Jill is the founder of The Prairie Homestead, one of the foremost homesteading websites since 2010. She is dedicated to helping others learn how to grow their own food and live a more fulfilling, old-fashioned life. Her practical and authentic style of teaching and storytelling has won the hearts of hundreds of thousands of homesteaders across social media and through the top-ranked Old Fashioned on Purpose podcast and the best-selling Prairie Homestead Cookbook.

428: Get Back to the Earth With Your Kids

Jill Winger

Do you feel like with your busy family life, sometimes you’d like to just go back to the way we used to live? Slower, more intentional, closer to the earth?

That’s what this week’s conversation is all about. I talk to Jill Winger, host of the “Old Fashioned On Purpose” podcast about how we can slow down and become more grounded through our everyday activities.


Read the Transcript 🡮

*This is an auto-generated transcript*

[00:00:00] Jill Winger: Um, I was raised typical 90s kid, little neighborhood, ate all the normal, you know, processed food, did all the normal things, but I've always had this weird desire or craving ever since I was a little girl that I wanted to live in the country and I wanted to be on a farm and I wanted, you know, horses and other farm animals.

[00:00:23] Hunter: You're listening to The Mindful Parenting Podcast, episode number 428. Today, we're talking about how to get back to the earth with your kids with Jill Winger.

Welcome to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. Here it's about becoming a less irritable, more joyful parent. At Mindful Parenting, we know that you cannot give what you do not have, and when you get calm and peace within, then you can give it to your children. I'm your host, Hunter Clark Fields. I help smart, thoughtful parents stay calm so they can have strong, connected relationships with their children.

I've been practicing mindfulness for over 25 years. I'm the creator of the Mindful Parenting course. And I'm the author of the best selling book, Raising Good Humans, a mindful guide to breaking the cycle of reactive parenting and raising kind, confident kids, and now, raising good humans every day, 50 simple ways to press pause, stay present, and connect with your kids.

Welcome back to the Mindful Parenting Podcast. So glad you're here. I hope you're subscribed so you don't miss any episodes. So, of course, you've been seeing the Mindful Parenting for Kids episodes, right? Because you're subscribed, I hope so. These are a special gift for you. Uh, we've been giving you these Thursdays.

Also, if you get some value from the Mindful Parenting podcast, please go over to Apple Podcasts, leave us a rating and review. You can click on it right from where you're listening to this right now. There's like a little blue link that says leave a review. Just helps the podcast grow more, and it really doesn't take very long.

And I really, really appreciate it. In just a moment, I'm going to be sitting down with Jill Winger, founder of The Prairie Homestead, one of the foremost homesteading websites since 2010. And she is dedicated to helping others learn how to grow their own food and live a more fulfilling old fashioned life.

Her practical and authentic style of teaching and storytelling has won the hearts of thousands of homesteaders across social media, and she has the old fashioned On Purpose podcast and the best selling Prairie Homestead cookbook. And we're going to talk about getting back to the earth. I don't know, I feel like this, right?

Like, life can get really busy, and maybe you feel really busy with your family life, and sometimes you just like to go back to the way we used to live, like slower, more intentional, closer to the earth. And that's What this conversation is all about. How we can slow down and become more grounded through our everyday activities.

So join me at the table as I talk to Jill Winger.

Well, Jill, thank you so much for coming on the Mindful Parenting Podcast.

[00:03:15] Jill Winger: Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to chat. 

[00:03:18] Hunter: I'm excited to talk to you, too, and we're going to be talking about old fashioned things like growing your own food and eating your own food and things like that. But first, before we kind of dive into that, I want to start with you and how were you raised and how would you describe your childhood?

[00:03:34] Jill Winger: Yeah, so I was actually raised really conventionally. A lot of people are surprised. They assume I came from a big ranch or farm family, but I didn't. Um, I was raised a typical 90s kid, little neighborhood, ate all the normal, you know, processed food, did all the normal things, uh, but I've always had this weird desire or craving ever since I was a little girl, um, that I wanted to live in the country and I wanted to be on a farm and I wanted, you know, horses and other farm animals.

And everyone around me, I think, thought I would outgrow it. And it was kind of like that cute little saying pat you on the head, like, Oh, how nice, darling. And, um, as I got older and into my high school years, uh, it, it wasn't going away and I started to dig in deeper and I, you know, turned 18 and, uh, people are like, what are you going to do for college?

What are you going to do with your life? And, um. Long story short, I couldn't find anything that felt compelling and I ended up coming to Wyoming, uh, 1, 200 miles away from my childhood home to pursue a career in the horse industry. Um, so that kind of started me on this path to just doing things unconventionally, not being afraid to live off the beaten path, and that ultimately led, ultimately led me to meet my husband and buy our homestead and here we, here I am doing all the homestead things ever since.

[00:04:45] Hunter: Okay, so I love this because my, my daughter's super into animals and horses and things like that and I used to ride, but, um, but what, like, so when you say homestead, I think Little House on the Prairie, like that, it's like been, you know, and, and homestead in some ways has like a bad rep, right? Because homesteading was like how we, you know, a lot of, you know, colonists.

