Green Living Expert, TV host and bestselling author Sara Snow is a frequent media contributor to Good Morning America, New York Times, Better Homes & Gardens and more. We feel very lucky to have her guest blog today and shares her take on attainable, sustainable parenting!
Without further ado… take it away Sara!
What does it mean to be a green mom?
Does it mean buying organic food? Does it mean making all meals from scratch and not wasting a single scrap? Does it mean shopping farmer’s markets and dressing your kids in natural fibers? Maybe it means all of those things, but I believe that beyond that, it means having a sense of balance and tranquility, and passing those same values on to your kids.
When I was young my mom stayed at home with me and my 3 siblings in our natural, eco home out in the sticks of Michigan. While my dad was pioneering the way into a world of natural foods, my mom was growing our vegetables, cooking our meals and composting our scraps. She worked hard and, consequently, so did we. We all had our jobs to do but we played a lot too. Looking back I don’t remember the endless hours weeding the gardens as much as I remember the hours we spent exploring in the woods on summer afternoons and playing board games on winter evenings. I remember building snow forts and having picnics, reading books and making paper dolls.
And while my parents were strict about the foods we ate inside our four walls, they never told us to steer clear of treats all of the time. In fact, we were encouraged to have a cupcake or a brownie if we went to a party but to pay attention to how it made us feel. There was a lesson inside of everything and because we lived so deliberately, these lessons were rarely missed.
As a mom to a toddler girl with another on the way, I can’t say that I have it all figured out. But I consult my mom and my mom-friends everyday and am always editing my style of parenting to nurture and shape the person who has been entrusted to my care.
Here’s my short list of things that every parent of young children should have:
1. A simple set of garden tools; a small shovel and a watering can will do.
2. A library of books full of colorful, imaginative, intriguing illustrations.
A few of our recent favorites:
- King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Audrey Wood
- Meet me at the Moon by Gianna Marino
- The Crown on your Head by Nancy Tillman (and anything else by her)
- You with the Stars in Your Eyes by Deepak Chopra
3. A collection of dolls or stuffed animals to practice nurturing and life skills on.
4. A house of their own; a tent or a play house or even a corner of a room with a play kitchen or tool table.
5. A trunk full of dress up clothes. These don’t have to be fancy fairy and princess costumes. They can be firefighter and farmer sets. Or, better yet, old clothes of your own and your dad’s and your neighbor’s, so they can make themselves into whatever they want to be.
We are busy today. That isn’t going to change. But be deliberate about creating balance. Five minutes at the computer for 5 minutes of play on the floor. A week’s worth of uber healthy meals earns a splurge meal of pancakes and ice cream. Indoor play and outdoor play. Noisy time and quiet time.
Find the balance. Feel the balance. Now smile. It’ll all go by in a blink.