One women’s view on leaving the city behind and enduring tough lessons of love in training to become a “warrior mom.”
Moving from the city to the middle of the woods has done a lot to change my thinking on preparedness. I have studied survival training, read all the JWR (James Wesley, Rawles) novels, and practically majored in understanding the preparedness movement, from the reasonable to the extreme. However, reading and living are two very different things. My dear husband and son have been helping me to improve in areas that I have less exposure. They have both exhibited great patience and perseverance, and for this I am grateful and blessed.
I’ll begin with a quote:
“If you are serious about preparedness, then it is time to get out of your armchair and start training and preparing. It will take time. It will take some sweat. It will take money. But once you’ve prepared, you can sleep well, knowing that you’ve done your best to protect and provide for your family, regardless of what the future brings. Don’t get stuck in the rut of simply *studying* preparedness. Unless the shelves in your pantry and garage are filling with supplies, and unless you are growing muscles and calluses, you are not preparing.” – James Wesley, Rawles
Capable of Learning
To be clear, I am capable of learning. I left behind a high-level position in the medical equipment field some years ago to become a mother and to then homeschool our son. I am capable of scholarship and have advanced degrees. But to be honest, I could not seem to “learn” a protection mindset when it came to self-defense.
As a former cheerleader, I am excessively optimistic. I wake up cheerful and usually hum tunes everywhere I go. I am blessed beyond belief, a sinner saved by the grace of my Messiah Yeshua (Jesus,) so I have much to be happy about. This doesn’t mean I don’t get angry; I do. It just never shows itself as aggressive in nature.
With all this said, I now understand how tough it has been for my husband and son. Turning my personality type from one who is used to cheering from the sidelines into a warrior has proven to be difficult. For one thing, there was my fear of guns. Even the best training from a friend who heads up the SWAT team of the city we left behind wasn’t enough. By the end of the training sessions, which were intense and demanding, both physically and mentally, I could hit the bullseye on a paper target but had no thought of ever using a firearm for any purpose other than to practice at shooting ranges.
Then there was situational awareness, of which I had none. How can you be aware and keep your place in the tune you are humming at the same time?
But life “in the sticks” changed everything. One day, I realized that TEOTWAWKI for me was right NOW! Not something I was reading about from my comfortable chair, in my brick home in the suburbs, surrounded by manicured perfection and conveniences all around. I no longer had the luxury to thumb through books about difficult life circumstances on an off-grid homestead, and then place these books back on the bookshelf until I had more free time to relax and enjoy my hobby.
“TEOTWAWKI” is close to “life as usual,” when you live off the grid in a rural area.
I now lived in daily circumstances where no one would be coming to rescue me. My husband was painfully aware of this right from the start. I, on the other hand, always had something else in focus, like the smell of a meadow of wildflowers in full bloom, the sound of water flowing down from a mountaintop, the sight of a baby deer in the far pasture or the feeling of a soft puppy vying for my attention.
The idea that I may have to be ready to stand on my own when trouble comes my way was a hard lesson for me to learn. Although I could grasp it mentally, even recite all the talking points back to my husband, until I needed that mindset, I didn’t really have it after all.
Bring in the Navy SEAL
My husband is a great fan of Jocko Willink, an American hero and a Navy SEAL, and wears a hat that reads “Discipline Equals Freedom,” Jocko’s main slogan. It is this lesson that my husband is trying to ingrain in me. He is always talking to us about “owning our situation” and being “ready for anything.” In each day, he is trying to lead his family in running the homestead, caring for the animals, planting trees and the gardens, putting up the outbuildings and being prepared for whatever comes our way. All this, while running his own business in a field that is quite intense.
Sometimes, he quizzes us on things like, “What are you going to do if someone comes onto the homestead and you are by yourself?” or, “what are you going to do to save your son’s life in a medical emergency while you wait for the helicopter to arrive to head to a hospital 60 miles away?” It is great to own the medical kits, but will I be ready to use them when I see a severe wound for the first time?
I’m nowhere near a Navy SEAL and feel more like a “navy bean” most days. But this is what my husband has been trying to train into me – the mind of a warrior. But what would it take for this mom to become a warrior?
Just a short time after moving to the homestead, we experienced many events that we could not have imagined and hadn’t planned for. A black bear on the homestead. Four flat tires in 6 weeks. Mountain lion on the homestead. Brakes that went out on a mountain road with no shoulder. Coiled poisonous snake in the garden that my dear husband killed (in one shot to the head!).
But after all this excellent training, years of devotion and a long list of new experiences, the one thing that woke the inner warrior mom in me was our rooster, named Bubba. Bubba finally made me learn the lessons my husband and son were teaching all along.
QUOTE: “Don’t let your mind control you. Control your mind.” – Jocko Willink
Bubba is a bully that tried to attack me almost every day. Although he is just 8 pounds, he is aggressive and sneaky, approaching me with his wings spread wide and his claw-like feet and sharp hook-like appendages on the back of his legs aimed right at me. Having no experience with chickens or any animals for that matter, I had much to learn about all the animals on our homestead. Bubba got worse over time, and my husband or son would usually come to my rescue. But one day, they didn’t come, and instead I heard my son, too far away to come in time, yelling, “protect yourself, mom . . . you are on your own.” Something about those words and the real attack I was receiving caused me to finally understand what they were trying to instill in me with words that I had to instill in myself with actions.
At first, I was stunned that I was on my own, but that very emotion caused me to yell and move in a manner that made the rooster back away from me for the first time in three years. I was speaking in a tone that was foreign to my own ears and didn’t sound like me. I had the book knowledge to understand that this very presentation was used in other events like to stop a shooting or to make people reconsider approaching you to rob you, etc. Now I know this is probably ridiculous sounding to anyone who has training or a personality that finds this a simple thing to do. But I don’t, and it is the very thing that finally caused me to change. I told that rooster he was going to be “soup” if he didn’t leave me alone, and he listened. He saw me as a warrior mom—and because he did, I finally did too. To this day, he has never charged me again.
Always learning to be more prepared
I know I have much more to learn and many more skills to acquire on the homestead, but probably the most important one so far is the ability to stand my ground! I can now turn it on and off like a switch when I need to have extraordinary courage to do something outside of my usual personality type.
This success has brought me confidence in other areas too. After the success with Bubba, I lopped off the head of a poisonous snake with just a shovel, when I was by myself. I would have shot it, but the snake was on rocks, and I didn’t want any bullets to ricochet.
To all the ladies who are like me, you can do it! To all the fathers and sons who are trying their best to train and protect, don’t give up.
Now onto my next training session by my husband and son – Gracie Jiu-jitsu.
Life on the homestead is good.