So what do you mean by saying homestead in a modern context?

[00:05:13] Jill Winger: Yes, that's a great question. And it can be really confusing with the different definitions. I think a lot of times people instantly just think about it in historical terms like, oh, you know, the government's going to give you free land? How does that work?

I'm like, no. The Homestead Act is no longer in, you know, in practice. It expired in the 70s. You can't do that. So it's really not about getting free land or having a certain piece of land. And you're right, there is a lot of pushback sometimes when you do talk about homesteading in a historical sense. It wasn't always great and done with great intention and there was some definite issues with it.

And so I kind of steer clear of those historical connotations surrounding the word. And I like to call it more like modern homesteading. And what I, or how I define that rather is, is less about. a certain, um, size of property or a certain number of farm animals that you have, or, you know, a certain, like checking the boxes.

And it's more about just moving through life with a certain type of awareness. And really pushing back against what I call the industrial paradigm that we're all very much, um, kind of entrapped in, in our modern world, often without realizing it, um, that's been shaping everything we do as a society for about the last 100, 150 years.

And just starting to question that a little bit, and that looks really different for different people. You might need, you want to, you know, sell everything and move to the country and get a milk cow and chickens. It might mean that you stay where you are and just start thinking about. What you're eating and how your choices are impacting the environment.

Um, how you're raising your family, how you're interacting with your community. So that's kind of that latter definition is really what I lean into when I think of the term homesteading. Okay. 

[00:06:47] Hunter: All right. I appreciate what you're saying about kind of pushing back against the industrial paradigm. And I think that.

You know, what I've seen with that is, you know, there's the push to be like that. Everybody is our, you know, we are these sort of individual little units, like industrial units, and that we're pushed to like live super far away from. Maybe where we grew up because, uh, because that, you know, that should be normal, even though, you know, we may not be supported by our community or, you know, it's like a push towards consumption, a push towards busyness, a push towards, like, really, like, even with things like experiences, accumulating them and having them be, like, really sort of commercialized and kind of that's, I don't know if that's what That you're nodding your head, that sounds like what you were thinking of too.

[00:07:35] Jill Winger: Dead on. I think that the, you mentioned consumerism, which is one of the most fascinating pieces of it for me, because I think that shaped so much of our culture. Today, we don't even realize it. But that was a big push around the turn of the century, and we're still still in the effects. So yeah, it's just, it's just being aware.

It's just starting to seep through those things. Um, for you. 

[00:08:00] Hunter: And we want to encourage you to stop by our website at MindfulMama. org, and we're happy to answer any questions you may have. So, I'll see you on the next episode. Thank you so much. Bye. Walk the Middle Path. Um, but there's a lot of things that really worry me about the way our culture is.

You know, like, there was, I remember when my oldest daughter was two and my husband was like, we should do this little programming program for a two year old. And I'm like, should we go for a two year old? I'm not sure. Like, I remember having a lot of worries about screen time and things like that. And yet, you know, that is like, clearly the direction.

We're going and I, but I think a lot of people in the Mindful Parenting podcast audience, you know, worry about those directions. So can you kind of describe, I just want to kind of paint a picture a little bit more. Maybe you can describe kind of a day in the life with you and your kids and and how that goes along.

[00:09:01] Jill Winger: Yeah, so that kind of varies depending on the time of year. Um, we homeschool, so that's a big part of our, you know, our school year. We're here, the kids You know, wake up, they're in charge of chores, and they have been for quite a few years, um, now that they're a little bit older. And so I try to give them a lot of autonomy, and I think that Homestead really sets the stage for that in a beautiful way.

Gives them built in responsibility and problem solving experiences. And so they get up, they do chores, um, take care of the animals. In the school year, we, we do our school together. We usually wrap up, um, late morning around lunchtime and that's when then they're kind of free to do learning part two, the books go away, um, the flashcards get put in the cabinet and they go outside and.

usually just run, explore, play, create. Now that they're getting a little bit older, there's a lot of building. There's a lot of, um, taking things apart and putting them back together. And so, um, that's kind of, you know, when I look at childhoods across history. You know, we parent so differently now, as you know, I'm sure from all your, your books and research, we parent so differently now than we used to, and that's not to say that every parenting practice of yesteryear was fantastic, because there was definitely things that weren't great, um, but one of the things when I'm letting the past inform my reality, which is one of the things I love to do, is mixing the past, the best of the past with our modern, um, world is I just look at how much more freedom those kids had back in the day to learn, play, explore, experience natural consequences in a healthy way.

Obviously that can go too far, so you still have to be present to make sure they're not getting hurt or anything. But, um, I just like a lot of those ideas that I think sometimes accidentally get Taken away in our modern world. And so in terms of just like how I bring old fashioned ideas into parenting, I think that's the biggest is, is letting the homestead just kind of inform a lot of what we do.

