Yesterday morning started out like this- I sit in my driver’s seat, all alone in my car, listening to my music at full volume, on my way to Ikea. I have the day to myself and I might even get to hang out with Jenn and do some fabric shopping. This is kind of a set up for a reeeeaaally enjoyable day, right? Overall it was pretty nice, but I cheated myself. I called my mom on the way to Ikea and asked if she wanted to meet up. It has taken about 24 hours for the full effect of that dumb decision to take effect. We had a pleasant enough breakfast and shopping excursion. Except for the barely there criticisms and innocent jabs at life choices and ability to parent. Essentially she did her job planting the seeds that would root out my emotional weaknesses and bury themselves there …
Cut to this morning.
Immediately following the very sweet moment where the kids and I planted seeds and put the little pots in the new seed growing area all shit hit the fan. I feel like I kind of set myself up for this when I posted my seed organization to Instagram, saying I had already accomplished a ton. Anyway, this morning was the fucking worst. Everyone needed everything from me RIGHT NOW. The morning was a roller coaster of whining, getting hurt, toy grabbing, demanding, and just plain fuckery. Hours of it. And the whole time, with my head throbbing and wanting to just cry from the sheer chaos of the planets aligning to make a 2.5 year old and a 5 year old OUT OF THEIR FUCKING MINDS, I couldn’t get my mom’s criticisms out of my mind. Because her parenting was just so incredibly faultless and I am apparently a crumpled up shit tissue of a human being and am failing at all things because no one can do things better than Gracie.
So yeah. I realized we were out of milk and that getting said milk would make everything better. Amid the nonsense that is getting two small children into the car (yes, of course this included a poop diaper discovered *as* we were walking out the door) I actually remembered to bring my grocery bags with me. The more I do this, the better I get at remembering. I brought the stiff bags and also my crocheted net bags for produce.
On a normal grocery day I drive 30 minutes to the stores I like and I hit up 2 or 3 stores, getting the best, cheapest stuff that I like from each of them. In case anyone in the Hillsboro/Porltnad area is curious, my regular grocery trips go like this: I get Tillamook dairy things and some bulk items from Winco, I get meat and other bulk items from New Seasons, and I get produce, snacks, and convenience foods from Trader Joes. Today was not that day. Today was the day I go to the closest place I could get most of what I needed- Fred Meyer.
Given the fact that I had very intense morning, I still managed to shop according to what has become more and more second nature- healthy and eco positive. However I want to point something out. There is a fine line between making good choices that work for your life and making yourself feel like shit because you aren’t doing what that one girl from that one blog did. Don’t do that to yourself! I did this trip with some emotional baggage and two children who were negotiating hardcore the entire time to be allowed to take toys for a trip around the store, or at least look at toys, or at least buy a few stuffed animals… notice a theme? I don’t live in a major city, nor am I a short bicycle ride from a co-op that carries all the things I need. No, folks, I have something closer to what a lot of other moms have. I have a couple of local chain supermarkets a shit ton on my plate at all times. That’s what this whole post is about. I want to show you where my best choices led me. And I want to show you that I still produced a fair amount of garbage- even as I was doing my best to make purchases that make sense for my family and create as little waste as possible. Here we go.
It’s laid out for you to see. Garbage. Not just plastic stickers, but actual plastic. Plastic markers, plastic pens with plastic packaging, plastic netting over some of my produce, cellophane bags … This is definitely not ZERO waste. I could beat myself up over this. I have at times, actually. But come on. I think I’ve demonstrated that I have enough shit piling up that what I should really be seeing in this grocery trip are some of these things …
I chose the bigger packs of the markers and pens instead of the smaller ones because they use up a smidge less packaging. I bought supplies to make my own laundry detergent, but because I may not get around to that in the next week (don’t underestimate the energy it takes to grate soap while kids throw things at each other and ask for a snack every two minutes), I figured I’d play it safe and also get ready-to-go detergent. I use the eco stuff in recycled packaging and I got it concentrated to use up even less packaging than a typical bottle of commercial detergent. I also use my own grocery bags, I cook from scratch and rarely buy frozen food or premade meals, I’m working on growing more and more of my own food, and I have a place for usable recycled materials. I save yogurt tubs, coffee drums, jars, non-food stained boxes, bread bags, and yogurt foils. I’m doing okay. Guys. I’M NOT DOING A BAD JOB AT THIS BEING A GOOD MOM AND COOL HUMAN BEING THING, RIGHT??? I would like to point something out to anyone reading this who puts clothes on their kids and feeds them when they’re hungry and also manages to do another thing in addition to that. -YOU ARE DOING A FUCKING GOOD JOB. And for those of you who aren’t doing that kid thing- If you’re alive and you’re making it through your own hard ass day and you’re surviving all of the bullshit life throws at you and you are also managing to try to make life a little bit better for yourself and the world, YOU ARE DOING A FUCKING GOOD JOB. We don’t have to let those critical mom seeds grow. We can choose to count them as weeds and pluck them out as wee see fit.