Sunday, January 25, 2009

Giving you the respect you deserve

So much about being green is about the future. But the part we often forget is we're part of that future, too.

I was reminded of that today when reading a post by Steph at Greening Families, who shared her struggle to make greener choices, step by step.

The first choice was picking her battles. Check.

The second was a bit deeper: "Asking ourselves if a decision would give us more choices or fewer choices in the future." Provocative, certainly. If you make a purchase, it limits your funds for later. If you buy something that supports chemical use, that may limit your choices in the future as well.

The third, though, touched a nerve: “Would I share this product/food/experience with my child?”

Sure, as a mom, I have thought about that 100 times. My 3 year old has not (to my knowledge, anyway) sipped a soda. She gets her naps, like it or not. She didn't eat cookies or cake or similar treats until her first birthday. And she is never turned down when she asks at the store for a (yuck) green pepper or other healthy treat.

But the reality is I don't confer that same respect to myself as I do to my kids. I was asked, point-blank, yesterday, "Mommy, why do you drink so much Diet Coke?" (And to make it worse, her coloring page from daycare, which included a can of soda, was colored Diet-Coke grey.)

I don't give my body the exercise or sleep it needs. I don't manage my stress. And I certainly don't eat as healthy when my kids aren't around. Sure, I have great intentions. But that batch of cookies a coworker brought in sometimes gets in the way.

Paving the way to a healthier environment, bodies and future for our children is a beautiful thing. It's just too bad when we forget to extend that same respect for ourselves.

1 comment:

Steph @ Greening Families said...

Wow, this is the first time I have read a post about one of my posts!

I'm excited that my article spoke to you. I've started talking more directly with my parent friends about taking care of ourselves. It is sometimes a touchy subject (Am I being selfish? There is no way I have time for that!) but discussing it more openly would be beneficial to many, especially new parents.

I often get caught in feelings of guilt or time panic when considering doing something just for me but I also want to model self-care to my children.

Parenting thoughtfully is tough!