Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Guest Blogger: Alea H. on Natural Parenting and Lifestyle

We decided to ask a few of our readers what they do in their own homes to live a natural/eco-friendly lifestyle and how they try to focus on natural and attachment parenting.  Meet one of our readers, Alea and her family!

Zach, Alea, and Emmett

I'm a part time hairstylist, a crafter and full time mother and wife. My husband, Zach, is the CEO of Siouxland Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit here in Sioux Falls. We have 4 children: Emmett, a 3 month old human; Rufus, a 7 year old 3-legged pit mix; Rosie, a 4 year old bulldog mix; and John Denver, a 2 year old siamese/ragdoll mix.
My new blog:
What does your family do to promote healthy eating, natural/eco-friendly life habits, and teaching it to your kids?
-We buy organic when we can afford it, and make food from scratch as often as possible. I just moved to South Dakota from Georgia last year and this will be my first time trying to garden this far up north. Y'all have intimidating winters so we'll see how successful I am! Next year we plan on getting chickens so we can have fresh, healthy eggs and I'm SUPER excited about that! I've been vegetarian for over six years now and I think that tends to make you a bit more conscientious about what you put in your body. As soon as our son is old enough, we'll make his food from scratch too. 
As far as life habits go- we cloth diaper and I'm starting to make our own cloth wipes, un-paper towels and old school handkerchiefs. We recycle anything we possibly can. If I feel too lazy to rinse a jar or something I just picture it sitting in the landfill and my laziness turns into productivity pretty quickly! We use as few chemicals as possible and make some of our own household products. I'm also a firm believer in natural birth unless medically needed otherwise. 
I was blessed to have a mother who talked of her three natural births, breastfeeding and cloth diapering so much and so casually. She never made child bearing out to be a traumatic thing like so many tv shows and movies do. My father is an entomologist and a lover of wildlife and did a great job educating us. I hope to teach our children to appreciate the gifts that God gave us through nature and wildlife as well.
What would you like to see more of in your community to promote natural parenting and eco-friendly lifestyles?
- I think Sioux Falls has done a pretty good job so far. It's a small enough city that important things like that don't get lost in the hustle and bustle of city life. I think continued support through private businesses and farmers is important. More neighborhood associations would be nice to help network and teach a more natural way of living. A community farm would be amazing if we were able to make that happen some how.

How do you try to teach these ideas to your kids or hope to do?

- Emmett's still so tiny but when he's old enough I'd like to do what my parents did. It came so naturally. Being outdoors, visiting wildlife preservation's instead of theme parks, watching documentaries together. Showing our children how to recycle. Leading by example is the most effective way. I might have Emmett's future partner sign a pre-nup stating that they will cloth diaper. :)

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