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Welcome to the second edition of the “I’m a Natural Parent – BUT…” Carnival This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and our feminist {play}school. During this carnival our participants have focused on how mainstream society has affected their natural parenting and how they have come to peace with this.

It can start to feel a little overwhelming when you read blogs about green and natural parenting. We write about how we cloth diapershop at farmers markets, have home births, and make granola and even our cleaning supplies from scratch. It’s easy to think, I could never find time for all that! and quickly give up. 

So let me tell you, I may be a crunchy mama now, BUT…I haven’t always been that way. 

I was thinking about the trip we made to visit my in-laws in the South a couple of years ago. My mother-in-law was cooking up Easter dinner in the kitchen. I was vaguely aware that she was peeling, chopping, and boiling potatoes. Ok, I thought, mashed potatoes. Then we were all sitting down to eat and BAM, the epiphany of a lifetime: not mashed potatoes but potato salad! Let this be no comment on my own mother’s cooking. She makes lots of yummy things from scratch. Somehow though, in all my twenty something years up until that point it had never occurred to me that it was even possible to make potato salad at home. Imagine if I could go back in time and tell myself I’d also be making bread, granola, chicken stock, and yogurt at home too!

I’ve come a long way since then. 

I still have a long way to go. 

My inspiration for becoming a more natural mama.

So in the interest of encouraging you to crunchy greatness, I’ll make a few natural parenting confessions. 

When we go on road trips, I try to pack lunch or dinner. Sometimes that doesn’t work out though, and yes, sometimes we stop at Burger King. Cringe.

When we have to fly, we use disposable diapers instead of cloth. Part of my love of cloth diapers is saving money compared to disposables. That advantage disappears when you are paying $50 to check a bag full of cloth diapers. I still hate sending those sposies to the landfill, but luckily it’s not often that we travel. It reminds me how much garbage is created by just a few days of disposable diapers. It gives me a renewed enthusiasm for my diaper laundry once we get back home. 

I love LOVE Ghirardelli brownies out of the box! I’ve tried to find a recipe that’s the same, but nothing so far comes close.

There are many more natural practices that I someday hope to get to, but haven’t yet. I haven’t adopted mama cloth or family cloth just yet. 

I haven’t completely switched to paperless billing or been able to get rid of all the junk mail. 

We don’t have a garden or any chickens yet. I forgot to feed my sourdough and it died. At this point in life I’m having a hard enough time remembering to feed and walk the dog. No other creatures should be allowed under my care! Don’t worry. I always remember to feed and walk the baby. 

See, I don’t have it all figured out yet. You don’t have to right away. We’re all on this journey toward a greener, healthier, more natural lifestyle. The important thing is to keep taking baby steps forward. That’s what GrowingSlower is all about!

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This post is linked up with VitafamiliaeFrugally Sustainable, and Simple Lives Thursday.

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