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I have a confessions:

wait, let me back up.

Several months back, I wrote about the items I use to stock my natural medicinal cabinet, and there were some great questions and comments.  Therefore, I wrote about how I stock my kid-friendly summer time first aid kit, filled with herbal goodies and “hippy-things” (as my hubby says…though we all know he secretly likes my hippy-ness).  As we near the end of summer, I am preparing for the onslaught of cold season again, and so I’m beginning to refill and restock for the winter.

And then, last week, I got sick.

The exhaustion, stuffy nose, sneezy, achey, whiney, puffy-eyed kind of sick where the only thing you really just want to do is take a nap.  Which I did, for all of 4 seconds before my children began the process of mutiny.

And now for my confession.

I didn’t even look through my hippy-things – I simply grabbed the standard cold medicine and went on my merry way, breathing happily out of both nostrils.

I hate taking over the counter drugs.  I hate how chemical-y they are (when you’re sick, you make up words too), and after too much research, I really do know what they can do to my liver, kidneys, nervous system and the like.

But it was ok.

I realized something while trying to homeschool, meal plan, blog and run a photography studio through my hazy fog of half-consciousness – and its that we all have a threshold, and I had met mine!

So, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I was faced with a question…

How do you determine when you are “natural” enough?

Is it when you swear off cold medicine and only buy herbal remedies?

When you stop buying Chef Boyardee and Velveeta Cheese?

If you make your own deodorant?

Use cloth diapers on your munchkins?

Start wearing broom skirts, burn patchouli incense and get piercings?

The great part is, there is no definitive answer to this! When you realize that you have to cheat sometimes and that you’ll never be completely and totally, 100% natural in all areas of your life, that can be the most freeing thing!  We will stop comparing ourselves to other crunchy-mamas with their plastic-free, patchouli-loving barefoot kids.  We’ll stop comparing ourselves to those natural food bloggers that would never dream of making a late night M&M run to the grocery store!  Doing things from scratch and choosing home-made over conventional takes time and commitment!  Living naturally can get really complicated and it’s so tempting to forego simplicity in exchange for convenience.  A weight of self-imposed guilt will lift off of our shoulders when we realize that certain seasons of our life will look more “natural” than others.

I’ve realized, after much trial, error and cold medicine, that I will make it a priority to arm myself with the knowledge, tools, resources and people who will encourage me to live naturally, cook healthy foods from scratch, and make the best choices for my family.

We can’t allow ourselves to fall into the trap of comparison, because otherwise we will never be “natural enough”. My “natural living” will not look like your “natural living” because my family, my stage of life, my schedule, and my love of M&Ms will be different from yours.  We simply educate ourselves and make the best decisions that we can given the season of our life.

Everyone’s “natural living” will look different.  What does yours look like?

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Posted to Monday Mania at The Healthy Home Economist, Raising ArrowsHomestead Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead, Better Mom MondaysThe Morristribe’s Homesteader Blog CarnivalTraditional Tuesdays at Cooking TF, Titus 2 Tuesday at Cornerstone Confessions,  Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, Raising Homemakers, Women Living Well Linkup

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