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Do you ever feel conflicted between two lifestyles - Page 2

post #21 of 31
Yes! I have found that simple living is NOT easy - it takes so much time to sort recycling, research purchases, shop at consignment sales, bag stuff up for Amvets...

Honestly, we are finally getting our big house more organized (with our second child due in 2 weeks) and I love the fact that we have a big house with room to spread out. Fortunately our mortgage is low, but our utilities are high and I sometimes feel guilty about using alot of resources.

Also, after years of public transporatation and then sharing one car with my husband, I LOVE having two cars. I used to be pretty conflicted about this, but now I finally see that a car of my own greatly facilitates my sanity.

I think it comes down to this: IF I HAD A TRIBE, I COULD LIVE MORE SIMPLY (share resources, share childcare, etc), but in our culture, I'm doing the best that I can! We have seriously explored co-housing or communal living with friends/ we relied on public transportation for years/ we went years without computers and cell phones/ we are down to one income (my husband is a nurse) and I think we still have a very high standard of living (especially by world standards!).

I honestly feel that we are doing the best that we can within our culture and our own needs - but I do still feel conflicted!

Great topic.
post #22 of 31
This thread makes me laugh. Just the other day I was thinking, "Why don't I have bed linen? Why must I sleep on a cotton-polyester blend?"
post #23 of 31
I lurk way too much here, never have time to write what I want, but this speaks to me!!! I don't feel torn so much with the material goods (only get a slight twinge when I see the great linens in the Company Store Catalog), but with how we live. We are an AP family in a lot of ways- EBF,babywearing, gentle discipline, organic as much as possible, cloth diapering, noncircumcising- but we are just different enough that we don't fit in with the few APers here in our ultraconservative community (colorado springs)... but then all of those things make us seem bizarre to the other side, so we don't fit in with them either. I had to go back to work parttime last fall, and all but one of my AP friends dumped me so fast that my head was spinning. It has been really hard because I feel like I am in this vast middle land between two camps and there is no one else out there. If I didn't believe so much in the things that I do I would feel like even just faking being a conservative just to belong SOMEWHERE!!!
post #24 of 31
post #25 of 31
Dear thistle:

I felt the same way you do years ago.

The point is to enjoy who you are now, in this moment; be the best wife, mother, woman you know how and find like-minded women in your community/church/park and bond with them.

Keep in contact with your old friends if you desire, but they cannot be part of any kind of support network that you now need to build for yourself.
post #26 of 31
Have any of you ever read Gene Logsdon? He's so down to Earth and really talks common sense.

He feels that "the good life" is available to everyone who is willing to work for it. But he's not talking about the big house the the 'burbs, the SUV, the exclusive private schools, 'egyptian cotton sheets', etc. He's talking about the pleasures of living on a farm.

He has made it happen for himself by making most of his living with his writing. The rest of the time he spends tending his sheep, feilds, and garden. He's extremely frugal, but he feels that even so he gets more pleasure out of life than many rich people because he has time to watch the birds, wade in the creek, play with the lambs, give botany lessons to his grandchildren, or cook up a delicious meal from foods he grew on the farm.

I totally agree with him. I think that many of the pleasures of life have more to do with time than with money. Time to actually enjoy your children, your animals, your garden, etc.

As for the conflict that many of you feel about the fact that an AP lifestyle makes us so different from others, I totally understand. I sometimes feel myself that I should just go mainstream because it's so stressful to have everyone around me think I'm a complete nut! But I can't bring myself to do it because I love my kids too much.
post #27 of 31
Your post re: judgemental tendencies amongst ap'ers really spoke to me, WriterMama. I hate to see that, *especially* in myself!

post #28 of 31
Wow - I totally relate to this thread. Sorry I missed it a few months ago - late as usual!

I am straddling two worlds as well. I don't really feel "torn", but do feel awkward sometimes. Most of my friends are mainstream for lack of a better word, but a few are AP too. Usually there are no problems, but a couple of long-standing friendships have been affected, like with my friend of 8 years who spanks her 18 month old ds "only on the bottom or on his hands" or when my other good friend feeds her two toddlers Pop Tarts and soda and chips and McDonalds literally all day long . I'm sorry but I just cannot deal - it's not okay, and it does affect our friendship, even when I want to look the other way, I'm like, what the h*** are you thinking!!??

Also I have really learned a lot about natural family living in the past 2 or so years, and now we buy organic / local as much as possible. Only use green cleaners, toiletries, etc. Recycle as much as we can. Re-use/reduce. Opted out of the SUV in favor of a Honda minivan : which believe it or not has decent gas mileage and a not-too-shabby enviro profile. We switched to cloth diapers which we use MOST of the time, except when hassle factor of doing cloth while on outings or traveling outweighs all, and then we use Tushies or 7th Gen or other green diaper if we can get our hands on them. In other words, we're doing OK from this angle.

BUT I am addicted to good sheets, and I love nice shoes, and I go to a fancy place to get my haircut because, well... because it feels good to splurge every few months. I also have this thing about nice kitchen/dinnerware: give me 15 minutes in a Williams-Sonoma and I'll do serious damage.

