Monday, April 25, 2011

The Example We Set

This totally counts as Monday's post. It's before midnight!

I am sort of a crunchy mom. We're cloth diapering. I breastfeed without any supplementation. I wear my baby, and we co-sleep as often as we don't. I prefer to make things we need myself, but if I can't, I try to buy local and organic where we can afford it.

But I never remember our reusable bags. And I don't recycle. And I'll probably let Bug cry-it-out at some point. I don't check my labels to be sure things I buy are from ethical companies who pay a living wage. I eat meat every meal, and it all comes from factory animals.

I know that there are no rules about how far you have to go one way or another, and it's more important to be a loving parent than to follow any one specific set of rules for parenting. But there are a lot of things that I feel are ethically right that I don't always do, and I worry about the example I'll set for Bug as she gets older. I don't want her to take the things we have for granted. I want her to know and appreciate where our clothes and food and possessions come from, and the cost they have to the people who make them, and to the environment they come from. I want her to value those things.

On the other hand, I can't afford to buy all organic veggies and fruit, or free range, conscientiously raised meats. Nor can I afford to buy clothes from anywhere but the clearance rack, which means ordering the gender-neutral, responsibly manufactured things I love online is just not happening. When you live on $1600 a month, those things might be environmentally responsible, but they're financially, well, not. My hope is that someday we will be able to live the way I'd like. Until then, I'm trying to content myself with doing what I can.

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