One of my and my big kids (6&8) favorite things to do is go on hiking adventures in the woods together.
Today was the first time I took Ellie, who turns 2 next week for a walk in the woods by herself, without the comfort of her stroller and the companionship of her father and older siblings.
You guys, the second she lost sight of the car she wanted to turn back.
I spent a good 5 minutes gently convincing me to follow me into the woods in between her asking where her brother, sister and father were.
Once she agreed to follow me, holding my hand, the farther in we got, the more unsure she became until she finally asked to be picked up.
We were in the middle of one of the most beautiful trails that we had been on as a family before, in the middle of a flock of hundreds of migrating songbirds and she kept looking back to see if she could see the car, and while I was mesmerized by the birdsong, all she seemed to be able to hear was the traffic beyond the trees.
How often are we like this? We are beckoned into wide open spaces of beauty and adventure only to look back to the comfort of the spaces we know. A dirty minivan vs. sunlight dancing in the trees. Four wheels and 7 seats vs thousands of songbirds fluttering overhead.
I hoisted babygirl onto my shoulders and I pointed upward. LOOK! Look at the mama squirrel and her babies in the hollow. Look at that one just two arms lengths from you chattering away. LOOK at all the birdies Ellie, listen. Look at the river dancing in the clearing ahead.
Then the moment we were both waiting for… that sweet little toddler gasp..
Mama! Me go down!
Mama, let’s run!
And we spent the rest of the hour wondering off the path and into the trees, picking flowers, investigating fallen branches, watching the water and flat on our backs enjoying the birds overhead.
At the end of our adventure I had to coerce her back into the car.
Friends, don’t mistake familiarity with destiny. Don’t get too attached to the minivans inside yourselves.
I am a human parent, need to recommit to my ideals on the REGULAR, and I choose to lovingly lead my daughter down pathways (although unfamiliar) that are for her good, her joy, and for her flourishing.
I was not angry that she was afraid, I was not upset by her attachment to what she knew. I did not disparage or judge her tentativeness. I just embraced her and invited her to trust me.
Some of you may feel led into the woods, past the point you’ve been before and without the people who usually go with you.
Just because all you can hear is the hum of the traffic beyond the trees, doesn’t mean thats all there is to hear. Listen.
You are not alone out there. You will not be left alone in there. If you need to, raise those arms and ask to be lifted up onto your fathers shoulders. Ask for some perspective. Ask him to show you things you are unable to see or hear from where you are.
You’ll be running out ahead of him, picking flowers and marveling at the beauty of your path soon enough.
Every Friday over in my free online community Healthy Boundaries for Heart-Centered Women, I host a live Q&A session where I dig into a question asked by one of the members. Last week, a member posed an incredible question about how to raise children with healthy boundaries.
My own children are only 8, 6 and 2. That means that I am nowhere near done with my own parenting journey, and while we can only hope we are on the right track, I expect that I will only really find out that we are when they reach adulthood if we did ok in this regard.
In many ways then, I am in the same boat as everyone else, figuring it out as I go along.
I do however think its important to realize that while our children learn from what we say to and teach them about life, and perhaps we will have many opportunities to impart wisdom to them as they grow older and their social lives get more complicated, we can lay the foundations for healthy boundaries for them now simply by being on our own journeys towards health and healthy boundaries.
Our children look to us to model healthy humanity. They learn how to be healthy humans by watching and imitating us. In that way, every single time we make a decision that takes us towards greater health and healthier relationships, we are teaching them about healthy boundaries.
With every single investment we make in ourselves, we can expect a return in their lives as well. As we grow in our understanding of healthy boundaries, embrace the responsibility we have over our own lives, and accept that it is not our job to control or manipulate others, we become better parents and model healthier boundaries.
All of that is available right here:
LIVE Q&A: Raising Children with Healthy Boundaries
In that vein, I need to introduce my mama-friends whose littles are still in diapers to DYPER.
I guess I want to start by briefly explaining my commitment to choosing non or low-toxic options as far as is possible.
At a micro-level, I want us and my kids to be healthy. I want our home to be a safe environment for us to live in. Now that I know that so many of the products in our homes, and that we’ve been using on our and their bodies contain things that increase their chances of getting very sick, I just don’t want to do any of that if I can help it.
At a more macro-level, my time at World Hunger Relief opened by eyes to the damage that our consumption causes to the planet, and further down the line - the most vulnerable people on it.
I feel that as a person who is privileged enough to make a choice, I should choose the one that will do less harm (to my babies - and to others). I recognize that some people don’t get to choose at all, and that others have less choices than I do. While I do believe that companies and governments should be held responsible for their actions, I also do my very best not to focus too much on the actions of others if they are outside my sphere of influence (although how I spend my money is influence), and particularly, my control (another blog post for another day). I have no interest in manipulating or forcing people to do things that I think are important. I need to answer for how I uphold my own convictions. And so do you.
Ok - so now that that's out of the way… If you are in a position to choose diapering options that are on the less-toxic side - outside of them being a healthy choice for your baby and the planet, here is why I think you need to consider my new faves, DYPER.
1. They’ve Hypoallergenic.
Ellie has VERY sensitive skin- and the reason why I even tried DYPER is because even the other well-known non-toxic brands would often cause rashes and irritation. We never have this problem with these guys.
2. They’re cheap (er)
So this is actually the real reason why we even decided to give them a go… Hello Bello’s bundles work out to 0.40c per diaper. Dyper’s cost 0.38ea and they are a FAR superior quality. Even when compared to the Honest Brand. They also always have sales - my most recent spend was $36 for 184 diapers. BOOM POW!
3. The quality is amazing.
These diapers are strong, sturdy, extremely absorbent and will not separate or go sooooooooooo super droopy (you must know exactly what I mean - that super droopy full-diaper butt just doesn’t happen)(and the inner sections don’t seem to separate or come loose from the cover the way cheaper diapers seem to do). Ellie pushes them to their limits too... just today she went for a swim in it and it didn't burst, and the inner absorbent section on the inside didnt detach and kind of float around inside the shell (am I even making sense right now?)
There are other things:
Like that they’re compostable, there's an app, and have a very flexible and customizable subscription service. They have pull-ups as well as super extra-absorbent options - not that we’ve ever had to try those.
Seriously, they do seem too good to be true - but they’re not! They’re the real deal. If you’d like to grab your own bundle you should visit their website (right now subscriptions are 15% off!)
Either way - hit the comments and let me know if or why going non/low-tox on things like diapers is important to you too! (And if you’d like the sample pack - drop me a mail - firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will get on it asap!