The Story of My Awakening (Part 4) - It Was Only a Plastic Teething Ring
HI again :)
So the reason I am here with your right now, began when my eldest was 6 months old.
It was a beautiful March afternoon in AZ. I opened up all the windows in our home and a cool breeze swept through the house.
I had gotten into more of a rhythm in motherhood.
I was still sleepless and grumpy. Tired and overwhelmed, yet I still managed to find small moments that brought joy.
I loved being a mom and hated it.
I jokingly say often that if people actually talked about how parenthood is, many of us would never procreate.
Motherhood offers us the entire gamut of human emotions, sometimes all in just one minute!
As I shared yesterday, my firstborn, Ryland, had not been an easy baby.
I was full-on attachment parenting (my gut led me there).
I was a human pacifier, a bouncing chair with a boob, and I RARELY had even one moment to myself (I really like my alone time).
I sat Ryland down on the floor to play on with his toys.
I put on Baby Signing Time and grabbed his favorite teething ring.
I had noticed as I took it from the freezer (don’t put them in freezers btw.) it was chipping off a bit, but didn’t think anything of it in that moment.
He grabbed it out of my hand and went to town.
He loved that yellow plastic teething ring.
I took advantage of this precious moment where I was hands-free to make myself something to eat.
I was always starving and so darn thirsty!
I sat down at the high table overlooking the living area where he was playing. At this moment I was in awe.
I liked being a mom at this moment.
He was calm. I was eating. All is well.
I was watching him go at that teething ring and then like a pound of bricks in my stomach, it sank.
Out of nowhere, a question came into mind.
“Is that safe? Is that teething ring safe?”
Now, where did that come from?
Hmmm… I mean it’s made for babies, answering myself.
How could it not be safe?
As I tried to whisk away that surprising question it just got stronger.
I finally decided to answer its call with a trip down Google lane.
I booted up my old PC and 10 minutes later I had the search engine ready for me to ride.
I typed in “are plastic teething rings safe for babies”.
The first few posts were ads for teething rings.
I scrolled and found one article that was titled something like, Tips to make sure that a Teething ring is Safe for Your Baby.
I dove in and the first tip that came up said that many teething rings on the market have chemicals in them.
Chemicals are safe. Aren’t they?
I learned that a specific class of chemicals used in baby toys are called phthalates and are linked to cancer, hormone issues, obesity, asthma, and birth defects.
[Side note: Ironically, 4 months later after this epiphany, BPA was in fact banned in baby’s bottles and sippy cups.]
This is the very first moment I had ever learned about harmful chemicals.
I grabbed that teething ring out of his hand.
He cried and wanted it back. I soothed him with my breast.
I felt like the worse mother to ever roam the planet.
How could I be so stupid?!
Then another ton of bricks landed in my abdomen.
If baby toys have chemicals, what about baby food?
This led me into the google dark hole for months.
For months any free time I had was spent researching and learning about all the harmful chemicals in my home.
It was a dark hole and it didn’t end.
I was SO angry, sad, and frustrated.
I could not comprehend how anyone could allow this to happen.
Why haven’t I heard about this before?!
Does our government know? What kinds of regulations do we have?!
I would complain for hours about it. I was obsessed.
This is the moment where everything changed.
I was complaining to my husband for the billionth time and I said “Why isn’t there anyone or any agency protecting us?!”
My husband, Scott, annoyed and tired of hearing all about this, said something that I’ll never forget.
It changed my perspective forever.
He said, “Why is it someone else’s job to keep us safe? Isn’t that our job?”
My gut liked that, but my ego didn’t.
A light bulb went off.
Yes. Yes, it is our job.
After months and months of researching and digging into all of the harmful chemicals and toxins allowed in our homes, my hope was to find someone to blame.
In the end, you can’t blame your own ignorance.
You can blame corporations, politicians, big Pharma, and all those benefiting from our sickness and selling us their poison… but it doesn’t change a thing.
We are the only ones responsible for our health. NOBODY else.
I began to open up to the idea that maybe all of the chemicals I’ve been exposed to my whole life could be contributing to all of the health issues I’ve struggled with for decades.
I felt like things finally began to make sense!
There was no going back.
This was my destiny.
I began researching EVERY product and packaged food I’d bring into my home.
I got rid of everything plastic in my kitchen and anything that went into my baby’s mouth.
I began to learn a completely new way of living and it was all so overwhelming.
I became the crazy lady.
This whole process was putting so much stress on my body and straining my relationships.
Something had to break… and it did.
I’ll share my breaking point in the next part of this series!
In love, Becky