Photo credit: Krista Fogel Photography
Ever wish your partner would just trust that you weren’t over-reacting, that paying attention to ingredients mattered, and that investing in your family’s future was worth it?
If you’re like so many women I speak with, you might feel like you can’t make the progress you want in your home detox because your husband isn’t on board. Well, after so many conversations like this, I was inspired to ask my husband more about why he is on board.
For some context, we are celebrating our 11 year wedding anniversary the day this post goes live. We met in university – I was studying environmental engineering and he was in mechanical engineering. I had already started my green and healthy living journey, but he was definitely following a more conventional lifestyle. He did his thing and I did mine at first, but he slowly started adopting more and more of “my” kind of products.
We don’t hide anything in this conversation… and my hubby doesn’t hold back about what he thought of me during the worst of my overwhelm (eep).
Ready? Here we go with our Q+A… oh, and please share this with your partner if you think it will help your own conversations!
Q: What was it like for you when I first started switching to healthier products?
A: Well, when we first met, you were already using healthier stuff. The first thing I noticed was the organic granola you ate tasted better – so that was easy.
The only thing that really changed for me in the beginning was personal care products and cleaners.
Things you said made sense, like that they were healthier (helped your asthma) and prevented pervasive chemicals from entering the environment. I could get on board with that.
We definitely went through a lot of different crappy shampoos and conditioners before there started being enough good products out there. That was frustrating. More recently when you switched to homemade cleaning products I thought that was a pretty big change, but I am all for cheap home cleaning supplies and they actually worked well.
Q: Why did you decide to go along with my green product focus?
A: I want to be healthy. (Or at least when I am unhealthy it should be because of a conscious decision, like opening that other bottle of wine.)
Would you eat a fish out of Lake Ontario? I don’t think I would, and I think we need to look at what we are throwing out and washing down the drains because it doesn’t just disappear.
Q: When I was pregnant it was easy to go overboard and I admit that I went a bit crazy researching things and freaking out. What was that stage like for you?
A: Do you want an honest answer? (Yes…)
It was a little much.
Now don’t get me wrong, I get it, we are making decisions that could impact the rest of this tiny human’s life. I especially get the bit about how what is in their clothes, sheets, mattresses, and put right on their skin is absorbed by their body. And I really didn’t want them chewing on a one dollar toy made in China with flaking paint.
So I was on board for most of it… but there is also a point at which you realize smiling and nodding to the crazed pregnant woman is the best option. A lot of the stuff about some chemicals really bothered me too. Like flame retardants and BPA. The more you told me about certain studies and issues, the more I realized it was worth looking at ingredients more closely.
Q: Did you notice any shift in my decision making process (or lack of craziness)?
A: Yes, definitely. It was a few months after our son was born. You seemed to be less indecisive and told me what really mattered… like what fruits and veggies we needed to buy organic and which we didn’t need to worry about as much.
(So, coincidentally, a few months after I had my son was when I came up with my process for evaluating healthy home strategies. The method I created to detox our home gave us both our sanity back… well, as much as that’s possible with an infant and toddler in the house…)
Q: If you could give one piece of advice to another husband whose partner wants to green their home, what would it be?
A: Just nod and say yes. (And no, I didn’t tell him to say that.)
Sure, food costs a bit more, but I feel a lot better about that when I read the ingredients.
My thinking is, what’s the worst thing that happens? You feel better and don’t get sick as much?
And I’ve seen how this impacts us. My skin no longer breaks out since we switched detergents, and our house doesn’t give me a headache after it has been cleaned. I can’t say what good it has done the kids because there isn’t a before and after, but I don’t want to expose them to crap when we don’t have to.
Q: Is there anything you would say to someone who is struggling with their home detox?
That it’s OK to get help. And I’m not one to ask for help quickly either. But I also know that’s not always the best way.
Like when [our son] didn’t sleep. We lived like zombies for months until we got a sleep coach. It made it way easier to have someone with answers on-hand.
And when I got injured, getting a personal trainer made a huge difference in the recovery (physio helped, but weekly sessions with somebody making sure I’m doing it right worked far better).
I think the same thing applies here. You went through that crazy patch where you did nothing but read everything out there and constantly asked me what I thought. Now you tell me the reason why we are buying certain products, it makes sense, and we weren’t wasting time and energy talking in circles.
So there you have it. My man’s (sometimes too) honest take on our green at home lifestyle. I hope this helps put some of our journey into perspective, and also allows you to have a more open conversation with your partner about your goals and needs for your own home detox.
If you want to increase your understanding about how your home impacts your health, and what you should focus on to create a healthier environment for your family, I’ve got a free webclass coming up that I think you’ll love. Click here to register now.