|Phoebe bawling her eyes out because I sat her|
down on a hill and she fell on her face...
and even worse I took a picture of it
There. Now let's move on to all the things that make us feel guilty.
I can't tell you how many conversations I have had with my fellow parents that start with, "I feel so terrible, I..." Most recently a friend shared with me her struggles with breastfeeding. Although she went to amazing lengths to keep nursing her baby, but for medical reasons she had to switch to formula. She truly had no choice but still manages to be wracked with guilt. I feel guilty when I turn the television on around my daughter. For the most part she ignores it, but there are those mornings when she wakes at 6 AM and all I want is a little "Today Show" to keep me from falling asleep at the high chair. Somehow even though I have woken up with her, nursed her, changed her, snuggled her, played with her and given her home-made organic food, at the end of the day all I can think is how the background TV noises and images must be rotting her brain. How could I do that to my child?
And then there are the actual times we inadvertently put our child in danger. Like when I was cutting grapes for Phoebe and absent-mindedly handed her the grapes the the hand also yielding the sharp knife. Or the time I reached down to pick her up in her car seat and my heavy purse slipped off my shoulder and landed squarely on her face. Or the time on vacation when I strapped her in to her car seat, only to realize as we arrived at our next destination that I never secure the actual car seat to the car. I was heavy with guilt for days after that one.
Every so often I like to ask myself, "What would the world be like if everyone lived like I do?" I think this is a good barometer for your daily life. If everyone was like me there would be no plastic bags, an over-population of farm animals, and when a new line opened up in the grocery store every would say, "You were already ahead of me, you go first!" People would always use turn signals and compact car spaces would be taken up by only compact cars. We all might have type 2 diabetes from our sugar consumption and we would have higher-than-normal water bills because of our luxuriously long showers and incessant hand-washing. But if we encountered a piece of trash on our neighborhood walk we would pick it up and the earth would be spotless! And most importantly all of our children would be nurtured and loved.
The number one thing the Dali Lami will tell you to meditate on is compassion. But some how we don't include ourselves in our compassionate mindset. We are loving to our families, our children and the environment, but hard on ourselves. I recently read an article where a woman asked each member of her family, "How can I love you better?" What if you asked yourself the same question...
totally depressing environmental fact:
20% of preschoolers and 50% of all children are obese due to unhealthy food choices and sedentary lifestyles
NEW! In addition to our totally depressing environmental fact, I will include an Uplifting Little Tip on how you can do something positive!
uplifting little tip:
if you can't afford a water-saving toilet, just put a brick in the water tank to lessen consumption.