Sometimes I am really hard on myself and think that I don't do enough to promote natural living in my children. Then I realized that I do more that I did as a child as does Drew. So I thought I'd take a minute to look at what we DO and WHY it's so important.
|Miss Roo sleeping in a GroVia AIO.|
- Cloth Diapers: Both girls have been mostly cloth diapered since birth. I say mostly because there have been times, travel, sickness, moving, when I just haven't been able to cloth diaper due to time, facilities, and sanity. The girls have been cloth diapered 95% of the time since they were born. Baby Boy will be as well. We cloth diaper not only to cut down on waste- more specifically HUMAN waste- in landfills, but to keep our children free of diaper rashes, harsh chemicals on their skin, and cleaner in clothes. I have never experienced a blow out in a cloth diaper. I don't have to slather my girls with ointment at every diaper change. I don't have to buy diapers every other week or once a month. I just do a load of diapers every 3 days.
|Wooden eggs dyed for the girls' Easter baskets.|
- More Natural Toys: I haven't found a way to completely escape plastic toys. The girls receive gifts from family and friends. They also have particular things that they gravitate towards- pirates and their ships, Minnie Mouse, farm animals. Each time we purge and donate I try to slip more and more of the plastic stuff into the bags. I try to make gifts for them at every holiday that are cloth or wooden. Our toy kitchen is stocked with felt and wooden food and their dishes are wooden or Green Toys. Our trains and their tracks are wooden as are our fantastic set of building blocks.
- Less Toxins: We don't use traditional bubble baths anymore. We use Dr. Bronner's baby wash for all our bathtub fun. We have wooden and metal toys in the tub. Our toothpastes have ingredients I can pronounce. Their supplements aren't filled with sugar. I get probioitics in them from foods. The juice they drink- with filtered water added - is just that -JUICE.
- No 'Poo: I've wondered for years what exactly mainstream shampoo was doing to my hair and my scalp. I spent some time researching it and learned it is essentially detergent. I decided to come off of it. And then I got pregnant and my hormones went NUTS. Everything I had been able to predict about my hair and manage with baking soda and vinegar wash went out the window. I am not using and Aloe based shampoo which I finishing making this little boy. Drew is completely on the no 'Poo routine with baking soda maybe once a week and he's doing great.
- No Deodorant: We don't walk around stinking, we've just changed what we use. We were using Thai Deodorant Stones but I was still experiencing weird reactions to them. We then moved to alcohol while I did further research. After a few weeks, I switched to Milk of Magnesia. Plain 'Ole MOM. I have had no irritation, no sweating, no odor. I use a nickel size under each arm and let it dry before I dress. I spent around $2.50 on a bottle that will last us at least a year.
- No Chemical Skin Care: I used to use all kinds of mass marketed skin care systems. Any time I would miss them for more than a day, my skin would go haywire. I started looking into what some of the chemicals in those cleansers and moisturizers did. Some chemicals in well known skin care lines are used to tan leather. I was done. I now use natural soap and tea tree oil as a cleanser and an oil cleanse 2-3 times a week.
|Local, organic, from scratch chicken and chili stew.|
- Food: We are on a real food diet now for 95% of our food. I say 95% because I am constantly learning and changing. We eat local, grass fed beef, lamb, pork, and chicken. We buy local and organic produce whenever we can. I try to shop the perimeter of the store- produce, meat, dairy, bakery - when at all possible. Some things I have not tried to make yet - bread, noodles, sprouted flour - but I do try to make things I always used to buy - diced tomatoes, sauces, soups. Processed foods are disappearing from our house and being replaced by homemade goods on a weekly basis.
- Laundry Detergent: I now make a powder detergent. It isn't chemical free, but it's low chemical, low suds. I use bar soap, borax, and washing powder in a 1:1 ratio. This item is one of those things that I plan to tweak to lower the chemicals even more, but for now this is far down as I've gotten the mixture. Fabric softeners have left our home as have dryer sheets. I do occasionally use the Lavender sachet's from Trader Joe's to lightly scent our clothes, towels, and sheets.
- Cleaning Products: I use On Guard cleaner from doTerra and Dr. Bronner's for most of our cleaning needs. Peppermint is my Bronner's of choice for general cleaning due to peppermint's antibacterial qualities illustrated in laboratory studies. I do use Clorox wipes when we are all sick in the bathrooms, but otherwise, mainstream cleaners are disappearing. For cutting grease, I use cleaners with a citrus base or make some heated lemon water to scrub through the gook.
|One of our vintage pans.|
- Cast Iron: We are slowly acquiring and upgrading to traditional, antique cast iron and enameled modern cast iron. Have you ever noticed little pieces of your non-stick pan were missing? Guess where those went while you were cooking? Modern cast iron isn't as good as the vintage/antique stuff because it is simply cast -not hand turned or smoothed. Drew has become very versed in all things cast iron and has been getting us great pieces to cook with in traditional ways. He's my go to guy.
- Supplements: FCLO, multivitamins, Kombucha, probiotics, essential oils as medicines.
There are countless additional changes I'd like to make in our home. I'd like our home to have less stuff in it and focus on all aspects of our family. I'd love to establish and maintain a better rhythm. I'd like to have a small garden to grow a few veggies and fruits seasonally. I'd also like to focus more time on my kids and ways to make their world a more inspirational, natural place to learn and evolve.
As I look at 2013 spread out before me and all the changes it will bring, my only resolution is to be true to myself in my desire to Mama, naturally.
What is your biggest desire this year? Where are the biggest places you find yourself successfully Mama-ing naturally?