|A day in the life of an Imperfectly Natural Woman
Its seven am and the alarm is going off and I have my few seconds of peace before the breakfast rush kicks in. With 4 kids I swear it feels like I’m a short order chef in a fast food café every morning, orders fly in for a boiled egg, porridge, toast, - no changed my mind I want a fried egg….I’m not hungry …I’ll just have a biscuit…(I don’t think so) …..and so it goes on.
Then there’s the incredible task that is dressing little ones, we’re thankfully just out of the nappies and babygroe stage which I genuinely do feel should be redefined as an Olympic sport. Any parent who can manoeuvre a wriggling toddler into their nappy and clothes plus outdoor wear in time to meet any pre-arranged appointments deserves the win the Gold. Mine are now at an age where one can negotiate but there are still tricky issues. It’s the ‘monsters’ you see, no, not the scary ones seen in the night, its those monsters that are never seen and yet very definitely reside in my home – The Sock Monster, the really hungry one that eats odd shoes and of course then there’s the Biro Monster and several others.
Once that little ordeal is over its time to make sure they all wash their faces and clean their teeth. Now with an imperfectly natural mummy around you can bet I am HOT on the personal care products we have around. The great news is that you can now buy 100 per cent natural versions of almost everything from baby wipes to water based nail polish so I always make sure we’ve got natural beeswax soap and natural toothpaste. Cleaning their teeth properly is something I’ve tried to instil into the kids from the off. In truth I wish someone had instilled it into me from an early age. Cleaning your teeth has nothing to do with flicking a soft worn-down brush with a load of fluoridated toothpaste on it across your pearly whites, and it’s not even about an up-and-down rather than a side-to-side motion. It’s about small circular movements around the gum for a good five minutes. This was such a revelation to me when the simple fact was pointed out that it’s the gums that need attention, while the teeth can almost look after themselves. It’s where they meet the gum that bits of food stick and the plaque forms.
I remember geography lessons at school. I can tell you anything you need to know about irrigation in the Ganges Delta and Moraines. But what I wish they’d taught me, what I really wish they’d taught me, is how to floss my teeth. That’s something
that might have been actually useful to learn. I didn’t know anything about that simple little trick till I was over thirty.
As you might have guessed, I’m dead against regular toothpastes. Most health-food shops stock a good range of natural toothpastes. It’s been fun trying them out over the years especially as kids love to ‘eat’ toothpaste. So getting the taste right is quite important !
My absolute favourite is Sarakan. Very natural, great taste and really good value.
The kids love it too and because its ‘pink’ the three year old girl thinks its her special toothpaste ! The ten year old on the other hand is convinced that the Sarakan toothpaste that mum keeps buying is causing his baby teeth to fall out and the new ones to start growing, nearly 8 lost teeth in one year he reckons. Crikey the tooth fairy is gonna need to take out a mortgage at that rate.
In amongst all of this I somehow have to get myself ready too, I am proud to say though that I’ve replaced everything in my bathroom with a natural alternative version, usually it costs me less, I feel healthier and in the process I can tick the environmentally friendly box almost without trying.
It took me years before I finally grasped how important our personal care products are and yet how easy it is reduce the chemicals. Now when I give talks and seminars around the UK there are always people who say ‘I’d never considered reducing or eliminating the scary chemicals until my mum got cancer or my Gran got Alzheimer’s disease’, my mission is to try and encourage as many people as possible to try the natural approach before they get sick as a preventative measure. Most of us are wiser now, looking at ingredients in our foodstuffs so we just need to be as careful when selecting our shampoos, cosmetics and toothpaste, and opt for ones that don’t contain sodium laurel sulphate, parabens preservatives and artificial fragrances.
There’s no way I get everything right, I’m certainly not a wholesome earth mother diligently knitting my own yoghurt but I do the bits I can – albeit imperfectly !
Janey Lee Grace