Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage green!
This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama. This month we’re writing about being green — both how green we were when we were young and how green our kids are today. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.
Growing up, I was about the furthest thing from a “green” child as there could be. I was raised eating processed food, loaded with artificial dyes, preservatives, and who knows what else. I frequently ate fruit for breakfast, but sadly, it was in the form of strawberry pop tarts.
I was sick a lot. I realize now that my diet was to blame, but at the time I had no understanding of food in relation to how my body felt. I just ate what we had, which was usually ramen noodles, or some frozen fried food. I recall becoming more and more unhappy as I got older (and my out of control teenage hormones didn’t help).
I do have a few distinct, happy memories, though, that I now would consider to be green related. My brother and I used to pick these little purple flowers from the yard, and we would eat them, petals and all. They were sour, which made them fun to eat (why do kids seem to like sour flavors so much?). I craved those tiny flowers, which I’m sure was because they were nutritionally beneficial for my body.
I have similar memories of picking figs from the neighbors yard, and plucking blackberries with friends along the railroad tracks. I find it interesting that many of my fond memories have to due with fresh, raw food. It’s as if my body felt so good after eating the flowers, berries, and figs, that my mind attached the experience with happiness. The brain has a mind of it’s own, I guess. :)
With our son, things are much different, as we are trying to be more conscious of our environment. However, we are not just raising Axel greener because it has become the “in” thing to do. We are doing it because we believe that God created the earth, and entrusted it’s care to us. The same goes for our bodies. We have a responsibility to listen to our convictions, and for us that means living as naturally as possible and teaching Axel to do the same.
When it comes to raising our son, the absolute most important green behavior that we practice is loving him unconditionally (most of the time, but we obviously aren’t perfect). We can be as green as we want, but if we don’t love him, none of it really matters much.
When we focus our attention on loving him, many other natural things fall gently into place. Loving our sweet baby forces us to think about his feelings before making decisions about his life.
Axel sleeps with my husband and I because we don’t like sleeping alone, so why would he?
I breastfeed Axel on demand, because I know that my milk is nourishing and comforting to him.
We practice elimination communication, because we know that we would want help using the bathroom if we couldn’t do it on our own, and we feel he deserves the same respect.
My whole point is that being an environmentally friendly family isn’t just about loving the earth. It’s about loving our son (and future children) enough to teach them that we should take care of our bodies, our land, and other people, because that’s what we were created by God to do. We must respect life.
Visit Code Name: Mama and Hobo Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants.
(This list will be updated March 9 with all the carnival links.)
- My Momma Was a Hippie — Jessica at This is Worthwhile is continuing her Earth Momma mother’s way of honoring nature by taking her child outside every day. (@tisworthwhile)
- Mom Did Know Best, About Diapers at Least — Guavalicious at They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping has a dirty secret about cloth diapers: They’re easy. (@guavalicious)
- The Force that Drives the Water Through the Rocks — Shana at Tales of Minor Interest remembers her first spiritual connection with nature, granted to her through her father’s care for the spirits of the earth.
- Confessions of a Cabbage Patch Kid — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma learned about landfills and recycling through gardening. (@kitchenwitch)
- Seeing My Grandmother Through Green Colored Lenses — Michelle at Seeking Mother was raised by a grandmother who wouldn’t let anyone throw out used clothing — ever — and who believed baths were water enough for two or more people at least. (@seekingmother)
- Through Green Tinted Glasses — Thomasin at Propson Palingenesis realized her family didn’t so much choose green as it chose them, since not being green would have cost a lot more.
- Green or Die! — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing remembers berating her family for not turning off the faucets — and notes that her efforts to save the planet for another 20 years must have worked.
- Natural Parenting Carnival: Green Living — Sarah at Natural Parenting is doing more to make her children’s generation green than what she had as a child.
- Natural Parenting Carnival: Vintage Green — pchanner at A Mom’s Fresh Start used to fill her own water bottles from a spring — before doing so was cool. (@pchanner)
- Getting Dirty — Molly at Molly’s Place is inspired by her mother’s camaraderie with nature. She’s going to get back in touch with the real food cycle, as opposed to the “shrink-wrapped nutrition” you can buy. (@KPMolly)
- My Vintage Green Raincoat — Mama at Maman A Droit is wearing her brother’s bright green raincoat — 16 years later! (@MamanADroit)
- Vintage Green — Darcel at Mahogany Way hasn’t realized it yet, but she is slowly turning into her parents. ;) (@MahoganyWayMama)
- Vintage Green — mrs green at littlegreenblog reminds us that children can be green simply by being kids. (@myzerowaste)
- March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Lauren at Hobo Mama was eco-chic before it was en vogue. (@Hobo_Mama)
- Growing Up Green — Chrystal at Happy Mothering honed her green instinct from an early age. (@HappyMothering)
- greener pastures — The Grumbles at Grumbles and Grunts has a list of ways she’s transitioning from green living as a novelty to green living as a lifestyle. (@thegrumbles)
- Vintage Green: The Hot Water Tank Is Not Sexy — Zoey at Good Goog had to go green when moss started growing around her feet. (@zoeyspeak)
- We Walked Softly — Starr at Earth Mama wrote a beautiful post about how her parents instilled a love of and respect for Earth and nature in her, and how she is passing that gift on to her own children.
- Save the Mermaids! — CurlyMonkey is learning from her daughter how to keep the mermaids happy. (@curlymonkey_)
- March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Vintage Green — Dionna at Code Name: Mama sees glimpses of her mother’s greenness frugality in her own life – but she draws the line at pantyhose soap. (@CodeNameMama)
- I Thought I Made Them Green, But Really They Made Me — Melodie at Breastfeeding Moms Unite! thought she made her parents green — until she took a closer look. (@bfmom)
- A Culture of Less — Alison at BluebirdMama explained why homebirth is the green childbirth choice. I love this thought! (@childbearing)
- 5 Ways to Embarrass Your Children While Going Green — Acacia at Be Present Mama shares some of the embarrassing things her parents did to her in the name of being eco-conscious.
- Ending Is Better than Mending? — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is teaching us how to darn socks armed only with a light bulb. (@babydust)
- There and Back Again: A Green Girl’s Tale — Lactating Girl offers a gentle reminder that certain eco-conscious practices shouldn’t be “ideals,” but realities. (@LactatingGirl)