The Tea on Sustainable Living

#10 | The sustainability of motherhood with mom of two Kelly Pucillo (Part 2)

April 19, 2022 Brandee and Kelly
The Tea on Sustainable Living
#10 | The sustainability of motherhood with mom of two Kelly Pucillo (Part 2)
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Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to part 2 of my chat with longtime friend and #1 fan of this podcast, Kelly Pucillo! If you haven't listened to part 1 yet, episode #9, go back and listen to that now. Or after. Your choice!

I’m so excited to finally talk about the sustainability of motherhood with Kelly, as I am not a mom (unless you count cats as children??).

In today’s episode, Kelly spills the tea on motherhood and some of the sustainability and environmental struggles she now faces as a mom. She also shares her take on recycling, cloth diapers, secondhand clothes for kids, and more.

So grab some tea, get comfy, and hit that play button.

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Links and resources:

#9 | The sustainability of anesthesia with CRNA Kelly Pucillo (Part 1)
#3 | Is plastic really that bad?
#2 | Why is Primark so irresistible?
Recycle Right: How empty is empty enough? How clean is clean enough? How dry is dry enough?
What happens if you don’t bother washing your recycling?
Go Green With Cloth Diapers
Cloth vs. Disposable Diapers: Which Kind Should I Use?
7 Cloth Diapers That Reduce Our Reliance On Disposables
Sustainable Babies: Tips on Using Reusable Cloth Diapers From An Eco-Conscious Parent
Why You Should Join a Buy Nothing Group (or How to Start One)!
How "Buy Nothing" Facebook Groups Work to Create a Gift Economy in Communities
Buy Nothing Project
How to Talk to Your Kids About Sustainability
How to talk to kids about climate change

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-Brandee and Hannah

Note: This transcript is mostly unedited.

Brandee   0:00  

Hey, Give-a-Shitters. Brandee here and you're listening to episode number 10 of the tea on sustainable living podcast. Welcome to part two of my chat with longtime friend and number one fan of this podcast Kelly Pucillo. If you haven't listened to part one yet, episode number nine, go back and listen to that now or after your choice. In part one, we spill the tea on health care and anesthesia. And in this episode number 10 Kelly spills the tea on motherhood and some of the sustainability environmental struggles that she now faces as a mom. And if you did skip Part One You missed me telling you that Hannah could not join us for this chat. But she will be back for episode number 11. I hope you enjoy this episode. And I will tea you soon. Like real soon after this music. 

Hello, and welcome to the tea on sustainable living podcast where your hosts, Hannah, and Brandee try and help each other navigate the big messy gray area of giving a shit about the planet and hopefully helping you along the way.

Hannah  0:57  

Each episode we have honest chats about our sustainability fails, sometimes amongst ourselves and sometimes with guests, while also leaving you with a little sprinkle of hope and inspiration to keep on giving a shit. So go make yourself a cup of tea get comfy.

Brandee   1:12  

And let's dive into the episode. So, Kelly, you're a mom of two? First of all, I just don't know how anyone does it just the idea of bringing life into the world and then you're responsible for them. It just seems like it's just a whole thing. Very lightly. It's a whole thing. And then being a mom in general, it's like, as soon as you become a mom, it's like the What's What's the expression the wolves are sent to send the wool all everyone comes at you with all their thoughts and opinions. And then now bringing a sustainability element to it and like, how does your head not explode?

