While my little munchkin loaf was still being baked up, I read some “green” baby-raising books. I started to get overwhelmed by all the toxins I could expose my babe to, which were everywhere in the environments, inside and out. I shopped carefully for a crib and mattress made of “safe” materials, paid for more expensive organic cotton or bamboo sheets and clothes wherever possible, switched laundry detergents, looked for “safe” cleaners and worried about every little piece of toy and furniture that might be touched or mouthed.
After baby was born, I had a lot more things going on that seemed more pressingly concerning than whether she was spitting up on organic spit-rags or if the muddy soles of the shoes she found to chew on were bpa-free. There is only so much one can comfortably focus on without becoming overwhelmed and run down, so instead I chose to focus on learning how to care for my little one’s basic needs first – feeding, sleeping, changing, loving. Not that I didn’t try to minimize the toxins our little bug was exposed to, but I put the priorities on simply keeping us all alive, fed, and happy.
Once little Z became older and we were all more used to each other and had developed a rhythm that worked for our needs, there became more time and headspace to reconsider some things that I had set aside. Like mopping the floors with more natural cleaners (or at all), and choosing the least toxic toys to be easily accessed while removing some of the others.
Still, I certainly can’t say that we have a completely toxin-free environment, or that I toss out every toy made in China – I don’t. In life, balance is far more achievable (and important) than perfection. In fact, perfection is never going to be met, so you may as well scrap that idea right from the get go. Aim for balance. Aim for happiness and contentment. Stressing over imperfection is far more damaging than whatever it is you were trying to avoid in the first place, anyways.
If you’re in the process of growing little humans an interested in how to do so in a natural and safe “green” way, or even just conscious about your own healthy environment, you could definitely make use of this amazing website called Green Moms Collective. Founded by Sara Vartanian, this piece of the web is a huge wealth of knowledge and tips for those who want to be aware and mindful of what we expose ourselves and our little ones to, and how to make healthy choices for the betterment of ourselves, our little ones, and the world.
There is a ton of information to get you started assessing your environment for how you can “green-up” your act. If you’re just getting started on your parenting journey, you might be interested in this checking out this tool to see how green your nursery is, and to find how you can improve some of the areas that might not be measuring up. Or maybe you’re interested in a whole house, and want to download the Greenproofing Workbook. Also being conscious of the value of balance, there is also information within the blog posts about letting some things go.
Keep an eye out for a few natural living posts I have coming up about some things I’m really excited to share with you, and remember: Seek balance, not perfection. We are all doing our best. You are a great mama! (And if you’re having a hard time keeping that in mind, you may want to revisit this post.)
*Update* I’m thrilled to report that I’m now a regular contributor for Green Moms Collective! Check out more of my eco-friendly, green living posts there, but please do remember to find your way back to The Big To-Do List when you’re done.