I have a confession to make. Well, I’ve kind of made it already, so now I can just ask you to hear me out. I do most of my shopping at SUPERMARKETS. I have supermarket loyalty cards and I get points for buying stuff from them, and special offers on things I regularly buy and rewards for choosing them over their competitors and every now and then, I get free stuff.I wish it wasn’t so, and might even use unbranded recycling bags to carry my groceries in, just to not advertise that I shop at supermarkets. I feel like it makes me a worse person.

Welcome to the “I’m a Natural Parent – BUT…” Carnival This post was written for inclusion in the carnival hosted by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. During this carnival our participants have focused on the many different forms and shapes Natural Parenting can take in our community. ***

I feel guilty for all the small grocers and butchers that supermarkets have put out of business. I feel bad for the people who’re working long hours for minimum wage to supply products at prices I can afford. I feel awful for endorsing their practices by supporting them with my money.

But I really don’t feel I have a choice.

We’ve had some pretty lean months here recently. You might not have guessed, because I’m good at hiding my vulnerabilities, but we have.

Ameli’s Christmas presents from us were all second hand or review items. We got each other a £10, token gift, of something practical (I got a diary for the year). Christmases past we’ve had up to 20 gifts each under the tree (excessive, yes, but when you’re both working full time with no children, it seems perfectly sane!)

This year, if it wasn’t for generous inlaws and loyalty card points, there’d have been no turkey on our table. Or duck, as it turned out.

But I’m not kidding. There wasn’t money for Christmas day lunch. Then I realised I had almost £80 worth of unspent points on one of my loyalty cards, and we had a fantastic Christmas lunch after all. We do get all our vegetables delivered in a weekly order from a local organic farmer,  and it does cost more than I’d pay for the same from the supermarket, but it also lasts longer.

The veggies delivered on a Wednesday can easily last two to three weeks in our kitchen. The same vegetables from the supermarket might, if we’re lucky, make it to the weekend. Anything with green leaves in a plastic bag is usually inedible two days later. So while we spend more on our vegetables, we get much better value, and we get to try new things, in season.

I love it. I’m sure if we started buying meat from the local organic butcher we’d find the same thing – better quality – (because heaven knows when last Martin and I had a meaty meal where we didn’t say it was nice, except for the meat! The quality of meat in our shops is shocking, and you wouldn’t know it if you hadn’t ever eaten meat from an organic source (which we have – the quality of meat in South Africa is amazing.)

But we’ve had to draw the line somewhere, and for us, it’s been behind vegetables. I’d love to be in a position where I could add a few bits of meat to our weekly order, but I simply can’t. We buy organic, free-range eggs from the supermarket, but I know we could do better too. We normally buy fresh pasta, although we do have a dried store in the cupboard.

There are areas we wish we could do better… but we simply can’t afford it!

So there you have my confession, and my justification. I’m sorry for all the lives that we negatively impact on, and all the small business and family industries that we put out of business… but we’re also just trying to make ends meet and continue on in the hope of doing it “right” one day.


This carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that “natural parenting” means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:


This carnival was created by The Artful Mama and Natural Parents Network. We recognize that “natural parenting” means different things to different families, and we are dedicated to providing a safe place for all families, regardless of where they are in their parenting journeys.

