Living a little more gently on the planet; all year round and during the festive season; Part Two

This is part two of a post about sustainable living. See last weeks post for part one.

–          We recycle as much as possible, and compost our fruit and vegetable waste. Ewan enjoys putting scraps into the compost, and is beginning to understand what we do and don’t recycle. He watches the bin men with fascination each week too! My family think I’m a bit obsessed with recycling, as I recycle everything I can in our kerbside collection, as well as saving other waste to recycle at recycling centres, such as tetra packs and large pieces of cardboard.

–          We save all of our wrapping paper and envelopes, in order to re-use them. This has somewhat diminished the delight Ewan would no doubt have if he was able to tear open his presents, but at least he is gaining some understanding of waste and how to reduce it. I do let him rip open the odd present, especially if I feel I cannot easily reuse that bit of paper. It is a pity we do not all use reusable wrapping paper, so we could keep on using and swapping it.

–          Reusable nappies and elimination communication; We used reusable nappies and practiced part-time elimination communication with Ewan before he was out of nappies and we now use reusable training pants, as Ewan is on the cusp of being toilet trained. Continue reading Living a little more gently on the planet; all year round and during the festive season; Part Two

Living a little more gently on the planet; all year round and during the festive season; Part One

Natural Christmas ideasAs it is now the Festive Season, I thought I’d write a post about how we are attempting to change our lifestyles in order to live a little more gently on the planet, giving this a Christmas spin. At this time of year we create excessive amounts of waste, more so than at any other time of the year. Just taking a look at the Recycle Now website page ‘Festive Facts’ clearly illustrates this. For instance, the site states that ‘if laid end to end, approx 364,700km of wrapping paper is used each year, enough to stretch around the equator nine times or even go to the moon!’ That is scary stuff!

Festive facts 1

We attempt to live as green and sustainable lifestyle as is possible in a regular home connected to the grid. We live in hope that even these small measures, when grouped together, can start to make an impact on our planet, even if this is simply to teach Ewan the importance of reducing, repairing, reusing and recycling, so he will grow up to live a more sustainable life than his parents and grandparents generations did. If it impacts positively on him, it will also impact on others as he grows up;

–          We grow some of our own vegetables and fruit; we have fruit trees in the garden as well as a vegetable patch which is growing each year as we develop it. Ewan loves to help pick the apples and make crumble with them, one of his favourite puds! He also loves pulling up the rhubarb, as the pictures show. He is beginning to understand where apples come from, as well as other fruit and vegetables, because he is involved in picking and preparing them.  Preparing food using some home-grown ingredients is deeply satisfying. I can appreciate why people are turning to self sufficiency as they become disillusioned with modern lifestyles; however, for us a little gardening is enough, balanced with all the other interests and commitments we have. Continue reading Living a little more gently on the planet; all year round and during the festive season; Part One

My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness


Welcome to the December 2012 Carnival of Natural Parenting: Childhood Memories

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have talked about memories of growing up — their own or the ones they’re helping their children create. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.





My family
My family

As the theme of this month’s Carnival of Natural Parenting is childhood memories, I thought I’d share with you a few of my memories. As 2012 draws to a close, I have started to reflect on the events of the past year, focusing on more recent memories, yet some of my childhood memories almost seem as close as memories of 2012, perhaps because they are wedged so deeply in my unconscious mind that they shall dwell with me always. This is the magic of precious childhood memories; they last a lifetime and continue to impact so deeply on my life now.
Since becoming a mother I have realised how significant my own upbringing is in the way I parent my son, memories like a guide shining a light into the darkness of child-rearing, with all its questions, uncertainties and conflicting directions. So, here’s the list;

A joyful childhood
A joyful childhood!

My earliest memories
My very earliest memory is when I was about two years old. I have a vague memory of being in a pushchair in a park in Bolton (England), where I lived for the first few years of my life. I remember my mum opening a gate and pushing me through it. I know my mum was there, but am unsure if anyone else was. Like most of my very early memories, my mum is simply present in them, probably because she was always close to me in my early years, a stay-at-home mum caring for four children. In the 1970s and 1980s it was far more common for mums to be at home caring for their young children, though I know my own mother would have taken extended maternity leave even if she been a mum in a later decade, because she is so maternal and absolutely dedicated to her family, loving children so much. Her life as a mother and a teacher has very much centred on children. If I have inherited just a little of her dedication I shall be eternally grateful.

First meeting of mother and daughter
First meeting of mother and daughter

How my mother’s presence impacts on my own parenting choices
My mother’s utter dedication to her children, in offering her time as a stay-at-home mother, is one reason I always envisaged being a stay-at-home mum myself; I just couldn’t imagine it any other way, it simply feels the natural and right place to be. Coming from a strongly maternal family, where many of my female relatives have stayed at home, to return to work Continue reading My Childhood Memories; beacons of light in the darkness

Mothering Through Breastfeeding Part Two: Ten to eighteen months

This article was first published in May/June 2012 edition of La Leche League’s Breastfeeding Matters magazine


Practising sustained breastfeeding
Practising sustained breastfeeding

I wrote about the first ten months of breastfeeding my son in March 2011. My closing comments were: ‘I am looking forward to continuing to breastfeed Ewan as he grows into a toddler [… ] Like all journeys I am not aiming for the destination but the experience along the way. This journey so far has taught me more than I ever imagined, about myself, my baby, our amazing bodies, our culture, and opened me up to new ways of seeing’.
Continue reading Mothering Through Breastfeeding Part Two: Ten to eighteen months