To live off the grid means a commitment to sustainability and self-reliance that demands thorough planning and hard work.
Whether it means going without electricity or setting up your own source, the lifestyle means surrendering a good amount of modern conveniences.
For parents engaged in off-the-grid living, what does it mean for them?
Does this lifestyle lead to unique challenges that a person wouldn’t encounter had they not entered parenthood?
Parenting will be significantly different for those who want to seek a lifestyle independent from the power grid.
Let’s delve deeper into the process and see if this is something that could work out for you.
Re-arranging Your Life and Redefining ‘Comfort’
When selecting your new home, it’s worth considering the multitude of responsibilities that goes with being a parent – such as potty training a toddler, keeping your children warm and cozy, washing clothes, and so on.
There’s a wide range of off-grid lifestyle templates and you can set one up based on what you feel works best for you.
Your decision should ultimately be weighed by several important factors such as the geography of the area surrounding the homestead, how rural you’re willing to go, the modern off-grid life elements you want to incorporate, and the type of water source you’re planning to set up.
Everything should flow together in a system of self-sufficiency.
Let’s not forget your budget and how you plan to make a living.
Are you still going to commute to work or do you already have a way that will allow you to work remotely?
You might be driven by an ambition to be unplugged from the loud noise of the urban streets, but in order to be self-reliant and live off-the-grid, you must somehow manage to secure a stable internet connection because this will be essential for remote work.
Life off the grid can be luxurious… and bare bones altogether, a paradox in and of itself.
Yet all of that will depend heavily on your family and how you grew up.
Whether you have children or have a baby on the way, it’s crucial to think about the level of comfort you can live with in a relatively rustic life.
Camping out a for a full week can be fun, but when you’re doing it day in and day out for practically the rest of your life moving forward, that’s a different story.
Homeschooling Your Children
Many families who belong to an off-the-grid community prefer homeschooling their children for a variety of reasons including avoiding mainstream culture, mandatory vaccines, and a standardized education system.
Keep in mind homeschooling may not be suitable for every off-grid family.
Understand that it will be a commitment to keep up with your children's education.
Should you decide to take the homeschooling route, securing a reliable internet connection is a must.
Your function as a parent also extends to becoming the teacher to your children and the curriculum will be based off of online home education programs.
One advantage of off-the-grid homeschooling in particular is that it presents plenty of opportunities to teach children the knowledge and skills pivotal in becoming self-reliant.
You can modify the curriculum and find ways to meld outdoor skills and homesteading tasks into the education of your children.
Foraging wild edibles and going ice fishing, among other things, are all immersive learning experiences that can't be found in a public education system.
You can also play an active role in keeping your children safe.
For example, bear activity might be common around your homestead.
Even if your children aren’t hunters, they grow up to be more vigilant and know their way around using a gun should they encounter a bear.
Another example is if you live by the lake, you can teach your children how to fish and operate a boat safely.
Homeschooling provides a unique learning experience that can impart valuable survival skills to children as they grow up – all of which can be easily worked into their schoolwork.
Positive Off-Grid Lifestyle Elements to Live By
The proximity to nature, lack of light pollution, and fresh air will bolster your physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
An off-grid lifestyle involves tons of exercises like tending to the vegetable garden, chopping wood, stacking wood, hiking, and so on.
You are also eating well by regularly cooking your own meals with ingredients sourced from your homestead and rarely consuming processed foods.
The lifestyle also promotes a stronger familial bond by doing things together and helping one another achieve shared goals.
The camaraderie from the simple act of socializing by sitting down together to enjoy a nice meal and an intimate conversation is an immeasurable benefit.
A strong family bond is one of the biggest benefits to living this lifestyle.
Challenges to Expect
If you have children who have already found friends from classmates and neighbors in your town, moving to an off-grid location can make them feel isolated.
Your children can no longer just go to the next block to come visit and play with friends.
It takes a real hike to visit their friends and vice versa or they could meet halfway… sort of.
Then again, the feeling of separation is inevitable, and it will be difficult to handle at first.
But this is not something that cannot be overcome.
It’s only a matter of time before your kids grow accustomed to the distance.
Most importantly, you will help them discover ways for them to still get together with friends.
You’re already spending a lot of time together everyday so it wouldn’t be hard to give up the weekend for them to stay over at their friend’s place or vice versa.
As long as you’re coordinating properly with the parents involved, this is an easy problem to solve!
Another great challenge to consider is how to deal with medical emergencies.
It’s important to learn CPR and first aid beforehand, as well as ways to treat ailments and injuries common among children.
A World of Difference
Living off the grid is not a walk in the park.
Everything will be different.
In the city you can enjoy watching a movie every night with family.
With living off the grid, you will become more conscious about the energy you’re consuming because while you can generate your own, it will take time to replenish energy sourced from solar and/or wind power.
This is one way to maintain balance in using electronic gadgets and gives children the chance to play an active role in maintaining the system of self-sufficiency.
They will have more time and motivation to enjoy other healthy activities such as reading, preparing meals, tending to the garden, collecting water, appreciating trees, animals, and every gift of nature altogether.
You break them free from the walls that have been inhibiting their capacity and determination to do certain things.
You will become a proud parent someday by raising strong, kind, determined, versatile, resilient, and self-sufficient children.
It’s only a matter of time before you realize that they have become fully autonomous and independent adults.
That perhaps is the greatest challenge that you must learn to overcome as a parent.
Be happy if it comes to that because it would mean that you have succeeded in playing your part.