Use your skills to save money. If you can knit or crochet, make some dish cloths. Acrylic wool works well, is washable and the reusable cloths save you money because you don’t have to buy dish sponges.
Some days you realise that everything just went well. Sure the kids had their moments, and so did you, but overall, things just worked. We had one of those this week.
The autumn sun was bright, the kids were happy, and we got things done. Spending most of the day outside, we walked to the library, and did the craft activities. It was also memorable because I had won a ‘who borrowed most’ prize for their February/Valentines/Book Love extravaganza.
We played at the park on our way home, and befriended some random kids who were also having fun playing.
We made pici pasta from a Jamie Oliver recipe for lunch. The kids loved it, and it was an extra fun way to sneak in leafy greens to their diet. Parenting win!
We weeded the garden and mowed the lawn. I love my push reel mower. Everybody else thinks I’m crazy, but it’s great exercise, he lawn gets mown and I’ve expended nothing but time and elbow grease.
And after an adventure-some day, the kids slept like tiny exhausted logs. Granted, child one was having a farm day and it was just me with numbers two and three, but we managed a lot of things I’d been trying to make time for, and had a bunch of fun.
It wasn’t until the next day that I realised how good it had been. In the moment I was just trying to keep the kids occupied while getting the jobs done. In reality, we’d had an entire day of quality time, doing healthy, worthwhile activities, with minimal arguing and no tantrums.
Total shocker: an entire day with no one chucking a hissy fit, or stamping feet demanding this, that or the other.
I think this will be my model for home days now. Sure, working days, or kinder days, or after school activity days will look different, but home days are going to be outside days, chasing days, walking days, adventure days. Days where I can look back and say: Today was a good day.
It rained yesterday. Really rained. All day rain. It’s something we haven’t seen here in a while. For mid autumn, we’ve been fairly rain free, and I’m grateful it’s finally back on the weather agenda.
Most of my home is run on tank water, and if it doesn’t rain, we have no water. So behold my joy when we go almost two inches in twenty four hours.
Sometimes my crunch is only semi-crunchy, other times it gets extreme. When the options for water include carting it in at great expense or hooking a hose to the mains to fill the tank, extreme crunch is the option I’d rather take.
So here are my extremes:
- catch water in clean buckets to use in the home or garden
- use the water to bucket flush the toilet, feed the animals, half fill the bath or sink
- use the water to rinse/soak laundry
- use the water to wash the floors or car
- use the water for cleaning around the house or bathing pets
Okay, some of it isn’t extreme and is merely sensible, but any water you don’t have to pay for is a bonus. For me, tank water is a great option, even if you only use it in the laundry, it’s a cost saving, and grey water can be reused in the garden.
So yes, after the rain yesterday, I now have buckets full of water roaming around my garden. Yes it looks weird, but I have dog water now that I don’t have to pay for, or empty the tank for. Yay me.
I couldn’t tell you how many people I know that don’t take enough time for themselves. My ‘me time’ only happens when the kids are in bed. I know others whose time is taken up by second jobs, looking after ailing parents, or looking after grandkids. I know people who fall asleep as soon as they sit still because they are constantly doing things. It worries me. And it tells me a lot about how we view ourselves.
‘Me time’ is practically a buzz word. We should all be getting some, taking some, making room in our schedules for some. But is it just talk? Do we look back at our parents and grandparents and say “where was their me time?” I can cope because they did. Do we look at our children and say “they are growing, they need my time more than I do”. Do we think it is just a hippie way of avoiding doing the housework? Or is it actually necessary?
I’d encourage taking some time for yourself. I know my mum didn’t have much until we were older, I know my grandmothers barely had any. I know my father and my grandfather’s time was taken up with work and family. They didn’t take much time for themselves.
But here’s the kicker, me time looks different for everyone. Some people tinker in the shed, others potter in the garden, play golf, have a cup of fancy tea, read a book or watch a favourite TV show. You don’t have to take a full day at the spa, or even spend an hour listening to devotionals or meditating. Just a little bit of time, that’s about something you WANT to (not need, have to, or think you should) do.
So there’s my opinion. Take some time. You don’t have to meditate, or even be alone. Just do something for you, that’ll make you happy. Or just fall asleep on the couch at 11am and catch up on some lost sleep. Looking after you is just as important as everything else you do.
In some ways crunchy works well for me. And in others, it just doesn’t. So I mix and match what works for my family.
My biggest crunch is also pretty old school, but thankfully becoming more common. It really comes down to bi-carb. Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is a staple in my house. I buy it in bulk because I use it so often.
- I use it to wash my hair
- I use it to clean the bath
- I use it for baking
- I use it in homemade laundry detergent
- I’ve even used it my homemade deodorant experiments (more on that later)
You can use bicarb in many different ways around the home, and it’s a cleaner, greener and more frugal alternative to a lot of commercial products. Yes, it actually requires a little elbow grease, but a little cleaning cardio isn’t a bad thing.
My biggest change has been using bi-carb to wash my hair. I tried going ‘no poo’ but it didn’t work for me. Then I tried bi-carb in place of shampoo and I haven’t looked back. I save on shampoo and I don’t need to use conditioner at all, so I save there too. My dandruff situation has improved and I haven’t had to use my straighteners at all.
The oddest thing I noticed was with hair fall. Usually I’d condition my hair and lose a lot in the shower. Now it’s a matter of losing hair when I brush it.
The process I use is as follows:
- Wet hair thoroughly in the shower
- Use 2-3 tablespoons of bi-carb and make a paste with some water
- Spread it through hair and massage it into scalp and hair
- Leave it in hair until it turns from gritty to slimy
- Rinse thoroughly
And that’s it. You can follow it with an apple cider vinegar rinse, but I find it isn’t necessary for my hair. For me, this works well, but other people may find that it differs. I wash my hair once a week, and it feels fantastic, and I can style it the same ways I did when I was using shampoo.
So. Bi-carb soda works for me in many different ways. What other uses have you found for bi-carb?
I’ve read some of the hippie, crunchy, earth mother websites and blogs available. Some of them, I can get behind, others, I just can’t.
This is for various reasons, one being that there seems to be a lot of people out there who are anti-vaccination. Personally I’m all for vaccination. My kids have been vaccinated, I’ve been vaccinated, and due to working in hospitals I’ve had regular boosters and yearly flu shots.
I absolutely agree that people who are immunosuppressed or allergic shouldn’t get vaccinated, there’s no point making yourself deathly ill. But I also believe that we should not only protect ourselves, but we should protect others where we can, from preventable communicable disease. Herd immunity is a thing. There are studies, backed by science and years of research.
So while I advocate for vaccination, I won’t go on about it (too much). I just don’t think we should push our views and thought processes onto others. So if something I say here isn’t to your taste, that’s fine. You can choose not to visit the site again, or just ignore the posts you don’t like or don’t apply to you. All I’m going to do is offer what has worked for me. I’m not going to tell you that I’m right and you’re wrong, because life isn’t that way. You need to choose what works for you, and that’s the important thing about sharing, we all have brains and you can research, or try things to see if they work for you or not. None of us are doing this life thing wrong (unless there’s been charges) and it’s great to have other options to explore. So feel free to show me your options, your ideas and feedback. As long as we’re all civil, and kind, I’m good with it.
So maybe this isn’t going to be your typical crunchy earth mama site. It might be more of a middle ground between crunchy and conventional, and I’m okay with that. Here’s hoping you are too.
Love, hugs, etc, Deb