Do you ever get overwhelmed by clean living?
My son was sick a month or two ago. I posted something about it on Facebook asking for prayers and advice. I received lots of the normal well≠ wishes, empathies, and advice. It was all very comforting. Then, I received a very, well≠ meaning message from one of my friends giving me all this great advice about Essential Oils and how certain combinations would be useful to my child. I loved what she had to say but Iím not going to lieóit was overload for me at the time. It was too much information, yet not enough because I had no foundational knowledge about the matter and it left my head spinning. I wished I could be that perfect mom who used essential oils but I didnít really know where to startóeven though sheíd just given me like five recipes to use for Baby Bearís different symptoms. Iím that way with other things too. For instance, Iím really interested in homesteading.
Problem is, I donít know much about gardening, and there really isnít room in our tiny yard to raise chickens since we live within the town limits. Iíve had a garden every year since owning a home and each year it is less and less of a failure, but Iíll never be that perfect gardener who uses every square inch of her property both vertically and horizontally to provide food for her family for the entire year. I look into it and research it, but Iím also overwhelmed by it. There is so much to learn and I know almost nothing. Though I dream of being entirely independent from society and making my own food, soap, and candles; I know thatís not gonna happen.
Diet is another one that can be overwhelming. So many different voices come to you with authority saying things like, ďEat only whole grains!Ē or ďDonít eat grains,Ē or ďyou should never eat gluten,Ē or ďstay away from red meat.Ē Now, I mostly stick with a whole food diet with organic beef and chicken to avoid hormones and antibiotics, but part of me never feels that Iím doing enough when I see that a friend has successfully stayed with her Paleo diet or that a colleague whoís gone totally Vegan.
Frankly, things like diet, essential oils, gardening, cloth diapering, going paperless, homemade remedies, staying organic, or a pesticide≠free, bee≠friendly yard are all great; but itís easy to get caught in the trap that if you donít do them all, youíre not doing enough for the environment or worse, that you are a bad parent. I would love to know all the edible weeds that reside in my yard and I wish I had time to be out there foraging for them and using them to bolster the health of my family. I wish I were an expert canner and could successfully preserve all my homegrown foods. I canít do all that. I do what I can, and little by little what Iím capable of increases. If I decided to take a huge chunk out of the clean living lifestyle and do everything at once, Iíd probably get burned out and exhausted and go back to using paper towels and eating from the drive thru at McDonalds.
Our clean(ish) lifestyle started back with cloth diapers and continues to grow organically from there. This is basically how itís gone so far: Why use disposable wipes when weíre not throwing diapers away? Letís get cloth wipes. Why not save money even more money and use cloth napkins and paper towels? And skip paper dishes? Why not? Did you know that bugs donít like cayenne pepper? Letís sprinkle it on our plants to keep them away. Clothesline drying isnít so bad after all! I think I can get the hang of this on a regular basis. Buying organic beef and milk isnít all that expensive if you plan it right. Letís commit to that. Maybe weíll be better about eating all organic vegetables later on in life, but for now that can wait. Did you know how easy it is to make your own deodorant? Cheap too. Canít hurt to try it. You know what?
Weíve been eating only whole foods for awhile now. I think we can afford to cheat a little and buy that box of Oreos!
Weíre taking baby steps. It doesnít seem like weíve come that far when we look at yesterday or last month, but when we look back to five years ago, the huge change weíve made step by step and bite by bite is huge. Essential oils is next on my ďto learnĒ list. My friend down the street is always toting hers around, but she learned like me, a little at a time. She was overwhelmed at first but started with just one oilóone remedy. Now, she drops by my house and just happens to have a spray bottle of her magic bug repellent that she uses to keep the mites away from my mailbox. Sheís not pushy about it, but she happens to mention the ingredients in passing and then moves on. One day, when Iím not overwhelmed, Iíll sit down with her and ask for her favorite EO remedies. Maybe things will snowball from there as theyíve been doing all along. For now, I donít mind a couple of red bugs hanging around my bricks if it means I can keep my sanity. Iím going to continue to take this one manageable step at a time!
Do you ever become overwhelmed by all the green, clean and healthy choices you're trying to make for your family?