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.
As the phrase goes, I was such a good attachment parent... before I had kids. The entire time I was trying to conceive I imagined myself as the type of mom who wore her baby everywhere and breastfed in public like it was no big thing. I wanted to do it all: cosleep, child led weaning, positive discipline, etc. The the twins came and everything I thought I knew about parenting went out the door. I forgot to figure in that my kids would have their own ideas of what they wanted and that those wants wouldn't always mesh. Breastfeeding in public? That was the easy part. Being so exhausted from breastfeeding two infants that I just wanted to sleep for an hour straight even if it was on another planet from my kids, that was the reality.
I guess it isn't surprising that the AP philosphies that have worked for me the most are the ones my own mom practiced. My younger sister came when I was six so I was old enough to see her breastfeed. I never thought I would do anything different. It helped that almost every mom I knew did the same. At this point I feel like breastfeeding is the mainstream, at least in some form. But the other thing my mom did, cloth diapering all three of us even after disposables were common, that is still considered kind of weird. It's often where the greenest moms I know draw the line.
I admit that sometimes I feel slightly smug about cloth diapering. It's my cred card, the thing I can bring up when other moms talk about how they breastfed until two, when they are still Ergo-ing their toddler at the park, when they talk about how their kid has never seen TV or eaten sugar. It's a shortcut to friendship with moms I meet out and about. I see the telltale bubble butt on their kid and instantly have something to talk to them about. And it's the one thing I feel totally successful at as a parent. Sure my kids are hellions, I let them watch two hours of TV a day, and my daughter still takes a paci but hey I cloth diaper so I am totally preserving the earth for my girls' future every single day. I am obviously the most awesomest mother ever.
My dirty little secret about cloth diapering? It's actually really easy. Don't tell all the smug alpha moms, but yeah it's super simple. I actually find it easier to deal with than disposables. Diaper changes go faster because I am not wrangling those devilish sposie tabs. I keep them in a dry pail and wash them every other day then fold then while I watch my trashy TV. Done.
And it is amazingly cost effective, especially with twins. Even with having used a diaper service for the first six months (provided by my MIL and generous friends), going through three separate systems, and the extra money on our water bill a high estimate of money spent on cloth diapering the girls is $600. And I will probably make back about $150 when I sell our current stash of diapers and covers. My quick figuring of the cost of disposables for the past three years goes something like this: store brand diapers, $8 pack for 35. At least a pack a week times 52 weeks is $416 times 3 years is $1248, more than double the cost of cloth diapering. It's amazing to me how people manage to even afford disposables for their kids.
So go on, give it a try. At the very least it will give you several victories a day. It's not just poop, it super poop that's saving the world.
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)