I Am That “Non-Toxic” Mom.
You probably have a friend like me, or maybe you, yourself, are similar. I’m not over-the-top obsessive about it, but if I’m going to spend money on something, I would much prefer that it does not contain sketchy ingredients that could be harmful to our health. Unfortunately, there are so many products on the market today that contain just that.
A couple of years ago, a blog post went viral titled “Excuse Me While I Lather My Child In This Toxic Death Cream”. I’ve seen it shared countless times on social media.
I have my opinions on it, but they might not be what you think. I wouldn’t call this a rebuttal, but rather a different perspective for you to consider from at least one mom who spends the extra money on all that non-toxic stuff.
Toxic Death Cream
If you haven’t read the original blog post I’m referring to, it isn’t completely necessary. But if you’d like to, a simple Google search will lead you straight to it. To sum it up, after reading an article about the worst types of sunscreen to use on your family, the author feels judged for not using a better sunscreen. She states,
“Or do I go ahead and lather my children up in this toxic death cream because I obviously, according to this article, don’t care about them?”
She goes on to share her exhaustion and frustration about having to follow all the “rules” of life, like when it comes to choosing the right food, the right school, and obviously, the right sunscreen. At one point, she says
“I’ve had it. Please, and I mean this from the bottom of my overly exhausted heart, take your scientific pie chart and shove it.”
I’d like to make it clear that I have no interest in bashing the author. She’s entitled to her opinion and her feelings. She sounds like a really tired mom and I can relate. I actually agree with some of her points.
Being a parent is hard.
I too, am really, really tired. She states having dealt with anxiety and depression, and from a mother to a mother, I support her.
This is about an idea, that ever since seeing this blog go viral, I can’t get out of my head. This is in response to personal experience, conversations, and eye rolls in my direction for pulling out my non-toxic sunscreen at the pool. So much cynicism and frustration seems to erupt around this topic. So many moms went up in solidarity with this blogger shouting “AMEN” and “absolutely!” So many moms thanked her for expressing their similar feelings. She brought moms together and made moms feel less alone. That’s an important thing and I don’t want to take that away. It’s also very telling of a popular consensus.
But honestly – I’m just baffled. I don’t get it.
Emotions, Information, and Choices
I’m grateful there are better choices nowadays. There’s so much research coming out shedding some light on toxic ingredients. I’m so thankful for those first few people who looked at ingredients and questioned them.
Don’t get me wrong though, I’ve got a healthy dose of frustration mixed in with it all. The fact that we as mothers (and fathers) are faced with the choice of toxic or not toxic IS, in fact, ridiculous. It is infuriating that we have been duped for so long to think that just because you can find it on a store shelf means it’s fine and dandy. It is not all fine and dandy.
So I wonder if we all pointed that frustration towards a productive piece of this puzzle, we might actually help each other out. Let’s fuel this fire in the right direction and be angry at the fools who started putting all of these toxins into basically everything.
Let’s take a stand against companies that are being reckless with our health.
Let’s not judge each other. I whole heartedly believe that we all want the same thing – to do what is best for our kids. That’s our job.
It is our job as parents to do the best we can; to keep our kids as healthy as we can, with the information that we have.
That’s the catalyst in all of this – the information. Nowadays, there is no shortage of it. All the dirty little secrets about so many of our products are being exposed. These sneaky companies who have been shortchanging our health for their bottom line are being outed. They know better, and they are counting on us to NOT know better.
But we are fierce, smart, mothers and we can create change.
I believe there are very few things more impactful than a group of moms advocating for change.
(It’s actually already happening. We’re seeing a sort of “non-toxic” or “all-natural” revolution begin to take place, hence all the choices. And I’d be willing to bet it’s almost all because of moms. HIGH FIVE!)
So how do we do this? We simply make new choices.
Why is it harder or more exhausting to grab one item off the shelf or order one product instead of another? In my opinion, it just isn’t. All the talk about how stressful and exhausting it is to know what to use – I’m sorry, but I just don’t agree. If you know that a certain sunscreen contains chemicals KNOWN to cause cancer and it also happens to be destroying an entire ecosystem – then just buy the other one. It’s that simple.
But they’re so expensive.
Yep. They sure are. And there’s only one thing that’s going to change that. Buying them anyways. Scour for deals or coupons and buy them anyways. Support the companies that are doing right by us. In other words, vote with your dollar. And if I’m being frank here …. just ditch your latte like twice a month and there’s the cash. It’s all about priorities. Also keep in mind that truly quality ingredients will cost more. You cannot rush or fool nature. You 100% get what you pay for.
But I don’t want to do all that research.
Good news is you don’t have to. You probably have a friend like me. Just ask her. She’s done it for you and I’m sure she would gladly give you a recommendation.
But we used it as kids and we turned out fine.
First of all, ingredients have changed a lot in the past several decades. We aren’t comparing apples to apples. Second, I’m honestly not so sure we are actually living healthier. Yes, we are living longer as humans, but I don’t know that we as a society are in fact, turning out “just fine”. How many people do you know right now that are dealing with one of these issues: Cancer, Alzheimer’s, infertility, asthma, allergies, eczema, hormone problems, chronic pain, etc? I’m no expert, and of course there are a ton of factors at play for these things, but it is not a huge leap to say that there could be connections here.
Finally, I just want to set the record straight about all the judgement that swirls around this topic. The author of that blog felt very judged, and it seems like many of her readers do too. Some of it felt self inflicted, which makes me so sad. I hope and pray that facts and new information don’t make you as a mom feel guilty or like you’re a terrible mother. I just hope you take that new information for what it’s worth and use it to influence your future decisions. You can’t change the past, so give yourself some grace. If there are moms outright judging you, shame on them.
You are a great mom. I do not judge you. I do not think I am better than you. My decisions are only about the health of my family, our environment, and supporting companies that are transparent in their efforts to develop truly healthy products. Chalk it up to my anxious, obsessive, yet nature loving personality if you need to. This is me being me, doing my best, with the information I have.
If we don’t have our health or the health of our environment, what are we left with?