12 April, 2011

Why I Can't Win as a Mom

All moms (okay, the majority of moms) and dads want to do the very best that they can for their children. Some of us moms, take the extra step and buy organic, natural, good things for our children. It's not easy to find great things for out children to use...especially in this economy because generally, those things are really expensive.

After a conversation with my best friend this morning about Aquafresh Training Toothpaste (designed for babies 3-24 months), and being curious as to how good it is for kids that little to be using toothpaste, she pointed me to a website called Cosmetics Database, where they rate how good a product is for you to use based on the ingredients. It's on a scale of 0-10, 0 being the best and 10 being the worst.

I looked up the current shampoo/body wash that I use for Ophelia, which scored a 4-5. Now, a 4-5 out of 10 doesn't seem too bad...but if you were to grade it in school, that would be an F.

Now, a bottle of Yes! To Baby Carrots Shampoo, which costs about $8 or so, will last me MONTHS. Literally. I bathe Ophelia two-three times a week, and so far, the first bottle that I bought her still has a good couple of months left, and she'll be 7 months old this week. I picked out one of the bottles that Cosmetics Database rates a 0, called Baby Poof, is an 8.5oz bottle for $13 a pop. 8.5oz doesn't really last all that long. Probably a couple of months? So, for almost twice the money, which I'd be spending every 2-3 months instead of almost a year. I'd be spending over $50 for the best of the best that I can do for my baby (with shipping to Hawaii and tax, if applicable). Now, I'm not sure about you guys, but I can't be spending $100 a year on shampoo for both the girls. With the economy the way it is, and living on this little tiny island, the only way to get things to me is by airplane. And with the inflation of gas prices, it costs a ton to get things shipped out here.

So how can I be expected to do the very best for my kids that I can, without going broke?! Especially since we are a one income family, living off post and paying for everything (rent, utilities, tv/internet, cell phones, plus groceries and gas, which is an abomination that I won't even get into right now.).

After reading "Spit That Out!" by Paige Wolf, I've come to see that I shouldn't be worrying about buying everything organic or natural, not vaccinating, buying plastic toys, etc, because if I were to do everything like that, all the time, and worry continually about what I'm using to wash my kids, or what their clothes are made of, or what goes in their tummies, I would be an anxiety ridden mess. And no doubt I'd be filing for bankruptcy, and possibly getting a divorce from spending all my husbands hard earned money. The book makes a point to do things the very best that you can, without losing your shit.

But we obviously can't win as parents. Something is always bad for you, something is always going to cause you cancer, or disable or disfigure you somehow...its tiring. Its tiring to know so much information. It's tiring to try to keep your family safe and healthy.

So I've come to the conclusion that I can't do it all....I can only do the best I can, and leave it at that. And I think that's all we can do as parents. So if you are an anxiety ridden mama, trying to do the best for your kids, and you feel like you're failing...just remember to do the absolute best you can. Make compromises. But don't over analyze everything...because you're going to be stressed out, and broke.

But regardless. We still can't win as parents.

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