Today is Earth Day and I’m pretty sure Mother Nature is scowling at me. I do care about the environment. Truly. I recycle. I carry a small reusable bag in my purse to avoid plastic bags. I try to turn lights off when I leave a room. I know my kids will inherit the earth I leave for them, etc. etc. It’s just that being green hasn’t been top of my priority list lately. It’s somewhere in the middle (but definitely TOP of the middle).
We have twins, which means double the diapers, double the wipes. But I don’t feel guilty about these things. They are necessities. I don’t even feel guilty that, after Monk A & B arrived, Dan started to driving to work each day instead of taking public transit.
There is, however, one thing I feel particularly embarrassed about: the dishwasher. I run that thing enough times per day to drain a pond. A small pond, but a significant body of water nonetheless. It started the day we discovered this:
Did you know there’s a sanitize button on your dishwasher? Cause there is. Before this discovery Dan and I were hand-washing bottles and then sterilizing them in the microwave for exactly 6 minutes (because that’s what the instructions on our microwave sterilizer said to do. God forbid our beautiful babies come into contact with one drop of unsterilized tap water!) Before the sanitize button, it wasn’t unusual to find my dear husband standing at the kitchen sink in the middle of the night scrubbing out bottle nipples with a small bottle nipple cleaning brush.
Discovering the sanitize button changed our lives. No more hand-washing! The problem is that sometimes we run out of bottles before there is a full load of dirty dishes. And by “sometimes” I mean always. When this happens I usually consider washing the bottles by hand. Then I think about all the other things I could be doing instead and decide against it.
Sometimes I try to trick myself into feeling less guilty about it. First, I spread the bottles out so that they’re scattered throughout the dishwasher. This creates the illusion that it’s more full.
Then I glance around my kitchen for other items that “really could use a wash”. I throw in a few barely used, dusty casserole dishes. There. Now I really do need to run it.
The other night Dan suggested we simply buy more bottles. I shut down that idea quickly. I’m not sure why but I think a small, deluded part of me believes my 7-month-old babies will start drinking from adult drinking glasses in the near future.
So here we are on Earth Day. I feel pretty guilty. Then I remember a friend telling me that sometimes, when her baby falls asleep in the car, she pulls out a book and sits there idling in the driveway in order to let him sleep. Surely this offense is much greater than mine. But even if it isn’t, perhaps the world can give us new moms a bit of a break this year.