This is part two of a two part blog from our newest Gen X Mom contributor, the Composer. If you missed part one, click here.
I applaud those who can live truly green and organic and 100% pure. It takes work and self-control in our society where there is convenience at every turn. I’m 36 years old and it’s not easy to break old habits. That’s not even the right word for it. I have grown accustomed to certain foods. I still want to LIVE. I don’t want to feel like I’m on restriction or being deprived. I remember a group of my friends in college turned vegetarian and then vegan the next year. I thought they were so restrictive. I wanted to enjoy life to the fullest and if that meant a midnight run to Krispy Kreme’s or a cheeseburger, fries and cherry Coke, so be it.
Now I have a book telling me about all the food I have grown accustomed to is bad for me. Yes, refined sugar is the white devil but I love cane sugar. At least it’s not something unnatural like aspartame or Splenda or Nutrisweet. Agave nectar and honey are definite alternatives for me besides the raw sugar cane. This book is also saying how bad chocolate is because it’s processed and yada yada yada. What self-respecting woman can live without brownies?! Sinfully delicious and we know it. We all know we’re being bad eating refined sugar products, but it feels so good.
Sometimes, it’s just information overload. It’s like I’ve opened up Pandora’s box. I’ve been hearing and reading about household cleaning products and their dangers. It’s really old news, the bottles clearly state the dangers on their labels and gloves and good ventilation are always recommended if not more safety precautions.
I feel overwhelmed and taxed. It’s hard to separate truth from scare tactics. I guess because I led the better part of my life alone and wasn’t too concerned about myself. You know that feeling that you’re invincible, like what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Youth makes us feel like we will live forever. Now that I’m a mother, you don’t want to screw up your child. You want to give them the best chance possible in this life in all aspects. If your child came down with childhood cancer, wouldn’t you question yourself as a mother that it may have been your fault because of the environmental risk factors, chemicals in paint, carpet, food, water, clothing, shampoo, soap, the air we breathe. Yes, mamas the AIR. We would feel guilty if we exposed our children to harmful air if we knew it to have detrimental side effects. We become guilt- ridden machines when it comes to our babies. This is my current plight. What to do with all this information and how to make the right choices for our children. I don’t want to be a Nazi and not let them have any childhood delights. I can’t keep them in a bubble…because of the BPA in the plastics. Ok, ok, maybe I’ve been watching too much Tosh.0 and I’m becoming jaded.
Seriously folks, “organic” is the new gimmick and big business knows it. They know parents want the best for their children, so they find ways of swindling more money out of our pockets by branding it “organic”. It’s all marketing. For example, Earth’s Best. Just by the sound of that, you’d want to be feeding your child the earth’s best, wouldn’t you?
When I was a kid, my mom would shop at Follow Your Heart, a small local health food store at the time. We would buy organic veggies and I had my all-natural baby shampoo, loofah, sea sponge and pumice stone. I loved the bamboo rice paddles to cook with. I just got a newsflash this Friday when reading about Shaklee how I should be replacing my plastic cookware. I almost fainted. To think how often I have served and eaten soup from the same plastic ladle. Or how I used to microwave my food in Tupperware or covered in plastic wrap. I didn’t hop on the silicone bandwagon for kitchen utensils. That is one, I never trusted. Then to hear that’s what is in my shampoo, conditioner, lotions and face creams…when does it end?
What is a mama to do?
Well…this mama is going to do the best SHE can. I’m going to treat this like everything else in my life… in moderation. I will strive to strike a balance between both worlds. I will buy organic whenever feasibly possible but I won’t kill myself over it. One area I have already made a change is with haircare and I have noticed an immediate difference for the good. My hair looks and feels younger and my scalp doesn’t itch like a mad woman after I shower either.
From this point forward, I will read labels and research the contents if I’m unfamiliar with them. Learning to identify prefixes, suffixes and root words will be more time efficient in the grocery aisle with the kids in tow. I will not take for granted that foods or products are safe.
I wonder how long plastics are unsafe for when heated, like my old ladle which has been ladling hot soup for at least 10 years. Is it still emitting bad stuff or is it spent so to speak? More research to be done on this subject.
As for the sinful delights, I will be moderate to rare with my indulgences, and for the rest of the time do my best to be organic and responsibly green. I’m not perfect but I will do my part and impart my knowledge onto my children and hopefully they will have something to teach me too.