I read a blog post today that really struck home, in both a good and bad way. A fellow Mom let off some steam about all the “rules” of parenting and how absolutely tiresome they are. The rant got my attention because the title referenced slathering toxic cream (sunscreen) onto her children. I actually thought it was going to be a post about the dangers of the toxic creams and how regular joes can avoid them, which – as you know – I support. But she went in a completely different direction, humorously focusing instead on how following the do’s and don’ts often prevents us from living the very life we seek.
She’s right. I mean, she’s dead-on, nail-on-the-head, face-palm right.
Why did this resonate with me so? I’m glad you asked. If you’ve read my blog before, you might have noticed that I only posted twice in 2015. There are two reasons for this: 1) I was actually busier living life than writing about it and 2) I found that the thoughts I was trying to formulate into an educational blog post were often this-is-how-you-should-do-it thoughts which would serve to benefit no one other than me. I don’t EVER want someone to read my blog or anything I’ve written and feel like they are being judged or criticized for the choices they have made. Remember that saying our mothers taught us, “If you can’t say anything nice…”? I’m proud to say that I actually listened. When I read what Sarah wrote in her post, it reinforced my belief that no one should feel like the job they are doing as a parent is not good enough. Ever. And I thought, Amen, sister! To hell with the parenthood rules.
I admit that when this blog started I found a ton of mommy-bloggers who seemed to have their lives tidy and packaged and wrapped in a shiny bow. I had already stepped quite a way outside of my comfort zone to share with the web my successes and my failures at a year of changes toward natural living. I used the blog as my scrapbook, and then I found the entire mommy-blogging community. I thought they were geniuses, and I envied the amount of readers they had. I bought a domain and linked it to all the stellar blogs I followed. I signed up for Twitter. I created a Facebook page and invited friends to like it.
To date, my FB page is a dead horse and if I may be honest here, I hate Twitter. Hate it.
The effort of keeping up with all the e-social requirements was exhausting. I mean, really. How in the hell are we supposed to experience life if we’re sitting in front of a screen watching stats and comments all day long? Seriously? If I do that, then eventually I’m not going to know the kids I’m writing about.
It took me about a year to realize I had better things to do with my life. I ditched my efforts at gaining followers and my readership remained in the single digits. I could live with that.
So basically, I have two reasons for writing today. First, I’m thinking that I will not renew this domain when it expires. I will move all the posts over to my primary blog, www.DomAndLori.net, just to keep my ADHD and parenting advice available – you know, on the off chance that a reader needs my words to tell him or her that it’s okay to call the shots. (As if.) Essentially, I believe the shelf-life of The Purpose Driven Mom is nearing its end. It’s cool. Because honestly, every time Facebook tells me someone looked at my page, I feel this overwhelming responsibility to go write a new post or update the site. But at the same time, I’m not feeling the “purpose,” so the responsibility is mildly aggravating at best. Besides, notifications from all these damn apps are on my last nerve. Example: Pinterest tells me today that I have 25 pins waiting for me. Um, no, I don’t. My friends saved 25 pins and Pinterest thinks I care. Kiss off, already, Pinterest. It’s not like I’m going to suddenly want a knitting pattern and forget you exist. Give me some dang breathing room. (And yes, for all you techies with the knowledge knots, I have already turned off the notifications. And I’m still getting them. Figure that one.)
Second, I have some parting words for anyone who reads this post, whether you’re here because you followed the mission from the beginning or because you just stumbled upon the page and felt like spending some time with me. (Thank you for that, by the way.) I have spent a full six years changing my lifestyle, helping friends with food advice and recipes, and attempting to make my corner of the world a little more natural, if not altogether better. Sometimes I have succeeded and other times I have fallen flat on my face. But I have learned in these six years that the journey is entirely mine and that my mission includes not judging people who do not walk the same path. To that end, I feel I have achieved my mission. But I want you all to know a few things before I bid you adieu, some things I hope will help you on your own journey:
- Please, for the love of everything holy, don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you are less of a person or less of a parent because of your choices. If you love your children and let them know it, then you are a good parent in my book. When you read an internet post or email that says you HAVE to do this or do that, unless it seems like something you have the desire, the time and the energy to try, IGNORE it. If you wanna give it a shake, do so. But if you try it and find that it doesn’t make your life better, then allow yourself to Let. It. Go. And show the haters your middle finger.