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • My kid is a technophile — Jenn at Monkey Butt Junction hasn’t turned in her natural parenting card yet, even though her son prefers electronic toys
  • I’m a Natural Parent, but…I use medicine! — Adrienne at Mommying My Way admits that while she hesitates to do so, sometimes she does give her son some medicine when his symptoms get really bad.
  • I’m Only Half Planning a Natural Birth — Shannon at The Artful Mama discloses how she is planning her semi-natural hospital birth and still dares to call herself a Natural Parent.
  • Why we aren’t rear facing — Shannon at Pineapples & Artichokes talks about her decision to turn her one-year-old daughter’s carseat around, and how the argument always given for extended rear facing makes her feel.
  • Musings of an Almost Crunchy Momma — Valerie at Momma in Progress re-examines her list of natural parenting litmus tests.
  • Natural Parenting Does Not Equal Perfect Parenting — Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama admits to several not-so-natural parenting and lifestyle practices.
  • 10 Reasons to Revoke My Natural Parent Card — Laura at WaldenMommy: Life Behind the Red Front Door discusses why some of her less-than-crunchy practices are better for her family.
  • I’m a Natural Parent – BUT… MacNCheese is Awesome. — Jennifer at True Confessions of a Real Mommy reveals her penchant for some far from healthy eating, cheap food recipes.
  • Crunchy on the Inside — Wolfmother at Fabulous Mama Chronicles muses about how the stereotype of a natural parent does not do justice to the very dynamic group that this parenting philosophy attracts.
  • My Reality — Megan from The Other Baby Book confesses a few things about her parenting.
  • I’m Crunchy But… — Christy at Mommy Outnumbered shares confessions on all of her “non” crunchy ways.
  • I’m A Natural Parent, But…it took me awhile — It took Kerry at City Kids Homeschooling awhile before fully understanding and appreciating Natural Parenting.
  • I Am Not a Perfect Natural ParentMomma Jorje shares her dirty little secrets as a mostly natural parent.
  • Crunchy, But Not Crunchier Than Thou — Instead of comparing yourself to others, Dionna at Code Name: Mama encourages you to give yourself permission to be as crunchy as you can for right now.
  • I’m a natural parent but…I love bedtimes — Terri at Child of the Nature Isle would never let her children cry-it-out, but she has a selection of other methods to encourage early bedtimes.
  • I’m a Natural Parent – BUT… — Lani at Boobie Time Blog believes that following the principles of Natural Parenting doesn’t mean you fit a stereotypical mold of societal view.
  • Confessions of a Low Supply Mom — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children confesses her insecurities about being a low supply mom.
  • I’m a natural parent, but. . . — Not eating her placenta is just one of the ways Ashley at Mama Raw falls short at being a natural parent.
  • I’m a Natural Parent But…I have a Few Confessions — Kat at Loving {Almost} Every Moment strives to be a Natural Mama, but wait, she has a few confessions!
  • I’m a Natural Parent BUT — Carrie at LoveNotesMama confesses her gratitude for disposable diapers.
  • Intestinal Dissection — Melissa from White Noise talks about how imperfection can be beautiful when it is buffered with love.
  • How much sugar is too much? — Tat at Mum in Search shares how her no-sugar policy evolved into a balancing act, with the balance point not where she’d like to see it.
  • I’m a Natural Parent, but. . . — Amyables at Toddler In Tow talks about three of her parenting habits that are not super “natural.”
  • Minus Ten Crunchy Points — Joella at Fine and Fair discusses how some of her parenting choices seen as “too crunchy” by those she knows in real life could get her kicked out of the crunchy mom clubs online.
  • The Natural Parent “Model” — Kym at Our Crazy Corner of the World talks about her love for not-so-natural cosmetics and beauty products.
  • Nice to meet you. — Eileen at Love & Greens talks about how being a natural mama means something different to her every day.
  • I’m a natural parent…BUT… — Ashley at Daisy Pedals touches on several natural parenting topics; from cloth diapers to cleaning with natural cleaners.
  • I’m a natural parent, but you’d be surprised — Lauren at Hobo Mama confesses to liking diet soda and TV and having lost all her reusable shopping bags.
  • I’m a Natural Parent, but…. I don’t shop local — Luschka at Diary of a First Child confesses one of her greatest ‘natural’ failures – she doesn’t shop local and support her community, despite wishing she could.
  • Who You Callin’ Natural? (a Carnival of Natural Parenting Contribution) — A bit of premise exposition, some tongue-in-cheek filler, and a photographic list of all the ways Embrita Blogging cheats at being natural.
  • Dirty Secrets of a Green & Natural Mama (and Why I’m Not Afraid to Share Them!) — Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares her definition of what it means to be a perfect mama as well as a few of her dirty little secrets.
  • Green Mommy Guilt — Jen at Jen and Joey Green talks about how being a perfect Green Mom is overrated.
  • Life Coping Devices — Amy at Anktangle discusses two (“non-AP”) coping strategies her family has used for getting through difficult times with her son: the pacifier and the stroller.
  • We use disposable diapers. There. I said it. — The mama at Our Muddy Boots shares a bed, nurses her 4 year old, is vegetarian, and is committed to homeschooling; but Pampers adorn her child’s bottom. Ugh!
  • Committed to Cloth, but… — Sheila at A Living Family affirms her love of cloth diapering, despite the draw of disposables.
  • Natural Parenting as a Doorway to Deep Truths — Amy from Peace for Parents guest posts at Natural Parents Network and shares how for her “natural parenting” is much less about a definition and much more an avenue to explore truths of life.
  • Chicken No-nos — Jessica at Pace Family Place strives to live naturally but feeds her oldest son some not-so natural things


I’m a Natural Parent, But…. I Don’t Shop Local (Much)

  1. I agree 100%. If buying local leaves a family strapped and broke, what good are you doing? Even the giant supermarkets are employing people – local people – and they matter too. It’s tough when our ideals and our wallets don’t align, but we all do what we have to do. Great post!

  2. I think you’re doing great. You have to do what you can, when you can. We too buy a lot at a local supermarket, it’s owned by the employees so that’s a plus but we can’t afford to buy everything at independent shops. Thanks for sharing your secrets!

  3. I too feel guilty for needing to use the supermarkets but you are right sometimes you just can’t afford to do what is good for others and you have to take into account what is right for you. I have been looking at the local farm coop for delivering veggies but I’ve been afraid to make that commitment because of my hectic schedule and our current living situation. One day I will make an effort to get out of bed on a Sunday and go to the local farm stand but for now I shop for convenience so I can spend time with Little Man.

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