caregiving homesteading

Confessions of an Exhausted, Caregiving, Homesteading Homeschooler

caregiving homesteading

Caregiving can be exhausting. Continuing to lead a frugal, homesteading lifestyle while caregiving sometimes seems impossible. I have a confession to make. I am an exhausted, caregiving, homesteading, homeschooler. Ugh. Seeing it in writing makes me want to take a nap.

My dad was diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment several years ago. As it has progressed I have moved back in with him so that he can continue to age in place. I continue to struggle to maintain my homesteading mindset and resist temptations to return to a convenience-food/disposable-everything lifestyle. But I allow myself some concessions, just because there is only so much time and only so much energy.

1 – I use the dishwasher.

I can hear you gasp. I know. In Arizona and on the road I have been all about water conservation. When I first moved back in I did all the dishes by hand. But with my dad needing to feel useful, it was in danger of becoming a battle for the dishes. I know, right? But dad no longer gets them clean. So I finally relented and let him “wash” the dishes. Then after he goes to bed, I load them into the dishwasher and run it. He feels productive and we have clean dishes. Yes, it uses a bit more water but that water is going through a sand trap and onto the lawn, so no waste.

2 – I use the clothes dryer.

Once again, in lovely, dry Arizona and Colorado I loved my solar dryer. I have seriously considered putting up clothesline in the backyard. With the high humidity we have for most of the year, I would be bringing in damp clothes and throwing them in the dryer anyway. So I just do it from the beginning and cut out that extra step. Our gas bill is low and it is a gas dryer.

3 – I use grocery delivery.

Last for today but certainly not last on my list of homesteading sins, I make frequent use of grocery delivery. This is another peacemaking strategy, as well as a time and labor saver. I used to take dad to the store with me but he would spend the whole time exclaiming over the prices and making inappropriate comments. Then when we got home he would try to take all the bags in at once. To the point where he would block me in until I handed him every bag he thought he could carry. In order to avoid dropped bottles, crushed eggs and smashed bread I switched over to delivery. I pay for unlimited deliveries for the year and easily meet the $35 minimum orders. I cannot put into words the amount of stress this lifts from my shoulders.

So why do I feel like a confession is necessary? Well, I don’t, really. But when I start calling myself a poser and a fake, I have to remind myself of all the frugal, homesteading methods I do practice. And I will continue to share those with you as much as time will allow. And I will tell you that it is OKAY to do what you can and get help with the rest.

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