There are so many issues that speak to me. And so many I try to live in my life. Over the years I've found those that are most important to me and in the raising of my children- but as financial burdens and living life on life's terms get in the way I have to let many go. This makes me feel like a fake or sell out.
There are things that since I've really committed to them come more naturally, or I've got the means to still continue to do. For example...cloth diapering. With C we committed to using only cloth (we did use a few bags- 4, maybe 5 total in his 2 years) and now little J has only ever been in cloth. But this was an option because of what we had already and because of the kindness of community around me. Why are cloth diapers so important to me? I feel in my heart it is the best choice for the Earth (it takes 500 years for disposable diapers to be totally decomposed and I've used more than my fair share already with my older children- I've actually got quiet a bit of guilt and anger towards myself, over that.) and using cloth is my amends to her. Also from a financial aspect it's sooooo much cheaper! We spent a total of maybe $500 on diapers over the course of C's life and nothing in J's. If we used disposables we'd easily be nearing the $1800 mark- just for C. So as a poor family it just makes so much more sense for us to cloth diaper. And I'll sing the praises of it any day!
But there's one area I wish I could really commit to. Feeding my family naturally. What this means to me: only fresh fruits and vegetables (organic), no processed foods, limited sugars (and then only natural sugars), meat and dairy and eggs from animals that are grass fed and not pumped with growth hormones and antibiotics. Home made foods. Lots of whole grains. Everything we know we should be eating and/or not eating. But we fail miserably. Eating healthy is expensive and with such a large family, we're finding it impossible. At the end of the month it comes down to what is going to last and fill our bellies, and as of late we're still coming up short (no this is not just since DH lost his job- it's been a few months more than that). I don't know if it's rising food costs we're not noticing or winter and we're just eating more. But I do know that we could never make it eating right- our budget would be blown after 1/2 a month.
I'm not going to take it all on that it's my fault- prices for organic foods are just high (think$5/gal for milk compared to store brand milk at $2.50/gal- we get 2x as much for the same price). But I could do better- maybe smaller portion sizes?. But then my children already complain I don't make enough (esp when I make a "good" meal and they want thirds). But I feel like a sell out. I don't feed my family in a way that's important to me and I feel guilt for the future and what I'm doing to their bodies. I am setting patterns for life styles and teaching them what is really important.
I don't know how to fix this. Baby steps I suppose. Shop around and find the best value on comparable organics, I guess to start. Just stop buying the mainstream stuff. Weekly menus are some we're trying to get into- we have found this helps cut down on our food costs some. Try harder. In the summer we try and have a garden but it never seems to produce enough for more than a meal or two- so canning/freezing is out. I just have to get back on board! And stop being a sell out!