[00:10:54] Hunter: I really appreciate that, uh, that push towards like some freedom and autonomy. I think that's really been taken away from kids. Yeah. And for me, like with my kids, it was, um. It wasn't something, like, I had a lot of freedom and autonomy, and I wanted my kids to have that. Did you have that, too? Or did you?

Yeah. Were you pretty much more circumscribed in your 90s?

[00:11:16] Jill Winger: Well, I was homeschooled, so that, I was actually, you were actually one of the early, you know, 90s homeschoolers were kind of homeschool pioneers a little bit. Um, it's not, wasn't as well accepted as it is today. Uh, so that was my one unconventional piece of childhood, and I, with that, my, My mom could be a little helicoptery at times, but she also, we, we had, uh, some open space behind our housing development and this old railroad tracks that, you know, trains didn't go on anymore.

And so we would spend. hours and hours and hours with our friends in the neighborhood playing back behind there. And so I feel like I had a little taste of that country, rural vibe of a childhood, even though I was raised in a subdivision. And so having that freedom, I still remember what it felt like, even though we weren't far from the house.

Like I remember the adventure and that excitement of catching frogs without any adults near or building a fort. And I think that has helped me. As I've, you know, became a parent and my kids get older, that's just those little glimpses have helped me kind of develop my own philosophy here on the homestead, even though I wasn't raised.

[00:12:19] Hunter: Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

Actually, my first friend was a homeschool kid. She was, she lived behind me. Um, and we did cool stuff. Like, uh, I learned how I dipped candles and, uh, we had the most outrageous like Lego like. You know, spread, you could possibly, we made, we made little Lego waterbeds out of like, um, uh, plastic baggies.

[00:12:49] Jill Winger: That's awesome. 

[00:12:51] Hunter: And where we lived, it was like, kind of like a little bit post industrial, like there was a shipbuilding place, uh, on the street. And so our, our, we, we definitely roamed around, but like the roaming included, like, there was like a, a, a forgotten.

[00:13:07] Jill Winger: Corner of like a, a factory where there was an old, uh,

[00:13:11] Hunter: there was an old car.

It was a convertible that was like, Oh my gosh, we would pretend, we would pretend to drive this car. Yeah.

[00:13:17] Jill Winger: Constantly. It was, it was great. But you still have those memories, which is always fascinates me. The things we remember, it's those things. It's like that. It's just the simplest times when you were left to explore and adventure and it means something.

It really matters to kids.

[00:13:32] Hunter: Yeah, yeah, and more and more we're realizing too, like, how important it is for their development to have that autonomy, to have that free play, to be able to come up with their own solutions and all of those things and have non adult led thing, like, plenty of non adult led time in their life.

Seems incredibly important and this is obviously one way to do it. I imagine your kids, like, they may be pretty immune to allergies too, right? Because, like, if you have a lot of exposure to animals there, that's like, I've, I've read, this is, okay, dear listener, don't quote me on this because I don't know where this came into my brain, but that you, if you have a lot of exposure, like farm animals have the least amount of allergies of anyone because of just the exposure.


[00:14:16] Jill Winger: The farm kids. Yes. Yes. Okay. I do. I have females and they're, they're fascinating. Now, my kids, I will say, my, I have hay fever. My husband has hay fever and our genetics somehow passed along some hay fever. It's not like, you know, life's threatening, crazy, but they still get sniffly when they're around some grass.

There are certain grasses our family just... doesn't love. Again, not life threatening, it's more annoying than anything, but they're, I do think their immune systems are strong. Like, ever since they were little, just accidentally, they eat dirt. Like, they're just, you know, no matter how much you wash their hands when they're out in the barnyard with you, they're just, it's in their mouth, and it's shocking to me, um, you know, we have such a culture of, that's fear of gerbs, and obviously there are bacteria, there is bacteria that is harmful, but, um, how much...

How dirty your children can be in, within reason, in a healthy way, and it doesn't make them sick. You know, my kids still eat carrots straight out of the garden. They brush the dirt off and eat them. And I'm like, it doesn't bother me. I just think it just is building those healthy immune systems. Okay, so

[00:15:12] Hunter: this is great.

So what are some, like, so for the listener who's like, I don't have a homestead and I may not be having a homestead anytime soon, what are some old fashion maybe skills or things that your average parent can take into their lives that maybe you recommend? Yeah,

[00:15:32] Jill Winger: so I tell everyone the very best place to start, I don't care if you have a hundred acres or you live in an apartment in New York City, start with your food.

Just start asking questions about what you're eating. Um, just start thinking about it. Like you're, you're eating probably three times a day or so. Um, so that's giving you lots of opportunity and obviously sometimes you're going to be busy, you're just going to do what you can do. But you know, I, I guarantee you, probably everybody has at least a couple of meals a week where you can put a little more thought or intention into it.

And that doesn't mean you need to go whole hog all at once, it just means start, uh, potentially cooking a little bit more from scratch. Like if there's something you find yourself buying a lot, or something you really enjoy, is there a way that you could make a version of it at home? Um, kind of by default what happens when we start cooking from scratch, we also start to eliminate some of the processed ingredients that are so prevalent.

