Green Parenting: Taking the time for family and Mother Earth

I'm writing this and completely exhausted yet I think I just had one of the best Mother's Day to date. My girls made me the most amazing art and my hubby made a ridiculous breakfast of crepes with the works (including jam he made that morning). There was more to it though as we spent the entire day (almost) outside. The need for a break from exhaustion is related to a Facebook post by the Green Moms Collective earlier in the week; celebrate all Mother's including Mother Earth. It really stuck in my brain. I've been completely plugged in for probably 18 hours a day for the past 2 to 3 months between my corporate day job and Adventures of Little. It's physically and emotionally draining. Not only was I missing out on my family, I was also missing being outside. Walking to and from the bus/train just was not enough. 

A couple of decisions were made by me last week. One, I'd take a break from fairs/shows for the next little while. I love working them, but I've been missing out on the Saturday activities and the loading and unloading has been hard on my back with Josh being unable to lift. Perhaps a couple small ones in the summer will work into our schedule!

Two, I need to get outside more! And luckily my family helped make this happen this weekend. We did our backyard last year near the end of the season, so this year we are gardening in full force! Today we got our large garden box's soil amended with compost and planted half of it with heritage potatoes from Eaglecreek Farms (our CSA box provider). It felt soooo good to be digging around in the soil and walking on the grass and rocks in our bare feet. We went to a local nursery down the road from us to pick out flowers and strawberries for hanging baskets and herbs for our kitchen. They girls picked out their favourites and helped me plant/arrange them. I found an awesome tomato plant when I popped into the Calgary Farmer's Market to pick up coffee beans and we planted this too in container bags. My mom had bought the girls a bird feeder this winter, so Josh put it up with the hanging baskets.

The last part of today was finally getting our composter up and running in our yard. We've always had one previously, but circumstances have kept preventing us from doing it until now. I can't wait to see even more reduction to our waste! We have a bunny that takes some of our scrap vegetables, but now it'll be even better!!

I even got to sun diapers this weekend! The weather was perfect for it and I had a newborn kit that had been returned as well as my own stash that I really need to let go of that needed some sun. I did two rounds for the majority of them and the difference a little sun makes is incredible. I find newborn staining is removed exceptionally well! Plus, they smell so fresh. Take advantage Calgary! We have such amazing amounts of sun available to us.

I talk a lot about green parenting and I think this weekend was a great example of how easy it can be. You don't have to spend a tonne of money. You don't have to go great distances. You can encourage your children to learn about real food by getting in the dirt with them. Don't have a yard? Set-up a little container garden! Use the sun to remove stains from diapers and clothes in general. You'll save money and energy. Compost your household organic waste. You can build your own, purchase from Green Calgary or if you don't have the space, set-up a vermicompost (worms) box in your kitchen!

Taking the time to unplug and focus my attention on my family was amazing and I am so glad my hubby was there to support me. Yes, I was plugged in by the evening, but I have finally figured out in my head that my family deserves a day of me and my amazing customers can wait until Sunday evening or Monday for my response.

So, for the next 4 months Sundays are going to be strictly family days. I don't want to burn out and run my business into the ground because I don't take the time off that my family deserves. I hope to make my service even better for all my customers because of Sundays off. You may see the occasional email and Facebook or Twitter post from me Sunday evenings, but not much more than that.

I encourage you to check in with your family now. Are you getting the time together that you need? Are you getting outside enough? When was the last time you dug your feet into the grass or sifted through the dirt? Green parenting is very simple, so take the time to check in. 
May 13, 2013 by Laurie McGowan
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