Kelly  1:52  

It does. That's what Zoloft is for. It but yes. And it is amazing to me, baby. Number two is easier. But baby number one was very hard. It is amazing to me how many people think that like they that you require their advice? Like, I don't the amount of people who like hate everything that you do. I think that's also because in motherhood, it's in motherhood. It's like you have so many options because like you just have so many options like do you breast or bottle feed? Do you use cloth diapers? Or disposable diapers? Do you? I don't know, send them to day care, get a nanny stay at home, like somebody stays at home? What like, you're just like there's decision after decision after decision and the amount of people who are like, let me just give you my thoughts on this matter. And you'll be like at a playground. And it's some woman you don't know who she is. And she's like, I'm just gonna tell you what my thoughts on you breastfeeding your child are like, I think

Brandee   3:02  

generally, that comes from maybe like a an underlying insecurity about like what that person is doing and whether they're doing it right, because I think everyone just all moms seem to just, I mean, you're constantly battling or defending all of these other opinions while questioning everything yourself. Because you're why wouldn't you You're responsible for a human and like, Am I doing it right? We're doing it wrong.

Kelly  3:26  

And my mom constantly says like, babies don't come with a manual, which they totally should. I used to give better discharge instructions sending somebody home after they lost their appendix. Like if somebody was going home postoperative at the hospital worked out together, we would sit there and like go through eight pages of documents and be like, pick up this drug at this pharmacy. And you have this follow up appointment that's already been pre arranged for you. And like, here's all the things that you need to do. And you getting discharged from a maternity ward is wild. The nurse comes in and goes I did it a to separate different hospitals. The nurse comes in and goes, would you like a wheelchair and and like so the first one I was like, I guess like, do we because the hospital that we worked at, you don't just like let somebody walk off you have to wheel them to their car. So I was like I get like, Can I leave now? And she was like, yeah, yeah. And she brought the wheelchair into my room and left it. And I was like, oh, what what do we do with it? She meant for the wheelchair to be like we put the car seat with the baby in it on the wheelchair and we all we all the baby. And so me and my husband and the day and Joey our baby at the time, in a car seat in a wheelchair stood at the nurse's station waiting for somebody to like give us permission to leave and the nurse was like Do you need anything? I was like, oh do you? Do I need to Want me to sign sounds like I'm just gonna leave here with a child? Do you like what my home address are? So I don't know. I don't know. I'd saved her. So I also asked if I could change my daughter out of the clothes that they had her in and she looked at me like I had five heads. I don't know what I'm doing here. 

Brandee   5:20  

Please, somebody helped me tell me what to do.

Kelly  5:23  

I was like, am I am I allowed...? Like, I have a cute little outfit for her can I put her in that outfit? And she was like, Yeah, What? What? Why not? Like, I don't know. Is it she yours?

Brandee   5:37  

Oh, that's wild I can't imagine that is so wild.

Kelly  5:40  

It was really weird. But yeah, so they don't give you instructions or a manual. And everybody's got different opinions. And like now, you had brought in our like, pre podcast for a second text message discussion. Really take a lot of research. You lead said about a lot of people don't want to bring a child into today's current world. So that's like another thing I see on social media all the time. Which I think I'm like a millennial that has like the opposite opinion of the rest of the planet, which I sort of feel guilty about as well. But I don't think it's like that bad right now. Okay, so pandemics pretty terrible. potential outbreak of World War Three is pretty terrible. The environment is pretty terrible, because our parents or grandparents screwed us over. But as far as like raising children in today's day and age, I would say although moms are really mean to each other, and women are really mean to each other. There is this whole other side to it of like my mom and grandmother, were not allowed to complain about how hard motherhood is. And I can outwardly to everybody, I can tell strangers that I think my kids are at, Can I curse? Yeah, absolutely. I think my kids are assholes. And two year olds are assholes. And like, I can say that because I live in the 21st century. And like, there is a group of moms who support each other's belief that like, being a mom is really hard. And we and we have a lot on our plates, and nobody's doing it perfect. And nobody's doing everything, right. And at the end of the day, we are humans, and we're all just trying our best. So that I think is really important. And I know like my mother didn't have that kind of support. And my grandmother did not have that kind of support. And I also, I also always come from a point of like, I'm a woman, I would never go back in time. Like, there's no other decade, that seems to me safer than the one that I'm living in right now. And the one that I'm raising my child, my daughter in now, like we had this conversation in the office yesterday, where like, I give my daughter full fledge rights to if she tells somebody to stop touching her, she's allowed and they won't. She says it several times, she is allowed to use physical force to get them to stop touching her. And I don't give her a hard time about it. And this mom on the playground a couple weeks ago, turned around and was like, Oh, your daughter just shoved my son. And I was like, Your son was had did not receive consent for the hug he was trying to give her my daughter asked nicely, like three or four times yelled at him, and he still ignored her. So yeah, she can shove him, you should really teach your son about consent. I'm not allowed to say that now. But I don't think you could say that 50 years ago. So I do. I am like, the environment is scary. But I am happy to be a mom in this century. Because I think my daughter will have more rights than I had. And I have more rights than my mom had. So that is