And so, you know, just getting to the point where you're able to buy more ingredients at the grocery store versus buying ready made packaged meals. Just try to weave that in a little bit more, whether it's making your own gravy, making your own biscuits, learning how to roast a chicken. Um, you can make your own yogurts at home.

You can make your own sour cream at home. Just like find something that seems interesting to you and just start weaving that into, um, your routine and see what happens. Cause I find that when people start to do that. It's pretty exciting. I just, even people who aren't super nerdy in the kitchen like I am, it feels good to be creating and it's kind of this snowball effect where they, they make something, they like the taste, they like the experience and they do more and more and it starts to impact their life in a really beautiful way.


[00:17:04] Hunter: I, I don't love cooking, but I learned how to roast a chicken at one point, of course. Yes. And I was like, oh wow, a roast chicken is quite, you know, very delicious. Of course, you can do it at home. But then the thing that I learned that I love that's like pretty homesteady, I guess, is that is making stock.

And I always think it's so great. So whenever I have vegetables, I just take all the ends of the vegetables and I put them in a freezer bag. Like all the ends of the tomatoes, the lettuce, whatever. I just put it all in a freezer bag and then I save the chicken bones. And then I always have these vegetables in the freezer.

And then whenever I'm done. I have some chicken bones, I make my own stock, and that is like the most useful. Yes. It makes everything taste good. I love making soups. Soups are like, turn out to be incredibly easy. It's like other food with more liquid. It's grease. And it's easy. So that's my, my plug for, for maybe an easy starter, uh, crunchy homestead step that you take to your listener.

[00:18:10] Jill Winger: I think homemade broth is one of the best things because it tastes, like everything you said, it tastes so much better than the store bought. Like you can't really buy good store bought broth. Yeah. It's brown water, basically, um, and it's so thrifty, like you're using stuff you would normally toss in the garbage, and it just, I don't know, it just feels good, don't you think?

It just is like, every time I do it, I'm like, I'm creating something from nothing. It just is this funny little rush of trying to get from it for whatever reason. Yeah.

[00:18:37] Hunter: So. No, it feels good. It's like, I, like, am creating something from something I would have thrown away, and now it kills me, like, at Thanksgiving, you know, I like, sometimes throw, and I'm like, oh, wow, that could make a lot of soup.

[00:18:52] Jill Winger: Yes. Yes. Oh, well. Hey, I have no shame. I have brought home other people's turkey bones before. I mean, I didn't seek it out of the garbage. I asked them for it before they put it in the garbage. Just saying. Just saying. I am. I am hardcore, I suppose. 

[00:19:05] Hunter: Okay, good. And are there any other, like, places with food that you would recommend, like, someone start?

Like, a, a, a good, a, I think that's a really good thing that we could do homemade. The other thing I make homemade is, um, I make homemade granola just because it's really yummy. Um, I have a good recipe where you don't have to stir it. I don't know, it's easy. It's not as bad. I don't know. What do you, what do you think, Jill?

[00:19:26] Jill Winger: Yeah, I think if people aren't gluten free, I know a lot of people are these days, breads are really gratifying. There's something that is just, just feels right about kneading dough or working with dough. I think it's just an elemental part of being human because we've been connected to bread for so long in different ways.

So if you're not gluten free. Try a homemade biscuit or a homemade pie crust or a simple yeast dough. I mean, the marketers have told us now for decades that it, that bread is just too hard for the average home cook and it's just not, it's just not true. Like it's so simple and you can make so many breads with just flour and water and yeast and salt.

It doesn't have to be sourdough, although sourdough is super fun, um, but that's something I see when people start making the breads. Even the people who really don't love cooking, don't claim to love cooking, get really excited. Um, another thing to try is see what you can grow in your window sills. If you, you know, don't have a yard or a garden, or see what you could grow on a patio or in pots.

Because even if it's just herbs or some lettuce greens, you can get that fresh flavor and those fresh veggies, uh, and you don't have to go to the market because, you know, herbs go bad quickly. I find that's the most frustrating part of fresh herbs is they, you buy them and then the next day they're slimy and you're like, I just wasted six dollars on that.

Um, so try growing them yourself. It gets your hands on the soil. It gets you kind of connected to the rhythms of nature and it just tastes really good. 

[00:20:47] Hunter: I really need to do that. I live on, like, a quarter acre forest, basically. We have something like 40 trees on a quarter acre. Nice. So I don't have any I don't have any sunshine to grow anything.

I do, we do actually do like a community garden in the summer, but I have to kind of walk all the way over there. It's, it's not, it's not a sound convenient, but, so I'm thinking maybe like, I don't know, maybe I get a grow light. That's something I've been contemplating trying over the years, but I haven't done yet.

[00:21:18] Jill Winger: Yeah, you can do a lot. Like I have, um, a grow light rack system. I just DIY'd it in my basement cause I start all my little baby seedlings in the winter. It's too cold to do anything outside. And so I, yeah, just do shop fluorescent shop lights and things go really well. So I'm sure you could do the same with herbs or other, you know, lettuce greens, whatever.

