Gender on the Homestead: Why this Mom Mows


| 1/17/2018 1:30:00 PM


Tags: gendered jobs, teaching gender roles, homesteading with kids, homesteading families,

Mom on Tractor

The very first purchase we made for our homestead was our trusty John Deere Rider Mower. The very first thing I said to my husband after we made that purchase was "I'm going to learn how to use it too."  

There's a tendency for homesteading projects to be divided along traditional gender lines - dad operates the tractor, mom cans the tomatoes; dad shovels the compost, mom makes the beeswax candles. And while some of these things are true in our house (I actually do make candles, but my husband was the first to try it) we are also very non-traditional in a lot of important ways. 

After all, a homestead is a family affair, and like many modern farmers the choice to lead this lifestyle was a joint choice - one my husband and I made together because we both love the projects and the idea of sustaining ourselves. So it makes sense that we do things together, trade off jobs, and take turns (especially when there are kids to manage too).

But there are some other important reasons to share the work:



We all need more movement in our lives. I've written before about the risks of a sedentary lifestyle and the fact that our families are seeing less and less movement in our every day lives. If we leave the heavy lifting, digging, spreading, and wood chopping to dad, the rest of us are missing the opportunity to develop our muscles through diverse weight-bearing movements. With the risk of osteoporosis and other degenerative diseases in women, in fact, it may be even more important for mom to keep active. Movement can also help you to release stress, and some repetitive movements (like mowing or swinging an ax) can also be meditative in nature as you get into the rhythm of them.






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