Some days I’m just too tired. Too tired to separate the recycling. Too tired to research the least-toxic products. Too drained to debate the issues with family and friends. Positively exhausted trying to live an eco-friendly life.
Why? Because I’m a parent and parenting is some seriously exhausting work. And there are days where whipping up a simple, healthy meal seems physically impossible. When you forgo the farmer’s market for convenience food. When you just want to have it easy.
Does that mean you’ve failed? Of course not! We all have our lapses and reality checks. Being a parent provides more than enough challenges and if you’re trying go the extra mile and shift your family’s lifestyle, it’s all the more overwhelming. The health and well-being of our families is exactly the incentive and motivation we need to live greener and more sustainably, but the level of energy and attentiveness that parenting demands leaves us with fewer and fewer resources to reach our goals. What’s an exhausted eco-minded mom or dad to do?
Here are 4 simple tips:
1. Take baby steps. Whatever changes you are trying to make to live healthier or greener, take them one step at a time. Commit to one change until it feels routine and then take the next step.
2. Be prepared. Stock your home with things that will make green living easier, even when life seems overwhelming. Mix up a few batches of non-toxic cleaners and stock them in your cabinet for little spills and big messes. Keep organic versions of convenience foods on hand for those times when things get crazy. Or, cook in bulk whenever you have the time and freeze or store for future use.
3. Lose the guilt. Feeling guilty about not living up to our own ideals is not only self-defeating, but often creates a downward spiral. Once you feel bad, you simply start throwing in the towel (and paper towels at that!). Acknowledge that you are always doing the best you can in the moment with the resources that you have. When calm returns, think about what you can pre-plan or prep to keep you on track, even when stress or unexpected events come your way.
4. Take care of yourself. Take some “you” time on a regular basis to get some extra sleep, exercise, or read a magazine – it’s easier to handle all of life’s challenges and to take on the prospect of making positive changes, if you’ve invested in your own well-being and strength. Connect with friends or a local support network to help stay on track and to address your own needs. Social connection can make a world of difference!
What are your tips?
Learn more about finding balance and holistic parenting and connect with like-minded parents at the 9th Annual Natural Living Conference on October 13th in Chicago. You can also join in events online and off-line all month long as part of Holistic Moms Network’s celebration of Holistic Living Month. Join us!