[00:21:35] Hunter: That's so cool. I might do that out here in the Mindful Parenting podcast studio. That would be fun to have. That'd be so cool, yeah. Just kind of growing while I do my podcast. I would really like that. Yes. Okay, cool. So, this all takes some time, and I know you're kind of pushing back against Our kind of post industrial, you know, our industrial kind of like, rush, rush, rush.

I think that might be part of it, but what do you say to people who are like, Jill, this sounds great. Like, I would love to make my own stock. I would love to grow some vegetables. I would love to maybe even have chickens in my backyard or whatever, but I don't have any time. What do you say to that, that, uh, complaint?

[00:22:13] Jill Winger: Um, it's a common one, you know, I think we're all, we're all busy as modern people. I definitely Um, as over the years, my life has morphed from just being the homestead mom to now I'm running businesses. I have, you know, entrepreneurial ventures. So I, contrary to what a lot of people think, I'm not just sitting around the house all day, you know, canning tomatoes in my apron.

I just not like I, I live a very hybridized life of modern and old, and I kind of like it that way. Honestly, I need both parts of my life. And so, like most people, uh, I am also balancing child activities and business responsibilities with. The rest of the things I want to do. And what I come back to over and over again is why I continue to do these old fashioned things that do take time and effort, even though technically from an outside look in, I don't have time for it, is.

Um, the benefits it brings me is worth it. And so when I really sink into that, I realize it's worth prioritizing. And I think we always can prioritize things that we find to have value, um, in our lives. And so one of, one of the ways I do that is we push back against some of the industrial paradigm by we do, we do say no to certain things.

Like we, we put our kids in activities, but not an activity every night of the week. And I know all families are different and there's lots of different considerations, but you know, I kind of pushed back against that. that backseat culture where the kids, you know, are constantly being shuttled here and there again, we do do some sports.

We do do some 4H and things, but we try to be really intentional with that, which frees up more time for not only the kids to have free space where they can explore and create, but also it keeps our family feeling a little more sane and manageable. And so we're trying, I try to be really careful how we schedule.

And then I think the other piece is, is I've replaced a lot of the passive. activities of leisure, like that are, tend to be really consumption based, like watching Netflix or going out to movies or going shopping, right? That's how, like, a lot of people would relax or, or find their rest time. And I have learned to replace those.

Still do it sometimes. I'm not saying I'm a purist, but I replace a lot of that with gentle activities that are based around the homestead. And so I've learned that I, when I, at night, when I'm tired, I have a choice. I could zone out on Netflix. Where I can go mill around in the garden. Not hard labor in the garden, you know, not like sweating.

There's a time and place for that. But, you know, I find that I'm more recharged. My cup is more filled when I choose to go out and mill around the garden in the evenings, gentle weeding. gentle pruning, checking on things versus just mindlessly consuming all the time. And so that's one of the ways I think just replacing that sort of leisure with a different sort of leisure has, gives us more time than maybe most people think is possible.

Does, did I answer the question?

[00:24:49] Hunter: Yeah, and I come, I am completely with you. I'm maybe the East Coast equivalent of, we're, we're sandwiching the states in that saying that yes, we should be pushing back against this like incredibly checked. chock full schedule. Like that's, if it's stressful for you, it's definitely stressful for your kids and that it has detrimental effects for kids.

I, I firmly believe that. And it, it sounds like the way, you know, to kind of reply to what you're saying about doing sort of quiet activities, like milling around the garden. I mean, it sounds like You know, I teach mindfulness and mindfulness is a practice of practicing to intentionally be in the present moment and to intentionally let go of our, you know, to practice releasing our thoughts, releasing our worries.

You know, knowing that they will come back 10 bazillion times, but releasing them and then coming back to the present moment, allowing some ease, a practice of ease, a practice of peace, cultivating that consciously, a practice of ease and peace in your life. And I'm kind of hearing that. Is what you're doing in this like sort of quiet time.

Is that right? 

[00:25:57] Jill Winger: It is. It really is. Yeah. And I, I've often said like, because I do have a cerebral career, if you want to call it that, with my, with my online businesses. I'm, I'm answering emails. I'm checking social media. I'm, you know, bam, bam, bam, podcast interview here, writing a blog post here. So I have, my brain goes quickly and there are times of the day that I love that.

I love that, um, challenge. At the end of that, or if I do too many days of that in a row, I start to feel very scattered and very frazzled. And so I've often said, like, I go to the garden to bring myself back into my body. Like, that's how I get back just to feel human. I feel like my adrenaline leaves, my breathing slows.

And there's just something about, I mean, you can, you can get the same effect absolutely by going for a walk or just being quiet outside. But there's something about mixing with plants and soil, um, that it just, I think it, it makes it even easier or more gratifying. And so yeah, I, I really see now these days.

I think back in the day I started gardening because I wanted vegetables and now I garden because it keeps me mentally healthy. It keeps me feeling grounded and centered. And the vegetables are kind of a side effect. Mm. Yeah,

[00:26:58] Hunter: I think that we are missing that. You know, we are, we're animals on this earth, right?