So yeah, there are conflicts!

But I agree with other posters about dealing with the realities of modern life and the lack of a tribe for support. Fact is, dh and I live where we live and have no family around, and yeah I'd love to grow all of our own vegetables, but our yard is teensy and most of it is way too close to our house for safety, and I'd love to walk everywhere but everything is too far away, and I'd love to make our own clothes, but I don't even know where to begin because that's just something I never experienced growing up, and I could go on.
For us, it's about finding a way to integrate our ideals with the realities of our modern suburban lives.
post #29 of 31
I haven't logged on in a while, and wow, did this thread speak to me!

Yes, I'm right there with you: *loving* those egyptian cotton sheets, wishing for more family time, and supporting organic farmers. I'm a WAHM, dh does contruction, ds is 4 y/o. We are part of a fabulous childcare co-op where there are many, many SUV's, and all those moms laugh at themselves and say; 'I drive that?', it seems so far removed from where they came, how they see themselves as living in the world. I like that they laugh at themselves for it.

I have also come to the place where if I can afford to, I'll splurge on something expensive, knowing that it will last (is that why those 250 thread count sheets cost so much!?). I do buy organic most of the time, knowing it is best for my family, and then I often complain about not having money for a movie, or new shoes.

We buy almost all our clothes at resale shops. Gotta love Goodwill! And TJ Maxx, may I say? Hate to support those biggies, but for higher end, lower cost 'splurges', I'll check them out.

I loved what Cassidy said about 'Little House', we seem to think that farm living, and making your own is 'the only way' to live healthy, wholesome and free. All the time it takes to manage all those chores (did anyone see the PBS show about current families living the 1800's life? I forget the name, but the images made an impression on me). I love the idea of it, but I really just don't think I could do it.

I love my community, love my ds, usually love my dh : ,and yet I'm feeling displaced within my own life. I work, own my own business, do volunteer work, work at ds school, try to take care of the house, laundry, shopping~ you know it all....and I'm coming up short. I'm still getting left out, yet I love all thse things I do.
A counselor friend asked me, 'Is this your way of justifying your place in the world?'
Heavy, but possibly true. Do I all this to prove that I am a worthy individual?
Hmmm, could be OT.

I vote to say that is ok to want these fancy things in life, it's even ok to actually buy them. What I worry about are those who condemn another for either wanting them, or owning them. It stinks of the age old 'I'm better then you because I don't need those things to make me a happy person'.

I think we live pretty simply, even though we have two cars, live in a nice neighborhood, and shop organic. Not everything is nicey-nice, my towels don't match, ds shirts always have paint stains and something always needs to be done around the house.

Love the thread. Thanks for the vent.
post #30 of 31

Mama-T... LOL re: PBS shows. I loved that show too!! It was called "The 1900 House" - that's the modern-day family that went to live like a family in Victorian London in 1900.. with no electricity or modern conveniences. The other PBS special I absolutely loved was "Frontier House" about the families who lived like mid-19th century westerners (Wyoming or Montana) in a log cabin they built themselves and ate food they grew themselves. That show was my favorite. I think about it a lot actually. (Check it out -- it has re-runs a lot. A series of 4 shows I think, just like "1900 House").

Dh and I have been jokingly referring to our house as Frontier House because we lost electricity (still out) from Hurricane Isabel. No comparison of course.
post #31 of 31
Yes! Sorry, I didn’t have time to read all the other posts but I wanted to say that I know just how you feel. I have felt like I’m in the middle of two, 3, 4, 5…groups, lifestyles and etc. for my whole life.

Before I go on I wanted to be sure to mention that in my good moments about this I can rationalize this “on the fence” position to being a person who is well balanced - - living a life of moderation (moderate about both sides). Kwim?*

On the other hand, sometimes I really deliberate over doing the right thing and I do get down on myself for being extravagant, which I am – more often than not, lately. I’m not Martha extravagant but I travel lots and I can be a brat when I have to give something up with friends, family, concert, party and etc.

I was in Paris this weekend and I told a father (who was in aw over me still carrying my 2 year old in the sling while waiting on line to visit the Catacombs—quickly during nap time) that I’ve been waiting and waiting to be content just being at home with my kid but it hasn’t happened for me yet.

On one more positive note, there have been some things about being moderate that have helped me to be the mother that I want to be.
For instance, I never would have left my daughter overnight at 19 months if I hadn’t known friends who had been doing it since 3 months. I was freaked out because most of the mothers that I admired hadn't left their kids before 5 years. Anyway, I had a tradition with my father that I didn't want to break. I had taken my daughter the year before but didn't want to do it again this year so I left her with my mother. It was wonderful for me and wonderful for my mother and daughter. There have been several other things like this that have helped me as a parent.

I'm not a huge sleep comfort person (I can sleep on the floor) but I can understand wanting nice sheets.
Being the excessive person that I am, I could probably help you rationalize saving up for a splurge! After all, you do spend 30% of your life in bed...
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