As my dad always says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions!” Despite my good intentions, since I have become a mom of three, I apparently no longer care about the environment. Well, I do, but you would never know that because of all this naughty stuff I do.
I used to be an environmentalist. I was careful with resources. I have been taking care of this earth since I convinced my parents to start recycling in the early 90s when I was a mere pre-teen. It was no easy feat to recycle while living on a mountain with no trash-pickup! It required going all the way into the next town to the real dump, and not just to the dumpster in our own little town. We paved the way to the recycling center!
Anyway, sorry, Earth, here’s a list of things I used to never do… but now I do them because I am an Okayest Mom. I am an Okayest Mom who is paving the way to hell – or at least to the landfill – with my good intentions .
Using paper plates sometimes: I swear, I never did this before kids. I never even bought paper plates before! But now, sometimes the dishwasher is just too full. And sometimes I haven’t unloaded it. Also, it already takes me about 20 minutes to clean up after each meal at this stage, because of all the food on the floor and the two high chairs, and sometimes I can’t spare any more minutes that the dishes would …oh, well, nevermind. Excuses.
Using paper napkins: I was raised on cloth napkins. I used them in the first eight years of my marriage. I like them. They were not a big deal. Now they are.
Using ridiculous amounts of paper towels: We go through a Costco-sized pack of paper towels more often than I’d like to admit. With my first son, I wiped the cute little sweet potatoes off my cute little sweet potato’s cheeks with a cute little washcloth and let it dry on the cute little towel rack. No. No more. There is no towel rack big enough to hold all the washcloths I would need to clean these twins. Also, we have a lot of clean-ups that involve things that I don’t want to see on a regular towel.
Using ridiculous amounts of disposable diapers: I used cloth diapers for a short time with my first son. I actually kind of liked it. It wasn’t too bad. Plus, his bum was enormous – and enormously cute – in those things. However, once my twins came, those cloth diapers were out the window. (Or, to be more precise, they were on their way to the consignment sale.) At our peak, when I had three kids in diapers and the twins were doing that pooping-every-hour newborn thing, we used more than 25 disposable diapers per day. To the landfills of the world, I am truly truly sorry.
Using ridiculous amounts of wipes: To all those more-hippie-than-me moms who are using those reusable washcloth wipes or making their own wipes, I salute you. I think.
Wasting gas by driving around to keep a sleeping baby asleep: I would have never ever done this in my pre-mom life. But a parent will do ANYTHING to keep a baby asleep. Tiptoe, stop breathing… you name it, we’ve done it. And so have you! Don’t lie.
Wasting gas by idling the car to keep a sleeping baby asleep: See above. (Funny how I didn’t waste gas back when it was only a dollar per gallon, but now I will willingly waste it at four dollars a gallon when the budget is tight. Go me!)
Not recycling as much as I used to: Okay, for this one, I am super ashamed. It is hard to admit, but sometimes I am too tired or too busy to rinse out the dang yogurt container, and I just throw it away because it’s easier. Seeing other people do that used to make me really angry.
Letting a kid pull out all the wipes, tissues, or toilet paper: If it allows me to shower or make dinner, who am I to stop him? I calculate how much that roll or box cost me, and then I ask myself if the peace is worth that price, and the answer is always yes. The earth might disagree.
Using more propane, oil, or electricity: Turn that heat up, baby! If my kid is waking up with cold hands and feet after being clothed in a long-sleeve onesie, socks, and fleece footed zip-up jammies overnight, then it’s too cold in here. (By the way, that was only one of my kids. I also have one normal one and one who feels like a furnace that has a fever.)
Letting the water run: I will happily let the water run in the sink for 45 minutes to keep my preschooler occupied quietly. Sorry. It’s water therapy, right? Besides, I make up for it by hardly ever bathing my children. And, when I finally do bathe them, all three share the same bath water. Also, my own showers are super short. As my friend Anne once said, “My shower is only as long as the crib mobile’s song.”
Okayest Mom wants the earth to know that she is SO SORRY. When my kids are in school, I will make it up to you.
Because I will be sleeping, in the dark, all day long, without using any resources.