Like, we're cells of the earth body. Like, we, it's not like something that's really separate from us. I don't know if you've seen it, Jill, but there's these incredible, there's these beautiful videos. I saw a video of, um, Uh, it was like really high up of like, uh, people entering the water at the beach, right?

Like, and it was kind of like people coming into the water, people coming out of the water, and it looked exactly like cells in like a human body, like just the, the cells entering, the cells leaving, and like a blood flow and something like that. Fascinating. Yeah. And I feel like that sometimes we get into a place where we have stress and our societies Our society's answer to that is like, distract yourself on your phone, like it'll feel good to scroll through Instagram, and sometimes I do that, but basically it adds more, more of that information, more scattered, you know, diffusion, more, ultimately like more stress where you're in, and we kind of have, we're acclimating to that.

I can really see we're actually acclimating to that, so it can be hard to just. Be in the kitchen, make something without listening to a podcast or just be out in the garden without putting in our earbuds to do something else at the same time. And I think this is kind of the underlying context of what, you know, why I was really fascinated, you know, I was fascinated with the idea of sort of this old fashioned homesteading thing is because it's this idea of, we can be intentional about being present.

And connecting and, and choosing the places where we maybe want distraction, but not letting it be the default.

Stay tuned for more Mindful Mama podcasts right after this break.

[00:29:05] Jill Winger: I think people assume maybe I have it all figured out or I never struggle with social media or feeling that frenetic, like, mind space that is so prevalent in our culture, but I still struggle with it. And there are days when I'm like, okay, I can go to the garden or I can scroll Instagram. And Instagram wins.

And then I just take note at the end of that, I'm like, You don't feel any better, Jill. That wasn't relaxing. You feel more scattered. And you know, like, note to self, make a better choice next time. So it's not that it's, you know, I don't have the, the lifestyle where I can just completely disconnect from modernity all the way, right?

We can't, we're not really interested in going off grid. And we're not interested in joining a commune, and we're not interested in, you know, completely ditching all technology. I like some of the fruits of that, but I think it are, in this time now more than ever, especially as technology just keeps getting faster and bigger and more all consuming, we have to be able to break away and be intentional with what we're doing.

And, you know, I, I think there's lots of ways to do that. But man, when you're out in nature and you're, you're just being part of nature instead of, um, just a spectator, I think it's one of the easiest ways to just kind of trigger all the pieces of our body to be like, Hey, remember how this feels? Remember how this works?

Like, this is important to pay attention.

[00:30:14] Hunter: Okay. So let's, I love this. So let's talk about like with your kids. And so you told me that your kids are now 13, 10, 7, they're, I love it, they're off doing chores, they're homeschooling, they're running around. Now that we understand a little about your mindset and what you're thinking about, what are you doing to, you know, what is your stance as far as technology goes in your house and your family?

[00:30:38] Jill Winger: Yeah. So we're pretty, we're pretty careful. Um, my oldest daughter, she has a flip phone because she's, a little part time job and she's out and about more. And so we actually had a little bit legitimate need for her to be able to call us at times. Um, but we've made the family agreement that the kids won't have smartphones until quite a quite a ways into high school.

If not, you know, but maybe when they leave the house, they can choose to add smartphones into their life. Um, we have iPads that they use sometimes for our homeschool research, but they don't have free reign. Um, I actually, this is kind of a controversial topic on my platform. I, we'd always let them watch some TV, you know, it's like a Netflix documentary or some sort of kids show in the afternoons.

And I started doing that when they were little because, you know, the witching hour as a mother when you're trying to make supper and everyone's grouchy and I'm like, just watch Octonauts for an hour and we'll all be happier. And so we've kind of kept that routine up until as they've gotten older and last fall.

Um, and then sometimes we'd also watch a show together as a family in the evenings. And last fall, my husband and I kind of looked at each other and we realized that even though we weren't, the TV wasn't on all the time, you know, we were still eating supper as a family, we were still doing a lot of things without the screen.

We were just like kind of gravitating more and more towards, you know, vegging on the couch instead of other activities. And it wasn't like it was completely out of control, but we just saw ourselves using that as a default activity a little, little more than we were comfortable with. So we chose to go on a TV fast starting last December.

Um, we decided to try it for three months, all of us, and just see what else we could do or create or engage in during that time when we'd otherwise be watching a show. Um, our kids... Nope, go ahead.

[00:32:18] Hunter: Were they okay with it? Like, what did they think? I don't remember if there was actually anything you had to do.

[00:32:22] Jill Winger: No, it was, I was, I wasn't sure how it would go over. By the time when we presented it to them... We explained why, we explained what we wanted, you know, what we were concerned about, we explained that we, you know, mom and dad were also kind of falling into this rut of just turning on a Netflix show when we were tired, and, and so they, they listened, and they actually didn't push back as much as I thought, I think also they had kind of got to that point, do you ever just like, I mean, I do it, You watch the shows on Netflix you want to watch but then the series is over so you just find yourself watching random things that are mildly interesting just so you can watch a show.

