I was raised on a farm, as was my husband. We both would love to live out in the middle of nowhere, with some land of our own (more than 20th of an acre), to raise our kids. Unfortunately, at this time, that really isn’t an option. At least, not if we want our kids to ever see their father! Still, I do want my kids to have some of the experiences farm kids enjoy. My neighbors probably shake their heads sometimes, but this is what we do:
- Let the kids run barefoot (in the yard). When we were growing up we had races across gravel, and even thistles to see who was the toughest. Sometimes we would step on something that cut our feet, but it was nothing that a good ten minute soak in warm salt water and a Tetanus shot couldn’t handle.
- Garden–to teach them how to weed, and dig, and not step on the beans! My parents gave us 10by10 garden spots when we were young. We got to plant them and take care of them and harvest them all by ourselves. Unfortunately, we don’t have enough space to do that in the middle of the city, but every little bit helps.
- Work outside. We try to have lots of family projects (this year we are removing tree stumps) including our garden, that allows our kids to get their hands dirty in a productive way.
- Get dirty. In the country you don’t have to worry about who sees you covered in mud because whose going to see you? Your closest neighbors are two miles up the road. (The important thing with this one is to plan enough time into the schedule to get cleaned up before you head on an outing). My kids are very fond of making mud pies…and I can’t blame them. 😉
Tis’ the season to be coughin’, or pukin’ or…yes the list goes on and when you’re a mom sick kids means no sleep! I’m sorry, but I love sleep. OK, I also love my kids and hate to see them miserable. Accordingly, as cold season approaches I get out my ever growing arsenal against bacteria and viruses.
I am in love with garlic — I guess I already said that — and it is one of the first things I turn to. I crush up a clove or two and throw it in a couple tablespoons of olive oil. It’s good for weeks. I rub the oil on the feet of my young babies and on the throats, just in front of the ears and on the feet on my older kids (6m and up). Its great for nipping in the bud sore throats and ear infections especially. I use it for myself, as well — it’s a good thing my husband doesn’t mind the smell! (It will help shorten a colds duration, but works best if used before the illness gets a foothold.) Another great use for adults is to make some fresh garlic bread — just lather with butter and fresh garlic, toast and eat! (This has become a favorite for my hubby and me.)
Oregano oil is another good one for young kids but only a diluted drop on the bottoms of their feet. (As an adult I can take it orally, but make sure it’s diluted and brace for a burn! It’s a great way to knock that scratchy throat.)
Speaking of essential oils, I love the mix Young-living puts out called Thieves. Great for killing bacteria. When someone is sick I often put a few drops in a spray bottle with water and mist the house. Breath deep as you go. I like the smell. (It’s also helpful with killing odors like stinky diapers left in a pail too long.) If I really want to kill a cold fast I put a drop on the back of my tongue — again brace for the taste!
These are my main three, but also near at hand is:
- Ecaineasia- the first thing I give my kids when we get home from church or anywhere else there are sick people.
- Lots of Vit. C (bring on the orange juice!)
- Eucalyptus oil (only for older kids and adults as it will harm babies) for clearing those nasal passages. I like putting a drop on my pillow at night or on an older child’s feet, but NOT WHEN I HAVE A BABY NEARBY! (Do your research, one is better and safer than the others)
- Ginger root tea/juice is great for viral infections but my kids are still too young for it’s strength.
- Lemon and honey makes a great warm drink for soothing a sore throat and breaking up phlegm.
- A spoonful of honey soothes a cough as good as most over the counter syrups (I find it takes a few minutes to work, but then I can usually sleep the rest of the night.
- Peppermint is great for the stomach (esp. gas pains) but do not use with young children as it is too strong!
There are others odds and ends I use but are my favorites. Please remember I am not a health care provider and these are usually used to kill illness before it gets started. Doctors have their place and I appreciate that — I’m just glad they don’t get too much business from my family! (Be esp. careful if you are pregnant, as some oils and treatments are not proven safe… but when in doubt, I use garlic! Did I mention I love garlic?)