How Do You Know When You Are “Natural” Enough?

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How Do You Know When You Are Natural Enough? :: Vintage Kids | Modern World

I have a confession:

wait, let me back up.

Several months back, I wrote about the items I use to stock my natural medicinal cabinet, and there were some great questions and comments.  Therefore, I wrote about how I stock my kid-friendly summer time first aid kit, filled with herbal goodies and “hippy-things” (as my hubby says…though we all know he secretly likes my hippy-ness).  As we near the end of summer, I am preparing for the onslaught of cold season again, and so I’m beginning to refill and restock for the winter.

And then, last week, I got sick.

The exhaustion, stuffy nose, sneezy, achey, whiney, puffy-eyed kind of sick where the only thing you really just want to do is take a nap.  Which I did, for all of 4 seconds before my children began the process of mutiny.

And now for my confession.

I didn’t even look through my hippy-things – I simply grabbed the standard cold medicine and went on my merry way, breathing happily out of both nostrils.

I hate taking over the counter drugs.  I hate how chemical-y they are (when you’re sick, you make up words too), and after too much research, I really do know what they can do to my liver, kidneys, nervous system and the like.

But it was ok.

I realized something while trying to homeschool, meal plan, and blog (not to mention dishes, laundry, etc.) through my hazy fog of half-consciousness – and its that we all have a threshold, and I had met mine!

So, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I was faced with a question…

How do you determine when you are “natural” enough?

Is it when you swear off cold medicine and only buy herbal remedies?

When you stop buying Chef Boyardee and Velveeta Cheese?

If you make your own deodorant?

Use cloth diapers on your munchkins?

Start wearing broom skirts, burn patchouli incense and get piercings?

The great part is, there is no definitive answer to this! When you realize that you have to cheat sometimes and that you’ll never be completely and totally, 100% natural in all areas of your life, that can be the most freeing thing!  We will stop comparing ourselves to other crunchy-mamas with their plastic-free, patchouli-loving barefoot kids.

We’ll stop comparing ourselves to those natural food bloggers that would never dream of making a late night M&M run to the grocery store!  Doing things from scratch and choosing home-made over conventional takes time and commitment!  Living naturally can get really complicated and it’s so tempting to forego simplicity in exchange for convenience.

A weight of self-imposed guilt will lift off of our shoulders when we realize that certain seasons of our life will look more “natural” than others.

I’ve realized, after much trial, error and cold medicine, that I will make it a priority to arm myself with the knowledge, tools, resources and people who will encourage me to live naturally, cook healthy foods from scratch, and make the best choices for my family.

We can’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap of comparison, because otherwise we will never be “natural enough”. My “natural living” will not look like your “natural living” because my family, my stage of life, my schedule, and my love of M&Ms will be different from yours.  We simply educate ourselves and make the best decisions that we can given the season of our life.

Everyone’s “natural living” will look different.  What does yours look like?



Posted to Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Raising ArrowsHomestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, Better Mom MondaysThe Morristribe’s Homesteader Blog CarnivalTraditional Tuesdays at Cooking TF, Titus 2 Tuesday at Cornerstone Confessions,  Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well Linkup

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18 Responses to “How Do You Know When You Are “Natural” Enough?”
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  1. Cynthia

    Ahhh, Kelsi, I love your honesty! It is a lot of work with all of our other responsibilities as wives and moms. I too have come the relization that there are certain changes I can make that will stick. And there are things that I try but fall back into the easier, more convenient way of doing them. Thank you for being real about all of this. That is why I am following your blog.

  2. Meranda

    I agree with Cynthia. I love this post. Sometimes when I see the blogs of all the mothers that are doing everything (or mostly everything) all natural, it tends to make me feel like I am letting my family down somehow. I have and am making better all natural changes to our diet and ways of life, but I know that there is no way I will be perfect. It is nice to see the honesty in your post because it makes me feel that there are other mothers out there doing their best, but when push comes to shove they will take that cold medicine to keep up with the kiddos.

  3. Rachel

    Thanks for always keeping it real. 🙂

  4. I love this post! I think that when you start moving toward a more natural lifestyle you start to read blogs and everyone seems ot have it all together and do it all. It is very easy to get overwhelmed and not move forward at all because you don’t even know where to start. That’s one of the very reasons I started blogging: to give people hope that they CAN do it! You don’t have to be superwoman (or man). You just have to start somewhere.
    Thanks for your confession and honesty 🙂

  5. Thank you! I was just commenting on another post about how we own a farmers market and I am so glad that I can offer local, in-season foods to people who normally can’t buy them. HOWEVER, they aren’t gmo free and organically raised and I am ok with that. I would rather them wash the snot out of them (which we do when we get them even before selling them) than go to the super market and buy a box of fully processed junk food. I wish I could…and maybe one day I can offer all natural foods for an affordable cost, but today I can’t and I am ok with that.

