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There seems to be this fine line between being paranoid, scared of germs, checking lists, looking at ingredients and wondering if a cup or straw is safe to drink out of. It’s a lot for a parent to sort through and figure out and way back when life did seem simpler.
It was simpler to chase the truck with the pesticides spraying out the back because it was a cloud and fun.
It was simpler to ride in a car without a car seat and climb all over the place and just use mama’s hand as a seat belt.
It was simpler to wear no sunscreen and burn because a tan was cool and then be 30 worried about skin cancer.
It was simpler to wander around the streets without much supervision at a young age because the child predators weren’t online and being booked and caught left and right.
It was simpler to just paint the walls with lead paint because the government “said” it was safe and use the DDT on our vegetables because it kept the bugs off.
Ah, the simpler days of being more naive. The simpler days of not thinking and throwing caution to the wind. Now we know more and are more cautious, more cynical, ask more questions, demand answers and want things to be safe and not just trust what we are being told. Personally, it seems simpler but NO today we’re paying for the “simpler days” in more ways than one.
Today we have records of lead poisonings and those harmed by the pesticides thought to be safe.
Today we have high skin cancer rates.
Today we have high infertility rates.
Today we have marine life being born asexual or with low sperm counts because of the prescription drugs and pollution to our water.
Today we have 1 in 13 children having asthma.
Today we have indoor air pollution higher than outdoor air pollution.
Today we have an increase of children with cancer and autism.
Tomorrow is what I’m hopeful for.
If we didn’t have the Environmental Working Group , Healthy Child Healthy World and other activism groups fighting for changes, asking questions and parents like myself and others that are trying hard to dissect it all and not stick are heads in the sand and pretend and just ignore the information out there – I’m not sure I’d be hopeful for tomorrow and for the future our kids will have. I’m all for the underground mom movement and living life and letting kids play in the woods and eat an Oreo but remember the simpler days are something we are paying for today and that tomorrow we don’t want to pay for something we could have prevented.
The notion that my children live in any type of fear because I don’t use antibacterial soap, we do our best to buy organic foods when possible and that I’m pretty strict about pesticides and non-toxic soaps and personal care products; does not mean my children are fearful when someone brings out the Oreos, blue window spray or pink bottle of sunscreen! Children should not live in fear and need a healthy, happy childhood where they are learning, exploring, playing and being kids. Creative play and learning by doing is the biggest way we learn in our home and as a early childhood advocate and teacher – I couldn’t stand by this more. I bottle fed and gosh darn it all I even used let my child cry it out at night. This does not mean, however, that the way we grew up as children is the way it should be for our children. I would never want all of my childhood to be my child’s childhood. Instead I feel empowered with the knowledge and resources available to me as a parent NOW that my mom DID NOT have and hope that any parent can decide that each resource is just that – a resource. No person’s word is the Gospel but reading from a variety or resources, asking questions, and seeking knowledge is not a bad thing.
So moms, where do we find that fine line and not go to the extreme on either end? How do you not put make your fears become your child’s fears?
Personally, I’m the mom with one foot in each door! I’m an underground mom and respect their thoughts, ideas and spirit and agree with lots of their ideas and points but I’m sprouting like no other as a green mom fighting for safer products and ways to help the environment. I guess I’m feeling unsure of my label right now other than being called, M-O-M. Aren’t we all just moms?