I used to feel like I didn’t have time for a hobby like I didn’t have time for me. It wasn’t until I was at my wit’s end that I realized I needed time for myself. I needed something to help me get through the day, and maybe even get some fresh air. I thought about exercising, but then I would have to exercise. If this is for you great because it also helps relieve stress. It just is not quite for me. I thought about joining a book club, but who can commit to leaving the house at a set time each week/month, especially with a newborn? I considered doing a craft, but I really needed fresh air. Finally, I considered starting a backyard garden and couldn’t think of a reason not to do it!
Is Gardening for You?
Gardening is the perfect hobby for a working parent that wants to do more than just work and care for a baby all day every day. A working mom that is desperate for some ME time! Let me tell you why I decided to start a backyard garden. 1. You can do it right from home any time of day. You don’t have to plan, you don’t have to get dressed or put your face on, you just walk right outside. 2. It can save you money. Not too many hobbies can do that for you. Now there are hobbies that you can turn into a business from home like blogging, but let’s start with something that can SAVE you money first. Then invest that into a side-hustle!
5 Reasons you should start a Backyard Garden:
1. Saves you Money? Maybe.
This I am a little skeptical of at the moment. We are currently still in the start-up phase and it seems like we will just be putting money into the garden. I personally feel like vegetables are fairly cheap and only a small portion of our budget goes to them right now. I do think about half the vegetables we do buy, go bad before we eat them. This could be a problem if we are producing significant amount of veggies as well. Later in my gardening series, I will share how much I save with the veggies we produce. I am not sure I would sell leftover veggies, but I would definitely give them away to family and friends.
2. Home Decor
A raised garden bed looks nice in backyard. While the set-up of the raised garden bed might be a little pricey, compared it to a flower bed, is it really that much more? I like the aesthetics that come with have a fruitful garden in the backyard, especially with cedar boards. The new boards still have that nice cedar color to them, but since they can’t be treated they will eventually turn grey.
3. It is Fun/Relaxing
You get to care for something and watch it grow into beautiful thriving beings. Sound familiar?? Well at least your plants won’t throw tantrums, hit you, yell and scream. Gets you out of the house and some fresh air. You can do it from home, no nice clothes, no make-up. You don’t to coordinate childcare, you can either bring your kids outside with you or do it while they sleep, in the morning or at nap time. Also, tending to the garden is what I would call a meditative activity. It takes your full focus to water, prune the leaves, and harvest the plant. When you are in a state of focus like this, it is hard to stress about other things going on in our lives. This allows me to relax and enjoy the outside!
You are in control. When it is your backyard garden, you control the soil and the pesticides. You know what is put in your plants. If you want it to be organic than you can control the environment and make sure it is organic. It is sustainable. The best part is you will eat more veggies, AND your kids will eat more veggies. When your kids are involved in the gardening, they are curious about what they made. They also have a sense of pride from what they helped grow, which makes them what to eat the final product.
My last reason is pretty specific to me. I wanted a backyard garden is because I have great memories of working in the garden with my grandfather in Illinois. Every time we visited, I couldn’t wait to see what he was growing and helping him tend to the vegetables. I would eat the veggies right out of the garden and I loved every minute of it. I am hoping to have that same passion as I work on my own garden and if I stick with it long enough hopefully I will be able to create that same feeling in my kids. My hope is they look back on these great memories with us and want to start a garden with their children.
As a working mom, trying to make sure everything runs smoothly and nothing is forgotten, you need to remember how important self-care is for you as well as your family. As the flight attendant says, ‘put the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others’! This applies to life, not just airplanes. If you don’t take time for yourself, whether it is gardening or a hobby that suits you better, then you are not your best self to help your family thrive. Please don’t forget to care for yourself!
I am creating a gardening series for those of you who are interested in starting one. In the next post of this series, I am going to walk you through exactly how I built my backyard raised garden bed and how much it cost. I will say it was more expensive than I expected, so if you have any tips let me know! Do you have a backyard garden? What have you learned so far? I will do a post on things we learned in the first year!