mind work but sees no reason to separate that from home and family. And so he tills the ground, builds the beds, moves the composts, brews the beer and eats the lacto fermented carrots.
After all, that’s livin life on the homestead.