Do Homesteaders get depressed too?

As I was scrolling through FB this morning, I came across a post by The Bloggess who was talking about an article on CNN/Parenting’s site titled Xanax makes me a better mom.  Now, I think this is probably a hot button issue on all sides, but I do have to say that I felt like the original Parenting article took a pretty soft approach to a very hard problem…sometimes it sucks to be a parent.  And sometimes the level of “suckage” is just too damn much for some parents.  I like what Jenny (The Bloggess) had to say in regards to getting through the day-do what you gotta do and no one should judge you for it.

However, it also made me realize that the challenges might even be harder for those of us trying to homestead, or at least move towards a more homesteading-like life.  Let’s face it-this lifestyle can be isolating.  I went from being in a very large city with friends just a short car ride away.  Now, I have to drive 40 miles just to get into town in order to even get to friends being a short car ride away.  The distance makes building lasting relationships a bit challenging.  Sheldon works in that city 40 miles away and right now The Blueberry attends school there a few days a week.  It makes for a quiet house during those days.  Sprinkle in the fact that while we have neighbors on our dirt road, they are almost all bachelor men, it makes for a bit of a lonely day alone on the farm with just the animals for company.  Sheldon hears that and thinks I’m crazy…if he could go a week without ever uttering another word to a human, it would be his best week ever.  For me-I’m more of a social creature, so I crave my interactions be they on the phone, via web or when I do get to drive into town.  It’s those little things that keep me going through lonely, blue times.

I think to those stuck in the city but longing to be free, our lifestyle can seem idyllic.  Wide open spaces, plenty of honest work to do around the farm and house, and no neighbors to see you when you sit nekkid on your back deck (not that I’ve done that or anything), but just like everything else in life-it’s not all sunshine and roses.  I would love to see more homesteading/hobby farming families talking about this.  How to balance a person’s need for social interaction with a more isolated way of life.  Blogging is a great way to tap into a wonderful and supportive community, as you’ll see in a later post of mine talking about a Liebster award.

I’ll be frank-I’m not sure how to wrap this post up.  I’m still happier here than I would be shoved into a tight little neighborhood where I can hear my neighbors and smell the traffic.  However, I still struggle with the loneliness at times and frankly, there is not much of a fix for it most days.  It just comes with the territory.   I guess I’m just going to put this out there to anyone who might read this blog…let’s be honest about it as farmers/homesteaders/parents/people.  Sometime it ain’t easy being us!

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9 thoughts on “Do Homesteaders get depressed too?

  1. I wish I could help you out more. I like being alone. I actually prefer to just have animals and be able to do what needs to be done in a day. If you have other friends who are homesteading like you, you could keep in contact on facebook. My friend and I use chat. we are both busy so we chat to each other when we have time. We just leave it up all day. As we feel frustrated or excited we send a message to that other person. For me, it’s a way to feel like I have someone close even though they are far and busy. Don’t know if that would help you but maybe 🙂

    • I was worried when I wrote this, some might picture me crying into my Irish coffee depressed. So not the case, but this is what I LOVE about the blogging community. They are there in a flash with great suggestions like yours Eileen! Awesome!

      I think for me this was more of a desire for transparency and candor within our little online blogging community to acknowledge that yes, farmers get the blues too. And sometimes as Moms, I think we’re especially susceptible to those blues. Just more thinking outloud about how it needs to be more accepted to talk about it. Hope that makes sense!

  2. We don’t live out in the country…yet, but I understand where you are coming from. Being home all day, albeit with kids, doesn’t offer a lot of adult interaction. And I am a very social person. I have found that texting is a good way to stay in touch, even with friends at work, because it doesn’t have to be returned right away. I also like skyping with friends and family when possible. But nothing beats getting together with friends and playing basketball, or something else, to get face to face personal contact. All in all, I am like you, I will take a homesteading stay at home lifestyle over a sardine packed city life. Great post.

  3. I really resonate with what you write here: “I’m still happier here than I would be shoved into a tight little neighborhood where I can hear my neighbors and smell the traffic.” I love the beauty and nature of homesteading (my hopes to do so, anyway), but I have a very hard time being alone for too long. One in awhile is wonderful. But I need some good conversation! I haven’t yet made the move to the farm I hope to have, but the ideas you present here are things I’ve thought about. Thank you for not pretending that everything is perfect.

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