I grew up in the Ozarks backwoods of Missouri where my idea of a great afternoon was walking in the woods for hours. My husband is an Iowa boy, but not a hayseed…he lived in a subdivision outside of Des Moines and spent his summers at the pool or throwing around a ball on nicely mowed lawns. During one of our lively ‘discussions’ my husband said:
Yeah, not a farm boy. So funny I had to write it down the moment he said it though.
We came into marriage with nearly exact concepts of what success as a young professional looked like. Our vision of family life while the children were toddlers was nearly identical too. We began to see a divergence of vision when the kids got into the catching frogs and bringing walking sticks home stage. By the time that stage gave way to talk of retirement it was clear we were in an all-out power struggle.
Are we the only couple like this?
Unfortunately, discovering this other side of myself took my husband by surprise and it was been a long slog to try to drag my family to the farming life. Do you want to farm or homestead and your spouse or teenagers want nothing to do with it? Do you feel like you are losing an up-hill battle?
In this article we will explore how to:
- Crystalize what you really want
- Get a handle on what the resistance is caused by
- Put a plan of action together
- Avoid some common pitfalls
- Figure out your best course of action
- Pre-plan your course corrections
- Free One-To-One Virtual Coaching – Available For a limited time.
Do you dream of the country life but your family wants nothing to do with it? I can help you avoid the mistakes I have made in the last decade and hopefully save you 5-10 years of false starts.
After a childhood of dreaming about how exciting it would be to live in the busy city world I saw on television, it took only a few short years to realize that the country was were I belonged. I decided to start a family instead of pursuing a career and for the first decade of marriage my husband (and family in tow) were transferred 5 times. After such an exciting adventure, I found I craved the security and privacy of country living to an irresistible degree. This isn’t really what my husband expected based on my past…it wasn’t what he signed up for…. and it wasn’t a life he understood. This last decade of my mistakes can be your gain. Let me save you 5-10 years. As much as I want this lifestyle for myself, I’m happy to help everyone else get there. There is something special, natural and logical about it. A million new small farms every year would change this world in a short amount of time. Let me help you get there! Let’s both reach our dreams.
Step #1 – Crystalize what you really want
This step is truly the most important, and we will work through how to test the ideas in your head to insure that is where you really want to be in the end. Spoiler alert: I discovered that what I really wanted wasn’t what I was arguing with my husband about. I was able to get what I really wanted cheaper and faster than if I would have gotten what I was pushing for.
One-to-One Zoom Meetings
Using Zoom, we can meet virtually and begin a coaching process. We will walk through my experience and see what you are experiencing too. This is a case where the process is important in order to make pivoting easier when challenges come (and they always come).
Step #2 – Get a handle on What is Causing the Resistance
Knowing what is concerning your spouse is especially important. Your kid’s concerns are also important because of your love for them, but your spouse must feel respected and honored in your decision. Letting them weigh in and be heard will make a world of difference down the road in how they ‘feel’ about the plan.
Before we make a case to our spouses, we must attempt to understand why they don’t want a small farm. Let’s discuss how to get them to talk and how to also address the things they don’t mention that we suspect.
One hint my husband gave me after 9 years of this tug-of-war: “I am an Amorphous Solid”. Ok, I married an engineer, so I spend a lot of time looking up the things he says to me, but here is what he means. An amorphous solid is like corn starch paste which flows slowly like kid’s Elmer’s School Glue, but if you put sudden pressure on it it stiffens and resists for no apparent reason. Had I approached the plan of a small farm in a more fluid way with no sharp, sudden demand for action there wouldn’t have been a sharp, sudden resistance to change. Even when I softened and changed my approach, heels had already dug in and battle lines drawn. Are you married to an “Amorphous Solid” or maybe one or two of your children are? Gentle flow is easier on family life and emotional resilience.
Step #3 – Put a plan of action together
Time to take lots of notes! I’ll go over what my plan of action looks like today, and even pull out some old plans. Then we can talk about our best intentions and how to set them up timing wise and season wise to get the best possible results. Moving forward is our objective, and the skill sets you come to your small farm with and your family situation are going to be the biggest elements of this step.
Step #4 – Avoid some common pitfalls
Let’s laugh at me! I probably have gone about this completely backwards, and caused this nine-year delay in reaching my dream. Let’s have a good laugh and see if you can cut your time down.
The 80/20 rule is probably actually the 95/5 rule when it comes to avoiding terrible mistakes in how you approach achieving a small farm dream. I’m going to be honest with you, let’s save you some time, because we aren’t getting any younger!
Step #5 – Figure out your best course of action
Let’s take all this and put it together to get you milking cows or growing corn or bringing in eggs in record time.
Come to this step with a start on your over-all plan. We will work it out using tools that big companies and factories have perfected; not to reduce your joy in the journey, but to reduce your frustration when things don’t go according to plan.
Step #6 – Pre-plan your course corrections
Things are going to happen! Let’s plan for it!
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