Dirty Secrets of a Green & Natural Mama (and Why I’m Not Afraid to Share Them!)

by Charise Rohm Nulsen

Welcome to the “I’m a Natural Parent – BUT…” Carnival

This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community.

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When Shannon from The Artful Mama came up with the idea to host a carnival called “I’m a Natural Parent… BUT…”, my fellow Natural Parents Network volunteers and I responded with great enthusiasm. There is something so appealing about sharing what you consider to be your dirty, little parenting secrets and yet still having the opportunity to be validated by others.

There is not one among us that can claim to be a perfect parent, but what we can proudly claim ownership of is being a perfect parent for our own families. In my definition of being perfect for our own particular family, a mama is aware, informed, loving, respectful, and filled with the best intentions, BUT she also makes choices or takes shortcuts which keep her from being too stressed and allow her to have the time and the presence of mind to actually ENJOY her family rather than just take care of them.

toddler eating a muffin

I have a little secret...

Here are a few (not all!) of my dirty, little parenting secrets. I proudly call myself a Green & Natural Mama because I prioritize utilizing natural parenting philosophies, and I make real efforts every day to live greenly and to protect my family and our world from toxins and chemicals, but as you’ll see from my secrets below, what may seem like “real efforts” to me may seem like nothing at all compared to what some mamas accomplish. Other mamas may see my efforts as too much effort. Either way, I focus on the positive choices and changes that I have made in my family’s life because every little step counts when you are caring for a family, and while I think we should all always be aspiring to be better, greener, and more aware, that doesn’t mean we can’t take pride in the baby steps we have taken to enhancing our families lives!

1. We use cloth diapers, BUT Baby has never worn a cloth diaper overnight.

I love cloth diapering – the cute factor, the green factor, and the health impact, but Baby has had major sleep challenges throughout his 20 months of life, and we have made the choice to only respond with gentle and sensitive tactics to help him sleep as much as possible (Read: We don’t get a lot of sleep), so there has never been a point where I’ve felt comfortable adding one more nighttime challenge into the mix for us. We need all the sleep we can get, and taking the time to figure out which cloth diaper would work best overnight has never made it on to my priority list.

2. We have transitioned to cloth wipes, BUT we don’t use them all the time.

Baby’s dirty diapers are far from containing… we’ll call it solids only… and I just don’t want to use the cloth wipes on his… um, very explosive gifts to us… so we use Seventh Generation Free & Clear Baby Wipes for dirty diapers, and while cloth wipes come with us when we’re on the go for nose wiping, I use the Seventh Generation wipes for on-the-go diaper changes too.

3. We do a ton of co-sleeping, BUT we don’t do it for the whole night and we don’t do it all the time.

Baby’s sleep patterns and needs change so consistently, that there is no one size fits all approach to providing him (and us) with the best possible night’s sleep. Sometimes co-sleeping is the clear answer, and sometimes, it seems like the worst approach to helping Baby because he has had many stages where he throws parties in the middle of the night. During this particular stage, Dada and I are what we call “too exciting” for Baby. He practically raises the roof of our house when he is in bed with us during these times.

I could go on and on with more of my parenting secrets, but I think I’ll save them for future blog posts since you probably get the idea by now.

Cheers to all of us mamas who are simply doing the best we can!

I’d love to hear your dirty, little parenting secrets in the comments section below!

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I'm a Natural Parent — But … Blog CarnivalThis carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that “natural parenting” means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

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