When you’ve lived your life the way others say you should for so long

Freedom pillar Apartheid museum

I can still remember. That moment when I went from feeling like a pretty good mama, to feeling like I’m not quite enough.

It started on Cafemom. While I met some pretty amazing ladies that I’m still friends with, there were too many that made it clear that their way was superior. They know better. They do better. And I’m not enough.

It creeped in slowly, but continued to flow through me.

I began changing the way I did everything… And my life has never been the same.

I gave up so much that day, then the next, and the next, until I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

You see, I desired to be in the “natural mama club” that I lost myself. I began spending too much on grass-fed/organic food. Using cloth diapers. Making all homemade/buying natural personal care products, cleaners, detergents. Using essential oils. Stopped taking important medicine. Had anxiety about vaccines. Stopped going to the doctor when necessary. Got rid of all plastic dishes because of BPA. Made all food from scratch. Spent a lot of time and money trying to breastfeed even though I have a condition that makes it impossible to produce enough milk. Spent hundreds to become a childbirth educator. Tried and tried to eat Paleo or at least grain-free.

In the past few years, I have gone back and forth about these things. When I wasn’t doing the “natural thing,” I felt guilty. I felt as if I’m not as good of a mama if I didn’t.

Why?

Well, it’s everywhere. Every. Single. Time. I get on Facebook, there is some article about natural living.
There is some post about it. And I’m as guilty as anyone!

But I am DONE. I am done trying to fit into a box. I am ME. I am a good mama, even if I do NOTHING that is natural. Being a good mama has NOTHING to do with that. NOTHING.
Hear me when I say this. You are a good mama if you love your kids.

Whether you’ve had a c-section or a natural birth. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed. Whether you make mac ‘n cheese for dinner or grass-fed, local, homemade food. Whether you cloth diaper or use Huggies or Target brand diapers. Whether you vaccinate or not. Whether you use only essential oils go to the doctor and take/give your kids medicine. Whether you use plastic or glass. Whether you use natural or conventional products. Whether you don’t have a t.v., or your kids watch a lot of t.v. Whether you homeschool or send your kids to public school.

Here is the truth about me.

I have not had any proof in my life that essential oils work for anything but aroma therapy. There. I said it. I am done trying to make them work. Medicine works. I’ve seen that truth time and time again. So while I like essential oils for anxiety in my diffuser, that’s about it. It hasn’t cured cold, sinus infections, flu, strep, or pain. At least in my life.

I don’t like natural cleaners. They just don’t work the same. And they don’t usually smell as good, either. I like good smelling things.

Making homemade detergent is fine sometimes, but I prefer to use store-bought because I believe my clothes get cleaner. And I can’t afford natural.

I hated cloth-diapering. They were cute. But stinky and messy and difficult to use.
We have lots of plastic in our home…

We watch t.v. Sometimes too much. Sometimes not too much. But the point is, it’s okay.

I believe in vaccinations. Our world would be a much different place without them. In fact, it has been a much different place without them in the past. I’m thankful for them.

I am done trying to become a childbirth educator because I have come to believe that it’s not my business how you have your baby. It’s your business alone.

I take 5 medications daily, and I feel better than I have ever felt. Ever. I’m soooo thankful for these medications.

We go to the doctor when we are sick, and we take what we are prescribed. Oh yeah, I trust my doctor. He knows a lot about my family and me, and he has our best interest at heart. He has helped me a lot over the years. He knows what he is doing.

We recently stopped buying grass-fed/organic food. I like Walmart. If I buy organic, it’s because it’s about the same price. We are poor and have to save money wherever we can.

I am no longer allowing myself to be put in a box. To be defined by natural living. To be someone I’m not because it’s expected.

Since I have made these realizations about myself, I have been walking in freedom.

I have lived in this bondage since Karis was a baby! Wow, that is far too long to be living in a way that others think is best!

I am me, and I am not a natural mama. I am finally okay with that.

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