After my last post, I have done tolerably well (meaning really well some days and not well at all other days…we all do the best we can) at monitoring my thoughts and at least recognizing when I am wasting them.
So what kinds of things do I consider to be worth my energy to think about?
Well, here are a couple of things that I’d blog about if I had myself more together:
Plastic diapers – I recently read this alarmist and judgmental article and was left with the feeling that my baby would be sterile, have autism or possibly even burst into flames if I continued using the polyurethane laminate diaper covers that I have had for 3 years as they likely contain PVC, phthalates, and other neurotoxins. So I called all the makers of all the diapers that I have (about 8 different phone calls) and then called several PUL manufacturers when I couldn’t find the maker of one of my diapers (Captain Fluffy Pants has disappeared off the face of the earth, apparently. It happens. She was a WAHM and has moved on to other things that don’t involve answering emails from someone who bought her stuff 3 years ago) to ask them questions. One very kind man at a manufacturer’s customer service line assured me there was only a 10 percent chance that my baby would burst into flames. 😉
He explained to me that there was a short period from about 2006-2007 or so when PUL was very popular but hadn’t yet been regulated. before that there was really only one manufacturer who sold it and they didn’t use pvc in their production of PUL. Then cloth diapering got trendy and CPSIA certification became a thing and now it seems like most cloth diaper companies (I say most although I don’t want to generalize…do your own homework and make your own decisions, people) are using certified PUL which means it is presently understood to be the most stable and least toxic plastic possible. Yes, it’s still plastic. It’s not the best thing possible. Yes, ideally we would diaper our babies with hopes and dreams and marshmallow fluff. Okay, maybe not marshmallow fluff, but you get the idea. Natural fibers or bust. I have looked into wool covers for diapers, and even made a few of them myself. But they are too expensive to be something I would use exclusively, and require a lot of extra work to care for that I frankly am not willing to put in at this moment in my life. Even plastic reusable diapers are still reusable (each one of my diapers has now replaced hundreds of ‘sposies at this point) and we are doing the best we can.
Food and Community – We like food at our house. We like to make it, like to eat it, like to think about it, like to talk about it, love to share it. We try to eat things that are food, and for a long time that was stressful because I was working out what that meant for family get-togethers and things. I am not good at hiding what I am thinking, so as I went through this process I would make the most unseemly faces every time someone handed us a potato chip or a cookie at a function:
Well, what does that have in it? No way to check. Don’t think too long…it’ll be weird. They said they got it at Giant Eagle…ummm….ok…starting to think too long…quick, decide! Will compromise on: genetically modified foods, conventional vs organic, more sugar than normal, maybe a little high fructose corn syrup. Food dyes? Jury’s still out. Preservatives? Not too sure yet. Probably compromise. Will not compromise on: hydrogenated oils, chemical sweeteners, meat from suspect sources. Crap. Thought too long. Yep, 30 seconds of silence is definitely too long.
So that’s what would go through my head every time we were offered any food. And because it wasn’t settled in my mind yet, I was extremely awkward about it. I was trying to decide each moment what we were going to do, and trying to do it without being a Crazy Hippie Mom. I didn’t want to just say, “no, we don’t eat that,” because it felt judgmental but I couldn’t figure out what to say which ended up being way worse.
My very patient MIL confided to me the other day that I’ve gotten much better about this as I’ve grown into my opinions more. She said it’s a lot less awkward now because I just quietly explain what we do or don’t eat (she only told me this because I asked her if it was okay that I didn’t eat the croutons in our lunch salad because I knew from getting takeout from that restaurant before that they contain hydrogenated soybean oil…E asked me why she couldn’t have them and Iwhispered to her that there were things that weren’t food in them, but that we’d compromise and she could have the salad with the HFCS dressing and I wanted to make sure she wasn’t offended…she’s not the kind of lady who volunteers opinions like that, just FYI. She kinda rocks like that).
Sometimes people will take the choices that I make as a personal indictment, whether they are about food, natural living, or Jesus. Whether they are meant that way or not (they’re not, by the way). It’s not my job for everyone else to be fine with the choices I make. But it is my job to be thoughtful about them. As a church we are called to give an answer for our beliefs to anyone who asks us. It actually says that, in Timothy. And if we’re not instructed to be preachy and obnoxious and judgmental when sharing God’s love, who am I to be any of those ways about anything less important than that (which is everything)?
Well, kids are requiring focused attention again. Those are some brainwaves that I know for sure aren’t wasted.