Brandee   9:01  

wonderful. Do you feel any like pressure to like, do things a certain way do things differently because of the environment or to be more sustainable? Like because of your kids? Like because

Kelly  9:11  

I do because I have to make the planet good for them. It's like this.

Brandee   9:17  

That's the argument that I think people who are like anti kids for environmental reasons is like, I don't wanna bring in the world if like, their features, like, questionable. Yeah, that's like any forest fire. Anything that's a personal decision or should be a personal individual decision. Like you can't make a blanket statement. Like,

Kelly  9:35  

you just can't Yes, no, I agree. And, you know, before I had kids recycling wasn't that important to me or like, different, like odds and ends things weren't that important to me because I was like, whatever, like, I'm not going to outlive this like whatever happens to environments gonna have an after I die. Then you have kids and all of a sudden it's like my great great have to have school. Yeah, yeah, like you feel really responsible for people that don't even exist yet. You're like, Oh my God, it is that like, I've spread my seed. And I've like, I have these things that I now have to make sure are safe forever. Yeah, no, it's really it's really bizarre. And my, my dad went through it like I remember my dad starting to recycle when we were in like high school. And he would like adamantly, like, stand over the sink and soap and water, wash out plastic containers and dry them out. And I knew my brother would stand there and be like, What are you? Why are you washing the trash? Like, throw the trash away? And he'd be like, you can't have food in recycled plastics or they won't recycle it and like, I need for you to to have a planet one day. My brother would like roll our eyes. And now I have kids. And I'm like, No, I understand why he was cleaning track. Like, got it. You just clean trash for your children. Because for them to be safe thing that happens.

Brandee   11:01  

Oh, that's funny. Without getting on a tangent about recycling and plastic, and whether that's, I mean, that's a whole other issue. And yeah, Hannah and I did a whole episode on plastic. And it was very good. That's it. Thank you. I think that is that can definitely lead you down a gray spiral or, or what's hanos New, newly coined term quagmire of doom? Because it's like, what is what I'm doing, like really making a difference? Like you have this, this desire to make a difference for yourself, for your kids for the future for the planet. But like how, like, when you get so many, like mixed messages, how do you know that like what you're doing is like the right thing or the best thing,