- There is a ton of electronic information on recipes, tips and tricks to make natural living easy. Spoiler alert: 99% of them do not work for the long haul. Trust me. I have made every recipe for natural cleaner on the internet. I have tried many of the home remedies suggested by mostly-trustworthy writers, and I have found very few things that actually live up to their claims. (Six years, people. Six long years.) I have found many things that I have no desire to even try. I love coffee, but putting butter in it, despite the claims, does not make it or me bulletproof. And the idea of a coffee enema is a straight-up Hell No. After six years of research, of all the “natural” cures on the internet I can vouch for three. Get that? Three. They are:
- Lavender essential oil works for minor burns. It immediately takes the pain out of burns from bacon grease splatters, and it even worked when I hit my knuckle on the oven element last week. I will always have a bottle in the kitchen cabinet. Take that for what it’s worth.
- Heartburn cure: 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 teaspoon honey diluted with about half a cup of water. Chug it, shoot it, whatever you wanna call getting it down the guzzler. It is the only thing that has ever worked on me, and it cures in less than ten minutes. Granted, I’ve only had heartburn four times in my life, but OHMYGOSH I would cut out my esophagus to alleviate that pain! This worked every time, and it will forever be my remedy.
- Allergy cure: take the heartburn remedy and add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon turmeric. I usually hit this three times a day when I’m sniffling. This works on me, my husband and my son when the seasonal pollen count threatens to take us down. My daughter won’t go near it, so we may never know if it works on her. She’s good with a box of Kleenex, so we shrug and move on.
- BONUS cure: I don’t think this one is on the internet, maybe it is…I’ve never looked. My grandmother taught us this treatment for ant bites. If you get attacked by ants, immediately grab handfuls of leaves from two totally different plants or trees (soft leaves work best) and pulverize them together in your hands. Rub – no, smear – them all over the ant bites until your skin is green from the chlorophyll. This seems to take the sting out right away and keeps the pustules from forming. I’ve used this remedy for years.
So there they are, folks – the four natural, everyday remedies I am willing to vouch for after six years of research and practice. As far as food goes, I will always endorse clean eating as a means of staying well and being good to your body. You want to use whatever diet/method/lifestyle supports your best health, no matter what anyone else thinks of it. If there is anything I have learned in these six years, it is that change is hard, and each person has to decide for himself or herself how much change is worth it. My personal food choices are wildly unpopular, but they work for me and I feel good physically when I stick to those choices.
- While my best health is promoted by a grain-free lifestyle, my home is not grain-free. It’s not even totally organic. My dogs eat grain-free. My kids do not.
- My kids eat Reese’s Puffs. Yes, you read that right. I actually put in my grocery cart multiple boxes of full-on General Mills, GMO, gag-me-with-a-cereal-spoon Reese’s Freakin’ Puffs. Why? Because it makes them happy. They know my opinions and ideals, and they share some but not all of them. Once they became teenagers, I felt like they had the right to make that choice. So if they want canned ravioli or Pizza Rolls or Kraft Mac & Cheese, by George, they’re gonna have it. I pick my battles.
- I love to be in the sun, but I don’t use sunscreen unless I’m swimming. Judge away, just don’t tell me about it. I have my reasons for not listening.
- I have loved my readers’ comments, especially when they tell me that I helped them consider a new view or that they found parental support on my blog. I felt like my presence here was helping someone, and that made me feel good. I owe gratitude to everyone who ever bothered to read my words and write me back.
- I have considered ditching my Facebook account altogether because my newsfeed is full of aggravating articles from activist organizations that I once “liked.” I need to take my own advice and just flip those organizations the bird, but even that task seems like an energy drain.
- I texted my husband yesterday before I left work and told him that I wanted chocolate and wine. Like, for dinner. I was serious. And I got them.
It’s been a pleasure to share this journey with you, my friends, but it’s time to close this chapter of my internet life. I wish you health and peace, always.