The last pot of tomatoes is simmering on the stove. Canning season is wrapping up and I am singing HALLELUJAH! What I once loved has now become a chore because it requires juggling of children on top of an already laborious task. The larger our family grows the larger our needs are for canned good. It takes longer to stock the shelves and freezers than it did in years past. I will admit I canned a lot less than ever this year. Mainly for two reasons, our garden just did not produce this year (which is another blog post in itself) and having little ones at my feet. I am amazed at you mamas that can handle it all. Canning days always start perfect but within thirty minutes everyone is bored with helping me and all Hell breaks lose. Every nook and cranny of the house is destroyed and I find the Sawyer playing in the toilet. So this year I scaled back because I knew I could not handle the stress of doing it alone. I now know why the Amish and Mennonite woman do it together.
I keep these two verses in mind to help me get over the guilt of not being a crunchy enough mom.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under Heaven.” My time will come again when the children are able to occupy themselves and I can fully enjoy the process of canning like I did in years past. But for right now it is not worth the stress and yelling at my kids. Next year I may need to call on more help ….oh grandma’s???
Matthew 6:26 “ Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” I will miss having our own pickles this year but the cucumber plants died so I was not going to buy any to can. I must remember He will take care of us. Sometimes in my humanness I want to hoard and store food away for the future. In the end I usually throw away so much spoiled food.
Does my lack of canning make me less of a homemaker or homesteader? In my eyes “NO” Does it make me a better mom? Yes, because I see the needs of my family and serve them first. I am slowly realizing I do not have to serve them through food, but through my time and love. So often I slave over a meal or canned goods to show them love and to provide good nutritious food, but in the end all they really want from me is me and all of my attention.
This summer was the best summer on record. We watched our kids grow up and witnessed them exploring and learning. In ten years I am not going to remember that this was the summer I nearly quit canning. No! I am going to remember the trips to Idaho, to the mountains, and to New York with my family. That is what they will remember too.
So mamas lets give each other grace and the freedom to enjoy our family. You can always buy organic pickles at the store!