  6. Amen! Thanks for the encouragement. I often struggle with feeling like I’m not doing enough. btw, my husband calls me a hippie too! lol

  7. Too funny! Thanks for your encouragment. We do compare ourselves to others all the time. The thing is that we compare our weakness with someone else’s strength. We try to be that elusive superwoman/supermom. She does not exist but in our mind. We should strive to be better, but know our limits too. When we get sick we call up my mother in law aka “the witch doctor” She has some great ideas that we take into consideration. We usually use a combo approach. We do not go all natural, but we listen to our innervoice that will tell us when natural will suffice or when we need something else. It is a real balancing act, and for each person it looks different.

  8. Mrs. Mom of 6

    I agree wholeheartedly. We are in a season of “less natural” at the moment. It took me a week to stop feeling guilty.. I rationalize “Well we just spent the last two years VERY natural… I think their bodies can handle *a fish stick this week*”. or *magic eraser on the crayon on the wall, or * store bought milk instead of the raw we are used to…. etc.

    We moved to a new state, I’m six months pregnant, and I have 5 kids under 9… I’m tired for crying out loud, and we start homeschooling in a week… My husband needs packed lunches now, and breakfast cooked before he goes to work. I intend to be a bit less natural for a while… If I can keep my one daughter doing GAPS at least till her birthday at the end of September, I’ll be happy. But I’m eating wheat (which i have an intolerance to), and I’m buying some convenience foods (like bread)… and some cleaning chemicals (instead of baking soda and vinegar, since I can’t find those in bulk here)… and I’m praying that the Lord will protect us from the other things I can’t control.

    Sometimes, somethin’s gotta give.

  9. LOVE IT! I just posted a confessional post this morning!

    Thanks for being honest! And making me feel better!

  10. I LOVE this! It’s not an all-or-nothing thing, which is something I’ve blogged about many times. Thanks for being real and honest! And practical. 🙂

  11. My ‘natural living’ is just whatever point I am in my journey when the question’s asked. 🙂 As I learn more about homeopathic things and get more adept at using them, well, I’m going to be able to use them more with more success. It took almost two years, but now I reach for the arnica first thing for pretty much everything sore/bruise/muscle ache-y. Even to where I’ve gotten my hubby to take it, and more regularly than I thought (like when he goes wood-cutting – usually results in soreness the next day, but the arnica minimizes it).
    This year I tried a few Boiron things for allergies (maybe next year I’ll try bee pollen) and it worked beautifully! I felt much more normal without the uber-dried out sinuses, it was lovely. Also used tons of vitamin D and then homemade elderberry syrup on the kids to try and keep us healthy last year, will amp up the usage this year. It’s all a continuum/spectrum, and I tend to be somewhere in the middle. 🙂

  12. I have several chronic, pretty severe health problems that I had been treating with Rx products since childhood. When I became aware decades ago in my adult life that they were homeopathic physicians in our area—well, sign me up!! This poor guy was so overwhelmed he didn’t know where to start, so he started with what is usually easiest to treat, with the highest success rate. He reluctantly had to tell me he couldn’t treat me at all. Too much going on and all intertwined. So back to my pharmaceuticals and reluctant acceptance and loss of hope. However, my juicer just arrived, so I’m going to try to get healthier that was and see what comes of it.

  13. I love this post! I send my kid to school with organic peanut butter and homemade jelly from local wild berries on whole wheat bread sandwiches packed in a reusable homemade sandwich bag. Then I stop by the mini mart to get myself a deep fried breakfast burrito. The fact is i’m not a morning person. I feel I deserve deep fried carbs, cheese and bacon for getting us all out the door on time. Sometimes I get on the ball and make up a bunch of homemade breakfast burritos with our fresh eggs and whole grain tortillas and such, but more often the healthy breakfasts are served on the weekend.

  14. Pippa

    I am really relieved to see that I am not alone! Thanks for your honesty and realness (is that even a word?!) We appreciate you!

  15. Love it! Sometimes I get hard on myself for not being natural enough, but I have to remember a) some is better than none and b) it’s not a competition!
    Melissa recently posted..5 Things I Wish I Had Known as a New MomMy Profile

  16. yasmine

    Hi! It’s my first time here, thanks for the honest post! I have concluded that there is only so much I can do, I do the most I can. So if we eat out & it isn’t organic chicken or if my kids have pink birthday cake with sprinkles at a party its ok. I’m very glad to hear that I’m not the only one doing the best I can!

  17. Kelsi

    Yasmine, thanks for stopping by! yep…we have to draw the lines somewhere or we’ll lose our minds! I wrote this post so that I’d remind myself not to freak out if there’s a touch of sugar in something…we’ll just start over tomorrow!