If I’ve learned anything the past few years, it’s to not have black and white expectations for myself. It’s impossible to live out this “perfect” or “ideal” life. For anyone. I mean, what may seem like perfection on social media is probably a lie. I know that I unintentionally post mostly the pretty things. The things that I want people to see. The things that I want people to think about me. I’m sure that I’m not alone.
I used to try to live this 100% natural life. All homemade things. Zero processed foods. I milled my own flour. I had homebirths with my boys and thought that everyone should. If you were planning a c-section, I needed to give you information about why you shouldn’t. I cloth diapered Ethan to the point of bleeding. He reacted badly to cloth diapers, but I kept trying (I eventually let go of that). I got rid of all plastic. Breastfeeding was a very deep desire of mine because I “should” do anything that I can to make that happen. I ended up finding out that I have insufficient glandular tissue, and my kids got barely anything from me. They ended up losing so much weight, they weren’t pooping or peeing, and their jaundice struggled to improve. I tried to deal with my mental illness without meds. I ended up inpatient and struggling badly. I didn’t want to put the boys on ADHD meds, and they had a super hard time for many years.
Do you see the pattern? I did whatever I could to “live up” to an ideal that I had in my mind, and it hurt me and my family.
Thanks to good meds, my boys and myself are all much more mentally healthy. We still have to see counselors periodically, but that’s always a positive thing.
Because of that, I am able to choose the things that are most important to me instead of trying to do everything 100%.
While we have lived a pretty “natural life” for a long time, at this point in my life, my main goal is to feel my best and help my family to feel their best also. I also want to take care of God’s creation.
I am dairy free because it makes my cough and inflammation in my lungs so much worse. We use natural personal care products (castile soap, Attitude products, etc), Schmidts or Native deodorant, Tom’s toothpaste, homemade or store bought natural cleaners (mostly), Ecos laundry detergent, etc. I focus on fragrance free these days.
We recycle (I also plan to start composting soon), we use only reusable dishes, bamboo or recycled paper towels (and not many, we mostly use kitchen towels), cloth napkins, etc.
We shop used as much as we can… books, clothes, furniture, etc. I have gotten a lot of fun things from people here at camp that they were giving away.
I make soooo many foods homemade. BUT. I allow myself to buy pre-made when I need to without feeling guilty (cause it’s not wrong to do that). I have been making the family homemade white bread (not freshly ground whole wheat)!
I shop at the Farmer’s Market when I can.
I use reusable bags when I can.
I try to pack meals when we go into town (but sometimes I just don’t wanna).
I use organic when I can, but I prefer grass-fed /pastured over organic.
I use mostly natural sweeteners (raw honey, maple, coconut sugar, etc), but I prefer Zulka sugar in my coffee. I used to drink tons of diet drinks, but now if I get a drink in town it’s either a green tea with lime or a regular old Coke with some lime (or cold brew coffee with syrup and oat milk). At home I mostly drink water, sparkling water, decaf tea, and coffee.
I love oat milk, oat milk creamer, Melt “butter,” hot herbal teas, only good coffee (haha), veggies and hummus, beans of all kinds (with cilantro lime rice), stove popped popcorn, coconut all the things (oil, canned milk, flour, and sugar), all kinds of seeds (especially hemp), hemp protein powder in a green smoothie, oatmeal made in my instant pot, homemade granola, homemade granola bars, homemade yogurt, homemade bread, breakfast cookies, fruit (mostly bananas, Honeycrisp apples, and grapes right now), salad with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, homemade oat and seed bread, pan seared wild caught salmon and chicken breast, quinoa, and on and on…
Lastly, the outdoors are super important to us. We try to go camping whenever we can! We often go to Big Bend Ranch State Park. We have 1400 acres where we live and hiking has been a huge part of my life off and on. Ethan is a mountain biker and rides most days here on our trails. Now that it’s consistently cooler, I hope to take the kids on simple hikes and nature walks.
We focus on living a Wild + Free lifestyle with W + F Homeschooling. Charlotte Mason inspired, nature walks and study, rich literature, letting our kids be kids, following their passions, working with them one on one, digging deep, kicking them outside, hiking and camping, schooling outside, giving them a rich education.
Click on the page titled Our Homeschool for more info on this!