Little Wife On the Prairie





When you are everything to everyone, well, you had better act like you have it all together.



Sunday, February 5, 2012

Guilt

Why are we, as mothers, so given to the guilt?  We feel guilty when we are the bad cop because we have to be "mean", but also when we are the good cop because we might be too permissive. 

We feel guilty when we give our kids junk to eat, but also when we deprive them of what "everyone else" is having. 

We feel guilty about having to leave our kids to go to work, or when we don't contribute to the family finances. 

We feel guilty about spending money on ourselves but also when we aren't taking care of ourselves.

We feel guilty about not being that fun-loving girl our husbands married but also worry about the mountains of things we have to do.  AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!  To much guilt.

That is by no means and exhaustive list but there is something in there for everyone.  While I can't help with those things, I can help with one thing. 

STOP FEELING GUILTY ABOUT NOT HAVING ALL HOMEMADE AND NATURAL STUFF FOR YOUR FAMILY!!!

I cannot tell you how many moms I talk to who ask me questions about the things I make for my family and then end the conversation feeling guilty because they don't make weekly bread or homemade laundry soap.  They lament about not being able to do those good things for their families.  Maybe they work and have little time for these baking bread or maybe they just have no idea where to start.  Living a more natural lifestyle is not an all or nothing thing.  It takes time to work these things into your lifestyle.  So no more guilty okay? 

Do we need to be worried about the pizza we ordered last week or the bakery-made cake that our kids had at a party yesterday?  While we have no idea what is really in that pizza and the cake is probably loaded with hydrogenated oils and artificial colors, it is not our everyday food.  So chill out and have a piece of cake. 

Remember that anything new you do for your family is one more than you did yesterday.  You don't have to replace everything in your kitchen and all of your cleaning supplies in one day.  Find something that makes sense like eliminating as much processed food from your home as you can.  Look for the products with the least amount of added ingredients and make sure you recognize what is in them. 

For example, we love to have chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese as an easy meal.  Sometimes I am on the ball and can get the soup made myself.  Other times, I just want to open a can and heat it up. However, most of the cans are loaded with MSG or yeast extract and are packed in cans lined with with BPAs.  So as an alternative I found an awesome dried chicken noodle soup that has great ingredients and is easy to make.  And it doesn't cost any more than the cans.

If you manage to find alternatives for just a few things in your home that you eat often, think of how much good you are doing for your family! 

Another example is with cleaning supplies.  Replace your everyday chemical cleaner with a simple vinegar and water spray.  You can save yourself a ton of money and use a safe and effective cleaner on a daily basis.  If you want to keep your regular cleaner for deep cleaning or for stubborn messes, that's okay.  You are doing a lot of good using the vinegar most of the time.  (FYI, there are lots of great natural cleaning products that can replace the chemical ones if you are really motivated!)

 If you do feel the tug of the back-to-basics way of life, start small. If you start with something that doesn't overwhelm you, you will be more likely to stick with it. I started 10 years ago with a few cherry tomato plants in pots and a bread machine. The only thing I knew for sure is that I liked the way it felt to provide these things with my own two hands. I knew nothing about BPA's, chemical preservatives, or the horrors of our meat industry. That came later with much questioning and research.  

Just remember, the longer you live with the awareness of what is good and bad for your family, the easier changes become.  You get used to one change and implement another.  NO GUILT!

There is enough guilt to overcome in life.  It doesn't belong in our daily care of our homes and families.  Do the best you can with what you have, commit yourself to the Lord, and pray for discernment about what is really important.

 I will post some links to easy recipes and idea that you can implement in your home.  Just remember to take a balanced approach to these things.  Pick one and start there.  See if it fits, use it for awhile and then move on to another.   Much love and blessing to all of you!

Weekly bread

Laundry soap

Deodorant

Natural cleaning supplies

         (As a disclaimer, I will be posting more in the future, about what I have learned about food safety and the health of our families.  Please remember this post and do not use the information to beat yourself over the head.  This is a very important subject to me and the main reason that I do everything I do in my household.  It is my passion.  And you know how annoying people with a passion can be.  :)  So I am hoping to be understood as informational and not judgemental.  )

3 comments:

Kristin said...

Loved this!
So true!
I share your passion!

Jaclyn Hicks said...

I completely agree with this post! I have been slowly changing our cleaning supplies, foodstuffs, and scratch-making our breads, meals, and personal products for the past year. Small and steady is definitely the way to go, and as things become routine, you can add some more. Hope you are doing well!

Brandon and April said...

love this post.
one of the best things we did for our family as far as becoming more natural was moving overseas! :) The best way to stop using canned products and boxed dinners is to live as far away from an American grocery store as possible! Now, we do made-from-scratch cream of chicken instead of the canned mess. I mix up my own taco seasoning instead of the packaged stuff, and do more scratch cooking than I've ever done in my life! :)
I'm still trying to figure out natural remedies for cleaning and personal products and baking soda isn't easy to come by in this part of the world! (nor is borax...) I love the idea of making my own deo but I'd have to have someone ship me all of the supplies! and well, I'd almost just rather them ship me a couple bars of Toms or Alveera (my fave!)
Keep at it mama. You're a great mom!!