When most people hear things like cloth diapering, homemade soaps, and home remedies replacing conventional medicine, they think back to stories maybe their parents or grandparents told... A simpler time, when you couldn't just hop in your gas-guzzling sports car and drive 30 feet to the nearest shop for pretty much anything, when men brought home the bacon and women stayed home and cooked said bacon, and when folks made decisions for their families based upon experience and knowledge rather than trusting what they said on TV.
I've been tinkering in the "natural realm" for several months now, and while most consider many of these things 'alternative', it's actually quite the norm. Before we had 60+ brands of laundry detergent to choose from, an entire aisle devoted to curing your cough, and throw-away/disposable everything, our ancestors SOMEHOW managed to live. *perplexed* While it's true that while many of today's modern conveniences have made our lives simpler, more enjoyable, and given us more "free time", there is a double edged sword hidden amongst the lillies.
Now, I'll unashamedly admit, I like to keep a small stock of "easy meals" on hand for nights when I'm just not feelin' it... Sometimes this is a freezer stock of homemade meals, but not always, however, you'll be hard-pressed to find me serving dinner from a box more than twice per month... Don't misunderstand and think that I'm trying to say that you're a horrible person if you feed your family convenience food more often than not, or whatever other conclusion that you might read between the lines and come to. I'm simply saying that when you know better, you do better. Rewind several years and you'd be talking to a major contributor of income for the local taco joint, Mcdonalds, and Hambooger Helper. Mainstream Media / TV / Magazines tell us that these "wholesome meals" will leave your family full, satisfied, and nutritionally complete. Catchy jingles, eccentric cartoon mascots, and phrases like "All Natural Ingredients", "Organic", & "Mom Approved!" make us feel all fuzzy in the cockles of our hearts while serving this food to our families - but the fact is, manufacturers pretty much have free reign when it comes to advertising/labeling. There are all sorts of loopholes to be jumped through, so we have to trust ourselves when making a purchase, not the Fat Cats trying to line their pockets.
I'll be completely honest here and say that I don't see us ever becoming 100% natural or whatever phrase you would describe someone eating and doing all the right things to live said lifestyle - reason being, if we hold ourself to such unrealistic expectations (truly, does ANYONE actually "get there"?) we will become disappointed, discouraged, and more likely to give up. My plan is simple: Keep researching tirelessly, never give up or settle, use mommy superpowers (aka instinct/common sense) to uncover the truths, take it a day at a time (easy does it, small changes), and keep a blog of our experiences and findings for both personal use and to help others heading down the endless path of healthier, easier, frugaler (I made that up), and more basic living =)
Besides the whole health aspect of living a simpler life, I actually enjoy this stuff! It's funny because when my mom comes to visit, and she sees me cooking/baking/cleaning with baking soda & vinegar, she sometimes will remind me that I never took an interest in any of this "housewife stuff" as a young girl. She tells me how I refused learning to cook with her, and she doesn't have to tell me how I was never one for helping with house chores - I remember that much! I'm not sure what caused the change, and it wasn't motherhood because I had my first son at the ripe young age of 17... Things never really happened for me until I was pregnant last year with my daughter (who is now 8 months old) and Nesting hit hard! I just felt like I was possessed by the spirit of Betty Crocker in the kitchen, I heard the call of the laundry pile wooing me from down in the cellar before the basket was even full, my kitchen sink had to be shiny and dry unless it was currently in use, the cobwebs adorning our 8ft. ceiling - OK well I didn't go THAT far.... those are still there sometimes =) But you get the point! Anyway, I'm glad it happened, and I'm thankful that I was able to leave my job to be a Stay-at-home-mommy, because I now have the energy to make those dreams happen!
If you have any questions or suggestions please don't hesitate to leave a comment, and I'll get back to you as soon as possible! I would say email me, but let's be real, I have over 3k emails and I rarely ever check them. Thanks =)