I try every day to do the right thing. I cloth diaper my kid, I feed him organic food, I baby wear, I let him watch TV rarely, etc etc. But after awhile it just seems like it would be so much easier if I didn't have to drive to 3 different consignment stores to find a toy for him that isn't plastic or spend a fortune to feed him organic produce or use environmentally friendly body soaps and lotions OR use disposable diapers and skip the laundry.....etc etc. These things are important to me to do the right way, but some days I just want to give in. I want to go to one store and find everything I need in 1 hour, and not worry about reading the label or breaking the bank.
Any pearls of wisdom or encouragement would be much appreciated.
I'm sure you'll get a range of opinions on this. I can only offer my own :)
Life is about choice, and never again will you be forced to make as many as right now. What you describe sounds like a fabulous way to parent your child, but it is not the ONLY way. We are currently taught that these ways are the "best", and logically, academically speaking they just might be. But are they possible for everyone to accomplish? No. As a mother you have to make the best choices for YOUR family, taking into account all factors, including your own sanity and happiness.
So.. will it be the end of the world if you did simplify certain areas of your life? Can you do with "less than perfect" or will only perfect do? And if you slip once in a while, or buy some convenience food, or a bag of disposable diapers are you any less of a loving mother? I would say decide what is most important for you and what you can simplify (making organic meals from scratch several times a day or going to the park/library/visit a friend/, etc). It doesn't have to be all or nothing.
SAHM to one moody son J (06-27-03), one super-girly daughter M (02-23-06) and welcome Sophie! (05-23-10) expecting fourth in July
I agree with Kuba's mama. I am an idealist too but something had to give. I had my 3rd child this year and it has really made me prioritize and relax. I focus on love and relationships first and go from there. Nutrition and homeschooling are important to me so I am willing to let other stuff go (cloth diapering for example) to stay sane. I have burnt out trying to be supermom before and that was definately bad for all of us!
Love your neighbor. Say yes to vax.
Why don't you pick a core value and then have all your choices reflect that value. If your core value is "to be x type of mama" then maybe you have to drive to 3 consignment stores, no plastic toys, always baby wear, etc. If your core value is "to be environmentally friendly" maybe you buy all environmentally friendly products, but let your kid watch tv sometimes.
If your core value is to "save time, save money and be the best mom I can to my child" ( You said "I want to go to one store and find everything I need in 1 hour, and not worry about reading the label or breaking the bank.") then I think the right choice is to go to one store, do most of your toys non-plastic (but not all), do the "dirty dozen" foods organic but don't worry about the rest, etc.
For me, I live simply. I buy organic when I can, buy non organic when I can't afford it. I buy natural type toys at garage sales, but keep the plastic ones my kid likes. I don't have too many toys in general.
Remember -- you set your values, and you are your own judge. From your original post it sounds to me like you want to lighten up a bit on yourself and the standard you put on yourself. I say go for it.
Mothering my sweet preschool boy and my new arrival
I just want to agree with the what the PP have said. Being a good mother isn't about what kind of diapers you use or what kind of produce you buy. I do my best to live an "eco-friendly" lifestyle and to parent my son "naturally," but I've lightened up a lot in the past few months on my expectations of myself (and others.) I think as mamas we often expect a lot (too much?) of ourselves and end up feeling really overwhelmed and burnt out as a result. I realized that it's more important to me to be a relaxed, present, loving parent than to make all the "right" lifestyle choices. My house is now filled with a bunch of hand-me-down plastic toys that I swore I'd never own, my son has had way more cookies in his short life than I ever would have hoped for, and I just switched to disposable diapers after 15 months. For me, it's all about balance and moderation. Parenting is a hard enough job without the added stress of doing everything right. It sounds like you're a wonderful, aware, dedicated mama---give yourself a big pat on the back and cut yourself some slack! :)
I felt like I did everything (well, almost everything!) right with DS. And it was very very difficult for me because it became more about perfection than about freedom and joy. The cure? For me, it was a second child. DS never watched TV until he was 3. DD picks up the Wii wheel and goes to the TV. And she's one. With two kids and such different ages, I've made more concessions than I ever dreamed possible. DS never had a snack food until well... preschool maybe. LOL. DD knows what cookies, chips, pretzels, and chocolates are.... I like youngspiritmom's idea of a core value and making choices around that .... great tip!
I worried myself sick when my first two were little babies because I wanted to do everything perfect.. Then I realized that it doesn't have to be perfect. I started instead to think about whats the most important things I want for my children. I want them to be happy, to feel like they are always loved, to be healthy, to grow up to be strong and indepedant thinkers... It helped because I was able to sit down and really think about what was happening.. Will using a disposable really in the long term effect their overall growth? No, so give myself a break when I sick or moving and i just can't deal with it.. Will them having a few plastic toys effect them? Again probably not but having a mom stressed over every little thing will.
Keep up the good work! We need more mommas who care as much as you obviously do! Maybe start reading about products online if you know you want to buy them, this may save shopping time. You can different apps that tell you the possible dangers in products as well.
I think you need to pick one or two things that are very important to you and stick with it. Being a mom is also about finding time to enjoy those wonderful moments with your little one without worrying about everything.
We cloth diaper our son. It's very important to me. I have used disposables when we travel. I also used them when he had a stomach virus.
I'm also big on healthy nutritionally balanced meals. I stalk Craigslist and buy deals from local farmers, saves us tons of money. I do purchase some things that aren't organic, like bananas and avocados.
In a perfect world, we wouldn't have plastic toys in our house, but I'll admit most are plastic. We rationalize this because they're second hand and will also be given away when he's outgrown them. I feel no need to purchase a new plastic toy. Maybe if you tried getting them secondhand it make you feel a little better?
I think you're probably already making a huge positive environmental impact by cloth diapering. Maybe the other things can become more important after he's potty trained?
You can't do everything perfectly. Learn to let go a little bit. That was a big one for me when I became a mother.