And I think they were doing that more and more, where they didn't have anything they were finding particularly engaging, they just were watching TV for the sake of watching it. And so they were, they kind of were like, yeah, you know, we're kind of feeling like we're just turning on the TV because... We can.

Um, so they didn't give us as much pushback as I thought. We also tried to make sure they knew, okay, well, here's the activities that can take its place. So no one felt like it was just this vacuum of blankness. Where then they had to... What were they? Um, we, well, we decided we would start, um, having family reading nights because it's...

Cold and dark here in the winter. And so we'd build a fire in the wood stove. We had some old kerosene lanterns. We'd light, we'd make tea and everyone would read by lantern light, you know, just for fun, just to make it more cozy. And they loved it. Like they were begging for those nights as much as we could have them.

Um, we got out some board games they forgot they had. They taught themselves how to play chess with this little chess set that teaches kids how to DIY the chess strategy. And, um, we got some leather working tools. So we'd go out to the shop, our shop in the evenings and practice some leather work, um, which they thought was pretty cool and braiding some rope and some rawhide.

So we, we tried to give options, so they just didn't feel like it was a blank slate. Uh, but we had the best winter, like it's, we have long, dark winters, cold winters, and we had the best winter. Um, so we, we have not yet turned our Netflix back on since then. We will watch an occasional documentary on Amazon Prime.

About once a month or so, and that's it. And we're, as a family, we've all kind of agreed that's, that's good for us. I'm not to say that's the right path for everyone, but that was kind of a cool revelation that we had that I'm, I'm thinking we're going to stick on that for a while. Wow.

[00:34:32] Hunter: Um, I'm a little jealous.

I kind of want to move in. I'm reading night with you guys. It's so fun.

[00:34:37] Jill Winger: It's so fun.

[00:34:39] Hunter: Okay. Uh, that's amazing. Um. Alright, so, so are there any final ways you can share with us? I love this idea. This is like painting a picture of something that's really beautiful to me. Um, do you have any other easy ways to implement ideas of this sort of old fashioned, on purpose lifestyle in our own homes?

[00:34:59] Jill Winger: Yeah. Um, so I think Another, another big way that people often overlook is just consider your community and how you're engaging in the community around you. You know, it's one thing to have relationships on phone or on your social media. It's a rapidly disappearing art to be able to connect face to face and to be involved just in what's happening around you, whether you live in a little town, or I actually live near a little town, I don't live in it.

But you live near a little town like us, or you live in a big city, there's, there's groups and there's little clutches of activity and people that you can tap into. And I think that that's becoming more and more rare, just as we lean on social media and our screens for that connection. It's okay, but it's not the same as looking someone in the face and having that eyeball to eyeball connection.

And so I think if, if people want a really cool old fashioned way to. Bring some changes into their life. Just try that. See how you can get involved, see how you can meet the neighbor next door that you've never really connected with. See if you could have a potluck for the people around you, you know, just meet new faces, how can you improve what's, what's going on in your community?

That, that goes a long way. And I think it, it feels really good. It's an old fashioned skill that we're. We're losing, and it feels really good to come back to

[00:36:07] Hunter: that. I love this. That truly is an old fashioned suggestion, but it makes so much sense that often we're not really thinking about it. I think this is so great, because like a lot of times on this podcast, we're talking about breaking.

Generational patterns, the ones that have been harmful for us, and I think this is such an important conversation to have, like, well, what are the, the genera you know, what are the things that we do want to hold on to? What, what can we hold on to without throwing the baby out with the bathwater there, right?

Like, There's some, some wisdom there in the past that, you know, that we should maybe bring in to have a more grounded life, because this is all just like sounding so grounded to me and I'm going to be just moving in with Jill and yeah, come on out. I've been reading

[00:36:52] Jill Winger: my book.

[00:36:56] Hunter: Well, thank you so much, Jill, for coming on the Mindful Parenting podcast and sharing, you know, your, your work and your book and, you know, a little peek into your life with us. I think it's, um, I think it's really, Really a valuable thing that, you know, that we need to, to remember, let's remind each other of these things, like let's remind each other of these simple things that you can just take some time with something simple, like walking in the garden or take some time with something simple, like making a roast chicken or whatever it is, and use that as a way of grounding yourself instead of, you know, anchoring into social media and all the different things.

Yeah. Where can people find out, find you and what you're doing?

[00:37:42] Jill Winger: Yeah, so, um, I started my initial blog a long time ago back at the early parts of my homestead journey, and it's still going strong. And that's theprairiehomestead. com, kind of the hub of all the things I'm doing. You can connect to my podcast there and our videos and recipes.

And then if you like social media, I do hang out on Instagram probably more than other places and that's jill. winger is my handle. Uh, yeah, come over and I share all kinds of stuff. Tutorials, Recipes, Inspirations. So I'd love to have people join me.

[00:38:09] Hunter: All right. Awesome. Well, her podcast is Old Fashioned On Purpose and you have a cookbook, right?