Kelly  11:36  

right? I use disposable diapers, because I just can't like I honestly can't. And I definitely have thrown away clothes that have poop stains on them that I cannot wrap my head around, trying to get the stain out. Like I'm so sorry. I know, that's terrible. But I, I can sometimes the day is just like, I can't I can't do this, I'm just gonna throw it away. However, the difference I will say, in sustainability that I've done between Joe and Jack is like my firt my oldest who's five and a half now. I was like adamant like she needs brand new clothes and brand new sneakers, I'm gonna spend $45 on this pair of like purple Air Jordans that she's going to wear for three and a half days, and then she's gonna go through a growth spurt. And they want better again. And I feel like we wasted so much money on like, clothes that we never took the tags off of, and shoes that she never really fit into. And then I kind of went in the opposite direction with Joey where I was like, I'm just gonna get five pairs of $10 shoes instead of one pair of $50 shoes. Because like, we need options, we need different sizes, we need whatever. And so then that I don't know is right way to go. Because cheap shoes are like not good for kids feet, either. Whatever she can play that they hurt, blah, blah, blah. So it was like this whole back and forth. Now, I got invited to join this group. It's called pass it along baby edition. And it's essentially the county moms who are in it, obviously, just post lightly use things. It's like toys. Sometimes it's food, you would actually be really impressed. Sometimes it's food. It'll be like, these things are going to expire in a month are not expired yet. I'm not going to use them will somebody use them. People put up like cupcakes that like were brought to a party that nobody in our family is going to eat? Well, Stephanie, these cupcakes like, it sounds silly. But like, it's just like a whole bunch of moms trying not to throw things away, and trying to like spread the wealth or whatever. People will post. Like, I just posted my son outgrow his size for sneakers. So I posted my size for sneakers, like who needs size for boys sneakers. And they're going to be picked up tomorrow. So I've gotten rid of like all like all my son's walkers and like, a couple of strollers like there's big ticket items, people get people swap cribs, or like people will swap a crib for a toddler, that whatever. And it's just like, here are things that like my kids have outgrown. I don't want to throw it away. I don't want to I I don't want to personally give it to like a charity organization that's then gonna sell it to more people, because I hate that thought process. So I don't like necessarily donating it to stores that are going to then sell it to people who can't afford anything. So

Brandee   14:36  

but I just donating it or giving it to someone directly for free.

Kelly  14:39  

Yes, you need this right now you take this from me or a lot of times it's like people post like a literal black trash bag. And it's like size zero to 12 month, baby clothes. And they're like who wants it? And inevitably, there's a pregnant person on there who's like, I'll take it and they like oh Pick it up.

Brandee   15:01  

I love that I love those. Those groups are in like any, like most major cities in the States and Europe, I love that they create, like a sense of community to get to know the people. Oh, yeah, we're living in your city swap

Kelly  15:13  

like we swapped like a like one woman her son was born early and was in the NICU. So I was giving her breastfeeding stuff. And then I also like recommended a lactation consultant to her and like, so now we talk and her kids safely out of the NICU, I'm so excited. But you know, like, now I've gotten to know some of my neighbors because of it. And also, I get rid of the crap that is in my, because children come with a lot of crap. And it is so large. So I've gotten rid of a lot of crap. And also, like, if there's toys on it, like, I've gotten so many of Jack's toys off of this website, because it's free. And it's all like, babies don't play with toys that long, you know, like, you just Clorox at once, and it's and whatever, like wash was sub one or once and let it dry. And it's perfectly fine.

Brandee   16:04  

I mean, that brings up the whole thing of like, you know, wanting to create this, like sterile bubble around your kids when really they need to be exposed to more things to like, build their own immune system and fight stuff off. Yes. And that sounds.

Kelly  16:14  

Yeah. So I would say like this pass it on. Baby group is probably the biggest thing in sustainability that I've done. As a mom. Like Jack has very little brand new clothes are brand new shoes. Like if he got it for Christmas or his birthday, for sure. But I am not no longer going and purchasing him like brand new sneakers because I can just get a pair. Yeah, definitely everything. Yeah. Kids destroy everything anyways, so I mean, I love them. I probably sound like I hate children. I love kids. I work in a pediatric hospital. That's how much I can't get enough kids. But like I it just makes me laugh when it thinking about my like, Mom of Joey where I was like, Oh, I gotta make sure she looks clean. I don't want people like judging me that she doesn't look clean. Or she can't like we can't afford nice new clothes. Like, I don't know. But like, it doesn't matter if you put on like Dolce and Gabbana on your kid like he's gonna throw up on it. So what is the point of putting that on him? And now I'm so much less stressed out because I'm like, Oh, if I got this t shirt from like a mom who got it from another mom, I'm like, Okay, well, it's already cycled through a couple of households if he pukes all over it and I just cannot. It makes me feel way less guilty thrown away. Yeah, like this t shirt has done well. It's gone. Like, that's right. I

