I think all parents worry that they're somehow messing up in the parenting department. It's a tough job. Just when we think we've figured it out, a stop sign comes flying out of nowhere to knock us on our ass. I've done my best to offer healthful meals, limit our exposure to toxic chemicals, and create a space mindful of the environment.
As my kids have gotten older though (seriously, how do I have two teenagers already), I feel like they've missed a few childhood "traditions" because of my natural-er lifestyle.
1. Sure, I love Cheetos as much as the next guy, but I rarely bring them into the house. I know organic junk food is still junk food, but I didn't really think I was sheltering my kids from the world of snacks until my son came home from his best friend's house raving about cookies he'd had there. His description: "they had chocolate in the middle and they were shaped like a little elf guy!"
Holy hell, my 12 year old (at the time) had no idea what a Keibler Elf Cookie was. Remember putting fudge stripe cookies or Salerno butter cookies on your finger and seeing how small you could bite it before breaking? Yeah, my kids don't.
2. I have no adorable pictures of my daughter as a toddler with lipstick and makeup all over her face after raiding my cosmetic drawer. I never thought twice about it until my teenage daughter asked if I'd show her how to use eyeliner and eye shadow...and could she borrow mine. Um...no...I don't have any.
This is less of a "green statement", though, and more I'd rather sleep 10 extra minutes than put on makeup. That, and I end up looking more like I got in a bar fight and less like I "enhanced" my features when I do try to wear eye makeup.
3. Every kid loves opening crescent roll tubes because of the startling loud pop, right? Except my son who apparently jumped 10 feet in the school's "cooking class" because he wasn't expecting the noise.
4. Uggs? Ambercrombie? No way. The fortunate/unfortunate part about social consciousness is that it definitely affects where you're willing to spend your money. "Everyone has them" just doesn't work in my house. $150 for sheepskin (yes, the animal is dead for this process) boots (not to mention that they leak and aren't remotely feasible for Chicago winters)? Not a chance.
When my kids were 6 and 7 I attempted a year long challenge of not buying anything made in China. Granted, it only lasted 6 months when my son needed a new helmet and no other option existed- they were happy to see that one end.
Do I regret these decisions? No...the make-up picture would be cute though. I don't freak out when friends introduce them to foods & products I don't buy...admittedly I used to want to control it when they were little. But we all have small indulgences that we associate with friends and family (like knowing there's always a stash of Cheetos in my mom's pantry).
Like all parents- we try to give our kids the tools and hope that when the day comes- they make good decision. And, when they're vomiting techno-color goldfish, we'll get them a cold towel, some water, and smile to ourselves when the vow to never eat them again.
Elf Cookie photo credit
Toddler with Makeup photo credit
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