I get to meet all kinds of customers at the store and many of them are first time parents (and most of the time I’m lucky to get to meet them when pregnant and watch their babies grow each month). Some of the parents remind me so much of how we were when my first was a baby and some are so much more ahead when it comes to starting green and natural right from the start. For us, while we lived green and healthy in many ways, we weren’t very “natural” as singles and when newly married. It was my daughter that taught us to be so. And many of the changes we made were because of her and her well being.
I didn’t have my first until I was 30 so all of my 20’s were spent single, living in the city and traveling. I was a foodie since I was a teenager (I think I may have been the only high school student I’ve ever known to subscribe to Bon Appetit) and so with food in particular I was definitely natural and green. I have cast iron pots for example that I’ve had for nearly 15 years. And alternative medicines and healthy choices was very much a part of me. But, still…I wasn’t very natural (or not nearly like I am now).
Then in 2005 our daughter was born and changed everything. I remember what turned it all around and began our path to natural living. It was one day while wearing her in a ring sling I was about to spray the bathroom counter with 409 cleaner which I had always used (ah, remember how I said I wasn’t all that natural? ;). And I sprayed once and for the first time truly smelled the chemicals in the spray – it was as if I hadn’t realized it all this time and was smelling the chemicals through her tiny nostrils. And I realized that if I could smell them this strongly, the toxins are hitting her even stronger. I dumped it all out and learned instead to make my own cleaning products. And that was the beginning…
It’s been nearly 7 years and we now have three kids and each year I’ve become more and more granola. Yet I can still relate to my mainstream parents that I get to meet because I was one of them too. I really think that’s why our customers tend to be such a mix from the very crunchy to the mainstream folks. And that’s why my goal is always to meet parents where they are – because I was there too.
I learned through my kids, for my kids and with my kids to be who I am today as a mother and it’s influenced how I am as a woman as well. I continue to be in awe of the parents that get it from the get-go before they even have their babies. I am always impressed by that. But, for those who start the changes later and in baby-steps, I will continue to be there for them to provide as many resources along the way because I can relate…I was there too.