I Make My Own All-Natural Laundry Detergent

Well, I am a big fan of so-called 'natural parenting.' I did a lot of reading on cloth diapering, breastfeeding, natural cleaning products, organic eating, toys and clothing made from natural fibers, baby-wearing, and more during my pregnancy. I knew, of course, that I wouldn't be able to do it all perfectly or jump into every area at once. But the basics were a given. Disposable diapers? The first 2 weeks after she was born, max, and later on for babysitters only. Formula? When the samples came in the mail I hurled them far, and with glee.

Honestly, I don't think I was too judgmental in this approach. I really don't care too much what other families choose to do, I trust they make the best choices for their own circumstances. But I had high hopes for our family. And the reality isn't aligning with my expectations. Miette has had a diaper rash for close to 4 weeks now. I've tried a few different treatments on our cloth ones to keep them from irritating her skin, but for now it only seems to be tamed by using disposables. I also bought my first can of formula this evening so we can supplement beyond what I am able to produce.

Why do these things feel like failures? Why have I resisted making changes when the way I wanted to do things clearly wasn't working and wasn't benefiting her - or my own sanity? I'm sure these are only the first, and probably most minor, adjustments I will need to make. I only hope that I can remember to see the reality before me, and keep in mind the big picture goals of nurturing and loving and meeting her needs even when it means abandoning whatever 'right' way of doing things that I may have predetermined.

So many times in life I want to know the 'right' thing to do. And to me that ultimately means the wise thing, the loving thing, the God-honoring thing. But I become so shortsighted, and I start defining 'right' as 'correct.' Because a correct answer is simple, singular, straightforward. There is one option. It can be checked off. But wisdom...not so easy. And it seems there aren't many shortcuts to growing wiser, growing more loving, growing more righteous. It takes time, and includes mistakes and detours and backtracking sometimes. I really do believe this, but it is often hard for me to remember. Hard to remember that I am not a robot. That I am not being graded in life on the things I think I am - on a curve, or otherwise - and my failing report card has already been replaced by Jesus' perfection. That making a mistake doesn't cost me points. That being a good mom does not mean being a perfect mom.


Unknown said…
hi! loved this post--i have often encountered parents who stick to something they read in a book and decided was "best" before they even knew their child... and then are unable to see that what they thought was "best" doesn't actually turn out to be best for the person they find themselves charged with parenting.

you're so wise to reflect and try to do things in a new way and not get bogged down in "right" and "perfect." even though i know it's really, really hard.

i'm inspired.
Ashley L said…
Great post. I've definitely felt the same thing, especially when giving in to the fact that Silas was going to need to get the majority of his nutrition from formula, despite my best efforts. He's a very healthy kid and I know Miette will be too! You are a great mom!
Tim & Sara said…
Will the granolas enter the kingdom ahead of us???
Taylor said…
I'm so proud of you!
You are a wonderful mother and I feel like I'm learning from you for... if... I ever have kids.
Did I just say that? Things change. :)
This is wise, Alexis. Read it quarterly for the next, say, 22 years.

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