The Prairie Homestead Cookbook. I do. What am I going to learn to make from that?

[00:38:19] Jill Winger: Well, all the things, and I really try to steer clear of any processed industrial ingredients. So it's just really simple, uh, components that you can get at any old grocery store that are just whole food goodness. And, um, just the basics that I feel like a lot of us maybe didn't learn as And we're learning how to cook as a kid.

We missed a lot of that, you know, in the world of mac and cheese in a box and hamburger helper and a cream of mushroom soup. So we kind of push all that aside and go back to the simplicity. And it's, um, yeah, it's been, it's been very well received. I think people just want simple things that taste good.

[00:38:50] Hunter: Yes. Amen. I love it. Well, thank you so much for coming on the podcast. 

[00:38:54] Jill Winger: I really appreciate it. Thank you. This was such a blast. I appreciate this conversation.

[00:39:07] Hunter: Hey, I hope you liked this episode. I have to say, since talking to Jill. I have definitely walked slowly through my garden more, and I kind of use my yard and gardening as like a way to just connect with real life IRL, like really real, like I'm not looking at a glowing screen real, and it's really, um, it is really grounding and wonderful.

Um, so I'm wondering though how you're doing, how, what are things you can do with your kids? That's what I really want to know. Thank So if you can, tag me on Instagram at mindful. Mama Mentor, and let me know what you are doing and tag Jill and let her know what you think about it. That means all the world.

So yeah, so let me know. Hey, as you know, those Apple podcast reviews, they make such a big difference. I want to give a shout out to Caitlin Englert, coaching, who left a five star review saying, My go to parenting podcast. I've been a long time follower of Hunter's podcast. I stumbled on it when I was going through a tough time with my oldest.

It really helped me feel less alone. Thank you for providing great tools and information for all parenting strugglers. So thank you so much, Caitlin. I really appreciate your review. If you want to leave a review, please do so. It just takes a few seconds. There's, you can click on a link right where you're listening to this right now and leave it.

Uh, since you're at the end of the episode, it's a great time to do it. So, and that's all I got for you folks. I hope you have a great week. I hope you walk through your garden. I hope you, you know, maybe encounter some, some vegetables or farm animals this week. Maybe that'll be nice. Maybe I'll see if I can go apple picking with my kids.

I think this is the time of year we can do that. That might be a good way to do this. So maybe, uh, let me know if you do that too. Um, yeah. Thank you. I appreciate you being here. Appreciate you being part of the Mindful Parenting podcast world. And I'm really, really glad you're here. And, um, I know we have lots of things competing for our attention these days.

So it makes such a big difference to me that you're here and that you're part of this. This movement changing generational patterns. It's really awesome. So high five for you. Yeah, and me We're doing it. Yeah Anyhow, I hope you get some moments of peace this week some rest Yeah, and time in your garden touching the earth and I will be doing those things too for real I will and And I'll be back to talk to you again next week.

So I'll talk to you then. Take care of my friend. Namaste.

[00:42:03] Jill Winger: I'd say definitely

[00:42:04] Hunter: do it. It's really helpful. It will change your relationship with your kids for the better. It will help

[00:42:09] Jill Winger: you communicate better. And just, I'd say communicate better as a person, as a wife, as a spouse. It's been really a positive influence in our lives. So definitely do it. I'd say definitely do it.

It's so worth it. The money really is inc It's so consequential when you get so much benefit from being a better parent to your children and feeling like you're connecting more with them and not feeling like you're yelling all the time or you're like, why isn't this working? I would say definitely do it.

It's so, so worth it. It'll change you. No matter what age someone's child is, it's a great opportunity for personal growth and it's a great investment in someone's family. I'm very thankful I have this. You can continue in your old habits. That aren't working, or you can learn some new tools and gain some perspective to shift everything in your parenting.

[00:43:07] Hunter: Are you frustrated by parenting? Do you listen to the experts and try all the tips and strategies, but you're just not seeing the results that you want? Or are you lost as to where to start? Does it all seem so overwhelming with too much to learn? Are you yearning for community people who get it, who also don't want to threaten and punish to create cooperation?

Hi, I'm Hunter Clark Fields, and if you answered yes to any of these questions, I want you to seriously consider the Mindful Parenting membership. You will be joining hundreds of members who have discovered the path of mindful parenting and now have confidence and clarity in their parenting. This isn't just another parenting class.

This is an opportunity to really discover your unique, lasting relationship, not only with your children, but with yourself. It will translate into lasting, connected relationships, not only with your children, but your partner too. Let me change your life. Go to mindfulparentingcourse. com to add your name to the wait list.

So you will be the first to be notified when I open the membership for I look forward to seeing you on the inside. MindfulParentingCourse. com

Support the Podcast

  • Leave a review on Apple Podcasts: your kind feedback tells Apple Podcasts that this is a show worth sharing.
  • Share an episode on social media: be sure to tag me so I can share it (@mindfulmamamentor).
  • Join the Membership: Support the show while learning mindful parenting and enjoying live monthly group coaching and ongoing community discussion and support.