An old adage suggests it takes a village to raise a child. I have discovered it also takes a village to keep a mother sane. In fact, I believe while the villagers are busy raising the child, they are also raising the mother.
My village (my tribe, my people, my sanity) is a group of mummy friends who connected through Nurture magazine. We live in the same geographic area, even though that area is large. We meet fortnightly at a local state forest. We converse over morning tea, sharing our joys, learning, wonderings and frustrations. Our children then lead us along walking tracks, sticks in hand, to marvel at the wonders of nature. We are not put off by bad weather, and some of the most memorable times have involved rain and large muddy puddles for our little ones to play in.
On the off-fortnights when we don’t go bushwalking, we often gather at one of our houses and have a Mama Bake session. This involves each person deciding on a dish to make, and then making enough for everyone to take some. While we cook and laugh and chat, our children play and grow – and sometimes quarrel! Our children are various ages, and it’s common to see plenty of boobs (breastfeeding) and wraps/slings/carriers (babywearing) when we gather, as we are bonded in our natural/attachment parenting styles. At the end we trek home with a bounty of meals and snacks and healthy treats. It eases some of the burden and monotony of preparing family meals each night, but more than that it strengthens the weaves in the tapestry of our village.
Recently we decided we would create homemade cosmetic and cleaning products instead of making meals for each other . We each chose what to make, sourced our ingredients and vessels, and gathered in a mummy friend’s back yard. We shared ingredients, utensils and stories, and at the end of the day twelve of us left with exhausted children and basketfuls of non-toxic homemade goodies.
We made dishwasher powder, laundry powder, bath salts, sun cream, remineralising tooth powder, cockroach bait, chest rub, luxurious moisturiser, foot moisturiser, deodorant, lime body scrub, sugar scrub, and a foot powder/dry deodorant.
The recipes for some of these items are listed below. I will update this post with the rest as I gather them.
If you would love to be part of a group like this, choose a date to host an event and invite like-minded friends. The right people will come into your life, but probably not if you’re sitting at home lamenting your isolation. I say that because I have been there. Search on Facebook for Nurture Village and see if there is a group near you – and if not, why not set one up? We are not exclusive. There are new people regularly. If you plan on doing a Mama Make and you’re stuck for what to make, take a look at Pinterest or search the web for some homemade natural cleaners. One of the best websites for this type of thing is DIY Natural.
What we have is special and I am grateful for motherhood and my children. Afterall, it is the children that have brought our village together. If there were no children, the cohesiveness within a village is diminished because there is less protective instinct binding the villagers. If each person in a village can take care of themselves the population slowly segments and drifts. When there are vulnerable children to protect and nurture, people stop thinking only of themselves and start looking outwards. It is true that when a baby is born, so is a mother. And when a mother finds or creates her village, the journey of motherhood is shared in the most sacred of ways.
Now for the recipes from our first Mama Make session. These are listed as single recipes, so multiply as required depending on the size of your group.
Combine 2 cups bi-carbonate soda, 1 cup borax, 1 cup washing soda, 1 bar of grated Sunlight soap.
Natural Chest Rub
Recipe from Natural New Age Mum ❤
Coconut Oil, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, Peppermint Essential Oil, Lemon Essential Oil
Melt coconut oil by placing the jar in a bowl of hot water. Pour 1/4 cup of the oil into a glass jar. Add 20 drops of eucalyptus oil, 20 drops of peppermint oil and 10 drops of lemon oil (this is a fairly mild recipe, add more if you want). Shake well. Let it re-solidify for easier use (pop it in the fridge in summer time).
Luxurious Homemade Moisturiser
Recipe from Quirky Cooking
This recipe is made in a Thermomix.
Weigh 130g apricot oil, 260g macadmia oil and 50g beeswax into the Thermomix and cook for 15 minutes at 60C, speed 2 or until all the beeswax is melted. Add 2 TB rosewater or orange flower water, 4 TB distilled or boiled water, 1/4 tsp lavender or rose essential oil, 1 Vitamin E capsule squeezed out, and mix on speed 6 for three minutes, scraping down halfway through. Pour into clean pots or jars while still warm.
Recipe by Vidyut Kale
Take boric acid and wheat flour in equal quantities. Add a quarter of that quantity of powdered (icing) or very fine sugar. Knead dough combining all ingredients and adding water as needed. Once you have the dough ready, make tiny balls out of it, and put it in cockroach-friendly places. Cockroaches get tempted by the bait and eat it. It kills them. Bait sticks on their bodies and goes to their nest with them, killing others there.
Cockroaches eating dead cockroach also die. And so on. This method is not as fast as aiming an aerosol poison at a roach. It will likely take about a month or so, with later cockroaches being smaller and smaller until they just. end. The boric acid dust will continue to act on
cockroaches from future infestations forever or till you clean it away.
(Can also be used as a foot powder)
1 cup cornflour
1 cup arrowroot powder
1/2 cup bicarb
Mix all ingredients well together. If you need a stronger deodorant, wipe underarm with apple cider vinegar. When dry, apply coconut oil. Once seeped into the skin, apply this dry deodorant.
1/2 cup coconut oil, 1/2 cup shea butter, 15 drops tea tree oil.
Combine ingredients together over heat. Add to jars and store in a cool place.
3/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup beeswax, 2 TB shea butter, 2 TB zinc oxide powder (non nano), 5 drops lavender oil, 5 drops Roman Chamomile or Myrrh essential oil
Melt coconut oil, beeswax and shea butter gently. Remove from heat and stir in zinc oxide and essential oils. Set in refrigerator.
3 cups epsom salts, 2 cups bi-carbonate soda, 1 cup table salt. Mix together with essential oils of choice.
Coconut Lime Sugar Scrub
1/4 cup coconut oil, 1 cup white sugar, 1TB shredded coconut, 6-8 drops lime essential oil
Melt coconut oil. Add sugar and mix until well combined. Add coconut and lime oil. Mix together.