Friday, December 9, 2011

Earth Mama

So my neighbour asked me what I was doing a few weekends ago as I had pulled all of my MIL (find out about her here) clothes out of our sleepout and had spread them out in our front garden. You see I'm planning on making 3 quilts using the material for her sisters and grandaughter for Christmas. I know. I'm crazy. Even more crazy as I've never made a quilt in my life. Ha de Ha. I got the idea from the grief counsoller at the Hospice. It's important to me to make them as I've wanted to do it all year, then decided making them for Christmas would give me a deadline. I will feel great about using the material and capturing her.
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Anyway's my neighbour looks at me in amusement and shakes her head and says to me "You really are an Earth Mama". Initially I took it as an offence but after reflecting about it that day then I was pretty darn chuffed.

And now a few weeks on I've been thinking about it a bit. When I was pregnant I knew I'd: have a home birth, wear my baby, breastfeed, use cloth nappies and I wondered if I'd end up co-sleeping (even though I was a bit scared about it). Once I had my baby I realised I'd be a non-vaxed (an educated one) too (shsh don't tell anyone). As from a teenager I'd been intrigued in things African. To me how African woman parent was natural. I also thought I'd bring them up greenish but I really didn't feel I had an instinct for what would or even should work. I did know I didn't want to be parent how I was parented (although as my Mum tells me I turned out OK).
So when my baby arrived into the world and turned out to be very "spirited". I used to say "unsettled". I constantly wondered about how to do this or that and over analysed everything. But after a wee (long) while, like maybe 18 months (when breastfeeding was still going strong), I realised I was always going to be an Earth Mama (a soft one at that). So I should just accept it and enjoy it. Which I did, second time around.

While I may live a greenish life. Do you wash plastic bags? Truly living and contributing towards a sustainable Earth I have not. It's funny (its not ACTUALLY funny) that 2011 and living on my husband's student allowance has led me to live cheaper out of necessity. And living cheaper is better for the environment in so many ways. It's ironical.

These are the changes that have occurred in our life this year and the reason my neighbour who sees me most days thinks I'm an Earth Mama (she's the complete opposite but that doesn't mean I don't like her):
- Handmade Washing powder
- Dishwashing Powder
- Homemade Shampoo
- Old towels for dishclothes (not just for rags)
- Homemade mayonnaise
- Making pastry (most brought pastry has palm oil in it)
- Lavendar Night Cream
- Lavendar Childrens Bath Oil
- All Cleaning supplies (tea tree oil, baking soda and vinegar)
- Using flour to make scones, muffins, bread, pancakes, waffles, piklets for everyday fare (not just as a rare occurrence in the weekends)
- Generally cooking from raw ingredients (Not much processed food in my pantry. Sometimes I open the cupboards and wish there was). 
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Check out this website about living like a Nana for most of the recipes I've been using. And Alison Holst cook books and recipes are awesome. Not lots of expensive ingredients, but yum and easy. 

I couple of weeks ago I made kids toothpaste. If I wouldn't brush my teeth with it I can't expect my kids too. This week I tried making rice milk yoghurt and rice milk itself (as rice milk ACTUALLY is expensive). Complete flops but they were the first flops I've had.  

What I've discovered, being the Earth Mama that I am, is you need TIME and a few simple ingredients. I wonder as I see more Mama's wearing their babies and using baking soda in Generation X and Y's has a solution been found in our use of TIME. I guess time will tell. I still have some way to go but I am gradually realising becoming green and my 'natural' parenting approach is pretty darn fun. 
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PS. Still only just started the quilts but have got lots of other stuff off the 'to do' lists lately so they are next. Well probably after we have pretty much everybody we know around for Christmas afternoon tea and BBQ on Sunday. I wonder if African women keep a tidy house as I can't seem too. 


  1. I am always so impressed with how confident you are Sus in your beliefs and the way you bring your kids up. I am much more wishy washy and change my ideas all the time. You stand by your beliefs about the right way to bring up your kids, and are doing a great job! Sara

  2. loved reading this post! I love the way having limited funds forces creativity! When we had too incomes we bought everything new... I hate the idea of buying new (provided there is another option!). Happy Christmas :)


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