Communication is Key

As we sat and waited for the train to head downtown to work Friday afternoon, it occurred to me that I had never asked the homestead hubby if he actually WANTED to be a homestead husband. I simply assumed. Or, maybe I was afraid if I asked he would say no and then I would have to make the decision on how I was going to proceed.

The conversation was sparked by his comment, “Ugh. I don’t wanna do this.” We disconnect and reconnect computers when companies move. They hire the company we work for to save their employees the headache. We appreciate it. It’s what pays our bills. The drawback is many of these jobs don’t start until late in afternoon or evening and sometimes go into the wee hours of the morning. On this job, we worked 2pm until 12am and had to wait for the 12:40 train that got delayed because of a medical emergency and didn’t get us home until 2:15am. He had to be up again to start a 3 day stint working 6pm-6am as post-move support, so I totally understood where he was coming from. Nevertheless, it made me pause.

I looked at him and said, “Those comments scare me. It is starting to make me think I’m going to be doing this alone. I mean, that’s okay. This is my dream and doesn’t have to be yours. I really should have communicated better first. I know there are plenty of women who do this by themselves, but I just figured we’d be in it together. I will understand if you don’t want to, but I REALLY want to do this. I can’t remember a time that I didn’t want to do this.”

He looked at me and said, “I know you do. And, you’re not going to do it alone.” I’m tearing up as I write this. I sometimes wonder how we got here. It wasn’t always this way. My husband is your typical stubborn German. If he doesn’t want to, he isn’t going to, and NO ONE can make him. That comes in handy sometimes, but not always (especially in the battle where I want six hens and he says we can start with three. Did I mention he is stubborn?)

Well, at least that’s how it used to be. Somewhere over the last five years, his heart has gotten softer. For starters, we finally got married. We got engaged on our thirteenth dating anniversary, and our wedding happened four days shy of our 14th anniversary. Secondly, he has promised to build me a chicken coop. Seven years ago when I told him I wanted chickens, he wanted no part of it. “I’m not building no chicken coop!” A few days later (probably a bit longer), I came home and saw him looking at coop plans online. When my heart is especially heavy, he will take me for a drive out to more rural areas to look at the fields and barns hoping it will cheer me up. He bought me a mini-greenhouse, put it together, brought it in the house, and set it in his beloved theater room in front of the window that gets the most sun.

I apologized for not asking him first and just assuming he was on-board. That was selfish of me. Just because I want something with every fiber of my being doesn’t mean he wants it, too. It’s days like these that I see how much I still have to learn in life and in homesteading. There is a lot of work required to maintain a successful homestead and it is something I want to be successful at. No endeavor will work out without constant open communication. That is something I need to keep in mind. Especially now that I think we might want rabbits for spinning their fur into yarn. And a couple of fruit trees…

All in due time.


2 thoughts on “Communication is Key

  1. I like your story, personable and real. My hubby is not so enthusiastic about my homesteading endeavors. I put that as nice as I could. Although he has helped me with many things usually when he sees that I am not turning back. In his defense he has a FULL time job that pays the bills so I can see why he cringes at the thought of using his off hours building a fence or something. I struggle with this a lot. I see people in the online community working together. It all can look so perfect and sweet. But one advantage of this being my thing is that we are never at odds about how many chickens we should get and what we should plant where. Thanks for sharing a little of yourself very encouraging. How big is your homestead? You can find out about mine at I have a small suburban farm down in Dallas, Texas. No one I know here does what I do so I have learned to get my encouragement online.😊

    • Thank you for sharing your story! My husband was the same way early on. He worked nights in a non-airconditioned plant from midnight to 8am. He wanted to no part of additional chores. He also placed a high value on material things and didn’t like the thought of scaling back.
      Then, I lost my job in 2009 and he lost his in 2010 after giving 33 years of his life to the company.
      I started a job 18 months later and then left after two years to be a teacher. Bad timing since there are no teaching jobs near us.
      It ended up being a blessing in disguise. We have scaled back even further and are happier than ever.
      I’m so thankful for these online communities because I don’t know of anyone near me who does this either. 🙂

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