Brandee   17:43  

think I mean, I'm not a mom, but it just seems like there's so much there's so much to like, worry about, you know, hear their well being making sure they turn into a decent human being. They're like getting caught up in, like going on Grace bowels and getting caught up in little things is like maybe not the best way to like, you know, use up your energy. But at the same time, they you know, moms who do use the the reusable cloth diapers, like I've had co workers who were like adamant No, no, I'm like doing this for the environment. And I think that's great. If it's, you know, just a part of your life like how something like me bringing reusable containers wherever I go, that's just become a part of my life. And it doesn't seem like it's such a big thing. But if if it's something that does seem like such a big thing you and it's just not like doable then then yeah, do what's do what's best for you focus your your energy on like the parts that matter. And if you can, like make swaps or other changes that are quote unquote, more sustainable then great, do them. I'm gonna talk to your kids about them as as they get older and why. Why you do certain things then it'll just become a part of their their way of living. Yes.

Kelly  18:47  

And Joey was wearing the dress that

Brandee   18:48  

you got her? Oh, the second I bought off them. Secondhand website. Where was it? thread up something? You prefer one or the red one?

Kelly  18:57  

The purple one she likes? Oh, he

Brandee   18:58  

loves the see one.

Kelly  19:00  

Yes. Yeah. Yes. Right. And it actually like, I know your mentality, but I feel like she no one you're like, I don't know. In my head. I'm like, if my sister in law came in and said that she bought my kids like a whole bunch of clothes from I don't know, throw it up or goodwill or something. Like, here you go. There's part of me that probably would have been like, Oh, why did you do that? Like don't get them anything. Like, I don't know. But now I watch my daughter who is very particular about how she dresses. Just like have like, does not care. She has these two really cool outfits that she loves. That were like not brand new. She has no clothes, she doesn't care. Obviously I wash all I mean I wash clothes that I get from like a department store. The second I buy them because too. They were sitting in a factory somewhere with rat poop. So I was saying as soon as I get it, but like she loves them and then I'm like, I don't know why ever like, would have been like, oh, about it before. I just watched everything anyways. Yeah,

Brandee   20:07  

it's it's a mentality shift. And once you like make that shift, it's like, Oh, who cares whatever the sustainable thing is? Yeah, it just becomes like, not a big deal.

Kelly  20:17  

My relief is coming in five minutes. Okay, out there. No worries we can run in here for 24 hours.

Brandee   20:24  

Oh, that's too many. Yeah, go home and get some rest.

Kelly  20:28  

I mean, I read an entire book and watched a couple of episodes Criminal Minds, but Oh, amazing. I can't complain about that.

Brandee   20:37  

Well, thank you so much, Kelly, for coming on. And I'll leave you any any links that we we mentioned in the show notes. And I don't know about specific like, no buy or swap groups, but just places where you can go in general to like, find one in your community, because it will depend on where you are. And yeah, we'd love to have you back on in the future to chat more about sustainable things. Just start collecting your questions. And voice notes, and we'll bring you back out when Hannah can join us and we can have a chat with three of us. So yeah, thank you so much. And hope you have a good rest of your day. And listeners. We will tea you later.

Kelly  21:14  

Tea you later Give-a-Shitters!

Brandee   21:20  

Thank you so much for listening to this episode of the tea on sustainable living podcast.

Hannah  21:25  

If you made it to the end, we can only assume that you've enjoyed this episode.

Brandee   21:29  

Please consider sharing this with a friend or family member who could use some support on their sustainability journey.

Hannah  21:34  

And find us on Instagram at the tea on sustainable living and let us know what you liked about the episode.

Brandee   21:40  

Alright, Give-a-Shitters, tea you later. Get it? Tea you later? As in, see you later? So punny. 

Hannah  21:47  


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