The Real Household Products

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According to Business Week, Procter & Gamble just announced that it is launching a new Tide laundry detergent product designed to make clothes last longer.

To quote Erik Hetrick, P&G North American director, the near-neutral pH system helps “preserve fabric fibers instead of breaking them down like standard alkaline laundry products.”

Not being well versed in even basic science, I am not sure what a “pH system or “alkaline” means, but something about that statement struck me.  I read the part I did understand several times: “Preserve fabric fibers instead of breaking them down.”

I felt the sentence seeping into my subconscious mom brain.  Really, aren’t we all are looking for ways in a busy, complex, media-saturated world to preserve the fabric of our families?  Most of us share a strong desire to prevent the soils of our own stresses along with society’s dirt from breaking down the internal threads that we work so hard to weave into our children.

If it was only as easy as pulling an item off a shelf and adding water. I would spend a lot less time worrying and a lot more time eating those fabled bon bons I’ve heard of.

But keeping a family durable takes a tremendous amount of work.  There are no short cuts, no miracle products, and no substitutes.  And the reality is, ring around the collar is the least of our concerns.  Will our children grow up to be contributing, altruistic, ethical members of society?  Will they remember what we’ve taught them?

There are days when the very fabric we’ve worked so hard on seems to be unraveling.  Those are the days I say things I shouldn’t. I Shout it out.  And there are days when I remember the power a Snuggle has to make all the static disappear.

The balancing act is difficult and I have not mastered it yet. Maybe Procter and Gamble is on to something with their “near neutral pH system.”  A near balance is probably more realistic than a total balance of work, family and self.  The balance of fun and chores, homework and TV, vegetables and cookies. The balance of physical, spiritual, and emotional well-being.  The Tide turns many times in a day in our family. A near-neutral system may simply be embracing the ebb and flow of daily life.

Even in the lowest of Tides, moms can never give up on the fabric of family. It takes more than an Arm and Hammer, it takes heart and soul. It takes strength, perseverance and creativity.  An ongoing, neverending quest to ensure our kids have a lot of responsibility, yet a large amount of Cheer.

Our children are irreplaceable, one of a kind, homespun, delicate beings.  We have to handle the joys and the tough spots with care.

We simply have too much to Gain.

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