When we purchased a bare piece of land almost a year ago, we knew we were about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime! With a two year old and a 4 month old, we began packing up our house and farm, preparing to spend many months in a Keystone Montana fifth wheel. In those sleep deprived days we dreamed this would substitute as our home for a year, but for me, calling an RV home brought too much pressure... expectations of normal life that we couldn’t live up to. I had to consider what we were doing camping and adjust my way of life accordingly.
Calling our adventure camping, somehow changed my perspective on everything and completely changed the expectations I placed on myself as a mom. You see, when you are camping it’s normal for you to put happy and tired kids to bed with sandy feet. It’s fun to eat outside and enjoy more snacks and finger foods than you would if you lived in a home. Bath time for the kiddos in a Rubbermaid bin became a little more fun and a little less annoying, especially when we can do the baths outside.
In our 300 plus days of RV camping we have figured out how to make one pot dinners, and chop veggies on a cutting board balanced on the edge of the counter and the sink. We threw creativity out the window and focused on simplicity... so much simplicity.
Well, the end is in sight and I am starting to pack things up (maybe more dreaming about packing than actually taping up full boxes) to make the move across the field a tiny bit easier. I’m continually shocked with how many things we thought we would be essential and what we actually used in a year. I wish I knew what I know now when we started this... I would have started my year of camping with less 'stuff.'
This hasn’t been easy. I wouldn’t be able to honestly say RV life with a baby and toddler has been dreamy, but it sure has been shaping for me as a parent. I've had to let more go. And then let more go. And then let more go after that. I've found this journey difficult, but the hardest part has been my own expectations of what I could realistically accomplish and what I thought others expected of me. My kids don't mind it, after all they are the ones who are living the camping dream and spending full days in the dirt and mud.
While not easy, living on the farm was the best decision for us. We needed all hands on deck at all times on the farm prepping fences to manage pasture grazing, toting water when the pipes froze, sorting animals while our kids played and watched Paw Patrol We have put in the first of many years to make baby steps to improve our soil health and the production of our land. Our baby napped every nap outside in the stroller or side by side so we could get provide grass or hay and water for our animals both on the hottest and coldest days in the Shuswap over this last year. It meant we would drop everything to take care of an injured or escaped animal. We all needed to be here on the easy and the hard days.